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


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1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

how was Ned able to move the Northern army into the Riverlands without incurring a toll from Walder Frey? Of course you could ask the other way with why Robb had to pay a toll via marriage when Ned didn't have to

Robb wanted to get to Riverrun as soon as possible and the Kingsroad was blocked by Tywin, so he had to cross at the Twins. Ned could simply use the Kingsroad.

1 hour ago, Angel Eyes said:

And then there's the Battle of the Trident. Ned was halfway through the Riverlands at this point or less, while the Westerlands were on the other side of Westeros; how did he not intercept Tywin at any point where he would have had less time to mobilize after the Battle of the Trident?

I guess Tywin was already marching when the battle took place.

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8 hours ago, Hugorfonics said:

Well, Ned was a terrible ruler, father and human being so I think it's more practical to pick one of those options then suggesting the author wrote an impossibility

IMO from a writing standpoint, Ned as a character makes no sense. I know humans can sometimes be contradictory but how GRRM wrote Ned was too much. At least for me. When you look at the actual background of Ned (war, politics, how he was raised etc.), how he acts in the time the story takes place makes very little sense.

Ned (and Cat to some degree also fell victim to bad writing) needed to die so GRRM made it happen. And it was not convincingly done at all IMO.

Edited by Mystical
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7 minutes ago, Mystical said:

IMO from a writing standpoint, Ned as a character makes no sense. I know humans can sometimes be contradictory but how GRRM wrote Ned was too much. At least for me. When you look at the actual background of Ned (war, politics, how he was raised etc.), how he acts in the time the story takes place makes very little sense.

Ned (and Cat to some degree also fell victim to bad writing) needed to die so GRRM made it happen. And it was not convincingly done at all IMO.

It is strange how Ned and Cat both spent their formative years in southron courts, yet neither thought to warn their daughters not to trust all these highly untrustworthy people in King’s Landing.

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14 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

It is strange how Ned and Cat both spent their formative years in southron courts, yet neither thought to warn their daughters not to trust all these highly untrustworthy people in King’s Landing.

They were not bad parents, but they did neglect quite a bit.  Likewise Doran’s treatment of Arianne was daft.  Tywin messes his children up by treating them as chess pieces.

The best father is, oddly enough, probably Walder Frey.  He really does care for all of his spawn, however unsatisfactory.  He’s loathsome, but really does drive home the message that Freys must look out for each other, because no one else will.

Edited by SeanF
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21 minutes ago, The Bard of Banefort said:

It is strange how Ned and Cat both spent their formative years in southron courts, yet neither thought to warn their daughters not to trust all these highly untrustworthy people in King’s Landing.

Catelyn spent most of her life at Riverrun, which is her home and where she knew everyone. And Ned was raised by the very honorable Jon Arryn. On the other hand, we do know from the beginning of AGoT that Ned mistrusts the Lannisters, so maybe he thought that Arya and Sansa were too young for that stuff, or that him and Robert would be able to keep everyone in check and thus protect the children. 

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

It is strange how Ned and Cat both spent their formative years in southron courts, yet neither thought to warn their daughters not to trust all these highly untrustworthy people in King’s Landing.

Well, in Ned's case he was raised in the Vale under Jon Arryn, who was the honorable, mostly nice, but gullible type. I mean, wouldn't you be suspicious of someone who left your wife's home under a cloud of scandal, who was also one of my own bannermen and in a position to take advantage of prior connctions? I fault Hoster for not being more mindful of him as well.

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6 minutes ago, SeanF said:

They were not bad parents, but they did neglect quite a bit.  Likewise Doran’s treatment of Arianne was daft.  Tywin messes his children up by treating them as chess pieces.

The best father is, oddly enough, probably Walder Frey.  He really does care for all of his spawn, however unsatisfactory.  He’s loathsome, but really does drive home the message that Freys must look out for each other, because no one else will.

The Doran part is pretty galling; he kept Arianne in the dark about her own future (not even Ned does that). Did he honestly think she'd be fine with what she thought was having her inheritance stripped from her and not bother to set the record straight? Plus, what if Doran died, say around the beginning of AGOT? Since he hadn't told Arianne of what he had in store, how could he not expect her to run Dorne into the ground?

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8 minutes ago, SeanF said:

They were not bad parents, but they did neglect quite a bit.  Likewise Doran’s treatment of Arianne was daft.  Tywin messes his children up by treating them as chess pieces.

Ned and Cat are good parents (the best we have seen so far in this series) but their children are extremely sheltered. Especially Sansa.

Bran, Robb and Sansa are all alike (sweet, talented kids with their heads too far in the clouds too often) and Arya is not too afar off from them. Even Jon and Theon have this idealistic, starcrossed sense of entitlement.

I think the reason why their children are so unprepared for adult life is because of the trauma Ned experienced during the war and the grisly fates that befell children.

