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


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On a slightly lighter note, this blog post also reinforces my suspicions that characters like Val and Harry the Heir probably don't have much of a role to play in future books. He never mentions them when talking about the important characters cut from the show. (Stoneheart and Jeyne Poole, on the other hand, he always makes a point of mentioning).

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42 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Also, I hope this isn't a sign that the backlash to S8 is causing George to drastically change course. I want to see how he pulls off Dark Dany and King Bran, not for him to completely drop them and do something else. 

I don’t really think it’s unusual for him to go a different way than the show regardless of what the intentions were and it is not to spite, or to distance himself from the show or to avoid backlash.
 

Before the series got to be such a success, before the TV series even started he said many, many times he’s a gardener. He said his story changes organically, that new ideas pop off and he scraps entire storylines to rewrite new ones, better ones. 

The assumption and confirmation that once he gave the broad strokes to David and Dan, all the main storylines and the endgame itself is set in stone was probably the biggest mistake he probably did. Look at the original three pages plot he pimped to the publisher, look at the 5 year gap that never happened. Those are HUGE changes that he seems to accept and accommodate in time. 
 

3-4 years after the TV series ended he comes with another blogpost where he’s confirming his habits of organic growth of the story and repeated rewrites persists, well.. that makes me think it’s not impossible he found something that works better for how he writes the plots and story now than when he ended Dance more than a decade ago.

In the end, unless he signed an agreement where he’s tied to the ending of the show rather than specifying that each is its own thing, Martin is free to write his story and its end as he sees fit. And I think that’s ok too.

That’s not to say I’m not excited to read all the internal conflict of Dany becoming a mad Targ or something like that, should it come to pass. I enjoyed Dance tremendously and there’s a lot of Dany that’s questioning her instincts, choices and what’s right and wrong there, when ruling Meereen. That means he definitely left himself a wide open field in how to write her in future books.

Edited by TormundsWoman
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Posted (edited)

This is just copy paste of my post about the blog post from R&R:

I f***ing hope he's moving away from the ending of the show. If it's the same ending with different language, I will storm outside with all the books, burn them and post that video on the Internet (It would've been a waste of money and time, but screw it, I've got a paying job for the summer, so fine). It's been more than a decade since ADWD. I realize he's a gardener, we're not 90 year old seniors with memory problems who need to be told every five minutes, and I know that he's going to be rewriting stuff, but if we've had a decade waiting, and it's just the same dreck as the two D's, I'll be majorly ticked off. 

A moose turd pie is still a moose turd pie, no matter how much sugar you dump on it. 

No offense intended, the post just rubbed me the wrong way. 

Edited by Jaenara Belarys
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4 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

I'd like to say that today's blog post made me feel optimistic, but it just. . . didn't. We've heard it all so many times before, the only thing that would work at this point would be a release date. But I also can't help but feeling like even this is really about HBO in the end. I've seen all the stats about how millions of people are apparently googling about House of the Dragon everyday, but I have a hard time believing it. The most I see people talking about it are here on this board. The subreddit is small, there are hardly any YouTube videos covering HOTD, and Twitter is just a brigade of an enraged Dany stans who can't get over the ending of GOT (not that I blame them). I've been looking through Instagram for the past few days, trying to find active GOT/ASOIAF accounts, and you can count them on one hand. One of the biggest complaints about the spin-offs is that they feel pointless considering how the grand story of the White Walkers and the Targaryens ends. So George saying "actually, the REAL ending will be different!" just feels like damage control. If GOT can be rebooted in a decade with a totally different ending, then the spin-offs have more meaning. (It's like how everyone even tangentially related to the series keeps talking about how great the writing on HOTD is, including George, which was the major point of contention for S8).

Also, I hope this isn't a sign that the backlash to S8 is causing George to drastically change course. I want to see how he pulls off Dark Dany and King Bran, not for him to completely drop them and do something else. 

I think King Bran only makes sense if Bran is essentially, a being that operates according to a different value system to the run of humanity.  In fact, he’s not really Bran any more, but rather the Raven.  I don’t think a god-king could ever be “good” as humans understand the term. 

Much as I’d hate Jon killing Dany, as part of the endgame, I think it can work as a tragedy in the manner described by @Black  Lightning, upthread.  

Or alternatively, Jon thinks she’ll be a decent queen, but her political aims are irrevocably at odds with his siblings’.  Jon feels honour-bound to protect his siblings, however much he hates having to do it.  As you said, that was in fact Jon’s motivation, in the show, but the two D’s wanted to make it far less of a moral dilemma for him.

A darker Dany, in TWOW, is pretty well inevitable, IMHO.  I doubt if she’ll show an ounce of mercy to the surviving Ghiscari Masters or to Jhaqo or Mago.  I could see her to doing something like forcing the masters to dismantle their pyramids, brick by brick, with their bare hands.

Edited by SeanF
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7 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

Also, I hope this isn't a sign that the backlash to S8 is causing George to drastically change course. I want to see how he pulls off Dark Dany and King Bran, not for him to completely drop them and do something else. 

I don't think Dany Darko was ever on the table the way the show portrayed it. On the other hand, King Bran has been giving a headache to everyone who knew about it. So much so that you actually get invested in it. But to think of something more mysterious, I'd like him (not that it matters what I'd like, that's not why im pointing that out) to write his story with the question of who will be the final ruler of Westeros unsettled. Just so he can pick at the end the most logical one. Such a crazy important question being set in stone feels heavy at best. His blogpost made me believe King Bran isn't a certainty at all. That being said, I see no chance of Jon or Daenerys ending up as the final rulers, especially Jon.

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Unfortunately, I'm with @The Bard of Banefort here: I seems like damage control, especially compared to the things he said in the last months, which actually made people re-evaluate him as a writer (such as, that he didn't understand why people are so upset about the shows ending, etc. pp.).

Originally, I thought the "yes and no" about the similarities between the books and the shows ending would be something like: Dany doesn't stay in Westeros, but flies back to Essos and takes her people with her, while Jon keeps his oath and goes back to the wall, Bran becomes a tree, Kings Landing is magdeburgerised but by Aegon, etc. pp. Now, I'm not so sure anymore, and I'm also not sure about Martin's abilities to forcefully change his ending... But maybe the characters themselves will save the day and simply do things differently - not that we will ever see an ending.

3 hours ago, SeanF said:

I think King Bran only makes sense if Bran is essentially, a being that operates according to a different value system to the run of humanity.  In fact, he’s not really Bran any more, but rather the Raven.  I don’t think a god-king could ever be “good” as humans understand the term. 

I always disliked the "god-king-Bran-ending", as it not only would make GRRM an epigones, but also one who did not understand either Herbert, or his own ability to make one and the necessaries of a commentary about the God-Emperor.

First: A commentary is simply not needed, everything wrong with the concept of the God-Emperor is already addressed in the original book and mostly by the God-Emperor himself.

Second: It works a a bittersweet ending for humanity and the protagonists in Dune only because of the character, traits and especially the agenda of the Worm. Bran has non of this: He is not an adult mind in a child's body, he can not see all futures at once (he can see the past, and only parts of it), he doesn't have access to the memories of thousands of very different people, but only to devotees to the trees, etc.

And he lacks the agenda of the Worm, and I don't see where he should get it from in the last two books. And as far as we know the trees were not seen as benevolent enough by the Andals to keep them around, they chopped them down, to cut down their influence and the ability to spy on humanity. In Dune it is the God-Emperor himself who does this: he destroys the possibility for another Kwisatz Haderach, making humanity invisible and impossible to be influenced by the past memories at the same time.

So I'm with you here, I don't think the rule of tree-god-king-Bran can end up as bittersweet or less than horrible even in the blue-and-orange-spectrum of value systems.

7 minutes ago, Daeron the Daring said:

But to think of something more mysterious, I'd like him (not that it matters what I'd like, that's not why im pointing that out) to write his story with the question of who will be the final ruler of Westeros unsettled. Just so he can pick at the end the most logical one. Such a crazy important question being set in stone feels heavy at best. His blogpost made me believe King Bran isn't a certainty at all. That being said, I see no chance of Jon or Daenerys ending up as the final rulers, especially Jon.

I would  actually like to see it ending in just this moment: funerals are being held, people are saying their farewells, (Dany's packing for Essos, Jon is going back to the Wall to reform the Nights Watch - if one or both are alive), a Great Council is being planed, but not now in Winter, people need food and shelter first (he could give Edmure a nice shining moment in which he grills his fellow lords about for once doing their focking duty and take care of their people). That would indeed be a bittersweet ending.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

On a slightly lighter note, this blog post also reinforces my suspicions that characters like Val and Harry the Heir probably don't have much of a role to play in future books. He never mentions them when talking about the important characters cut from the show. (Stoneheart and Jeyne Poole, on the other hand, he always makes a point of mentioning).

Jeyne Poole is someone who I wish had just been killed off very early.

I have a dreadful suspicion that she’ll be exposed as a fake, and Stannis will burn her as a traitor.  On top of her years of torture and rape.  There are two things that made me question whether I wished to continue with this tale.  The treatment of Jeyne Poole, and Chiswick’s jolly tale of gang-raping an Innkeep’s daughter and murdering her brother.

There must be a special place in hell for Baelish for what he did to that girl.  An agnostic friend who read the books said to me he hopes there’s a God, because people like LF deserve to burn in the next world.

Edited by SeanF
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Yeah, I just read the post. 

His piling of side characters and extraneous plotlines and detours is just to hide the fact that at the core the book and the show are fundamentally the same in terms of plot. 

Martin can try anything he likes, but he can't get from under that point. And I don't like that he is trying, not because I like the show (I stopped watching after season 4) but because he is undermining the work that went into producing Game of Thrones. When HBO signed up they expected more books to be able to finish, they did their end of the bargain but he didn't do his. 

What I would have liked was for Martin, during the intense backlash the producers were receiving, to stand up and take some blame. "This is my ending, I didn't finish the books, that is on me."

 But instead he snidely insinuates his work is different (its not) throwing them under the bus and trying to split his legacy from that of the show (even though the one made the other). I don't care about the ending anymore, I just don't like Martin's professional conduct. 

And anyways, Winds is not the ending, there is another book afterwards.

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“George is a gardener” is the new “subverting expectations.” It’s a knee-jerk phrase people use to explain everything. Winds is taking over a decade? George is a gardener. Dany is stuck in Meereen? George is a gardener. There’s another food description? George is a gardener, and you can bet he’s going to describe all those beets he harvested.

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Something I found amusing: GRRM says he doesn't understand the rivalry between Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings and the fact they're compared so often (this article is secondhand since I don't have access to Independent). But here's the thing: GRRM himself has criticized Lord of the Rings in the past (Aragorn's tax policy, Gandalf dying and coming back) and is one of his reasons in writing ASOIAF in the first place because he had problems with how Tolkien wrote things and his themes.

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4 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

Something I found amusing: GRRM says he doesn't understand the rivalry between Game of Thrones and the Lord of the Rings and the fact they're compared so often (this article is secondhand since I don't have access to Independent). But here's the thing: GRRM himself has criticized Lord of the Rings in the past (Aragorn's tax policy, Gandalf dying and coming back) and is one of his reasons in writing ASOIAF in the first place because he had problems with how Tolkien wrote things and his themes.

The irony is that I find Tolkien's handling of military matters and logistics more deft and realistic than Martin's. 

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47 minutes ago, butterweedstrover said:

Yeah, I just read the post. 

His piling of side characters and extraneous plotlines and detours is just to hide the fact that at the core the book and the show are fundamentally the same in terms of plot. 

Martin can try anything he likes, but he can't get from under that point. And I don't like that he is trying, not because I like the show (I stopped watching after season 4) but because he is undermining the work that went into producing Game of Thrones. When HBO signed up they expected more books to be able to finish, they did their end of the bargain but he didn't do his. 

What I would have liked was for Martin, during the intense backlash the producers were receiving, to stand up and take some blame. "This is my ending, I didn't finish the books, that is on me."

 But instead he snidely insinuates his work is different (its not) throwing them under the bus and trying to split his legacy from that of the show (even though the one made the other). I don't care about the ending anymore, I just don't like Martin's professional conduct. 

And anyways, Winds is not the ending, there is another book afterwards.

Martin does have to bear his share of the blame but, given the pig's ear that the two D's made of the show, I think he's been pretty restrained, in the circumstances.

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