Granted, 11 is quite young but if the age of majority is at 16, then Sansa should be much more capable of taking care of herself. 

13 minutes ago, SeanF said:

He’s loathsome, but really does drive home the message that Freys must look out for each other, because no one else will.

This is the message he tries to communicate but it never reaches its final destination. The Freys are a house of cards in a strong breeze.

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4 hours ago, Back in Black-Snow said:

This thread has certainly evolved, hasn't it?

I'm almost thinking this thread should just get pinned up. It's on it's fifth reincarnation, with a rough average of about twenty pages....and this stuff has been going on since February. It's the best darn idea I ever had for a thread. 

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14 minutes ago, Takiedevushkikakzvezdy said:

Catelyn spent most of her life at Riverrun, which is her home and where she knew everyone. And Ned was raised by the very honorable Jon Arryn. On the other hand, we do know from the beginning of AGoT that Ned mistrusts the Lannisters, so maybe he thought that Arya and Sansa were too young for that stuff, or that him and Robert would be able to keep everyone in check and thus protect the children. 

This could possibly be the case; compare with Robb. The 14-year-old Robb was roughly about the same age as Brandon (son of Rickard) when he was betrothed to Catelyn and other lords had set their sights on him (read: Alys Karstark), yet Robb's prospects apparently haven't come up much in conversation.

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2 hours ago, butterweedstrover said:

Story's are about emotional resonance, these mathematical discrepancies hold too much sway due to Tolkien.  

For good reason. Tolkien created a wide world (not perfect, obviously) and good, vibrant characters (they talk a bit stiffly, but obviously with the medieval settings, ect)  and the language can be dense, but he thought out his campaigns, their timelines, logistics, and stuff like that. GRRM, on the other hand has armies of 100,000 that somehow don't starve, and aren't split up, where KL can magically be fed with food up the Roseroad, etc. 

Unrealistic stuff and bad worldbuilding break the suspension of disbelief. Just look at The Last Jedi, and the Star Wars sequel trilogy as a whole. If the universe can be bent to fit the needs of the characters, it is not a good universe. 

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23 minutes ago, SeanF said:

They were not bad parents, but they did neglect quite a bit.  Likewise Doran’s treatment of Arianne was daft.  

They remind me of Doran but not as bad. But they definitely used their kids to further their political aspersions, with Arianna it's fine, just mental issues, with Quyntin less so. The Stark girls are somewhere in between 

26 minutes ago, SeanF said:

The best father is, oddly enough, probably Walder Frey.

Not the best grandfather.

Davos was a good dad, until they died. I like Wyman too and I'm also thoroughly and suprisngly impressed with the guardianship of Griff and Bronn. 

But shout out to Mysha. You know, the human children, not the ones chained up in a dungeon 

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12 minutes ago, Jaenara Belarys said:

For good reason. Tolkien created a wide world (not perfect, obviously) and good, vibrant characters (they talk a bit stiffly, but obviously with the medieval settings, ect)  and the language can be dense, but he thought out his campaigns, their timelines, logistics, and stuff like that. GRRM, on the other hand has armies of 100,000 that somehow don't starve, and aren't split up, where KL can magically be fed with food up the Roseroad, etc. 

Unrealistic stuff and bad worldbuilding break the suspension of disbelief. Just look at The Last Jedi, and the Star Wars sequel trilogy as a whole. If the universe can be bent to fit the needs of the characters, it is not a good universe. 

Worldbuilding is not the be all and end all, but in any fictional military history, logistics matter, and unrealistic logistics do spoil the story.  Tolkien was very good at logistics, showing his background as a soldier.

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3 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Worldbuilding is not the be all and end all, but in any fictional military history, logistics matter, and unrealistic logistics do spoil the story.  Tolkien was very good at logistics, showing his background as a soldier.

And also the consequences of not obeying common sense. Take the Nirnaeth Arnoediad where the House of Hador brings their entire fighting force; they're all slaughtered with only one survivor, leaving their lands to be taken and their people enslaved.

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3 hours ago, butterweedstrover said:

Honestly, these technical issues about scale, timing, world-building don't bother me. 

Story's are about emotional resonance, these mathematical discrepancies hold too much sway due to Tolkien.  

I mean, you have to walk before you can run. It's hard for a story to be emotionally resonant if it doesn't make sense. Granted, this isn't a big problem for ASOIAF, as GRRM is good at masking the shortcomings, but once you notice them they can take you out of the story.

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9 minutes ago, SeanF said:

Worldbuilding is not the be all and end all, but in any fictional military history, logistics matter, and unrealistic logistics do spoil the story.  Tolkien was very good at logistics, showing his background as a soldier.

Of course, and I'm not saying that it is, but it's pretty darn important.

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Anyone else find the lack of technological advancement in GRRM's world to be rather interesting. I never thought about this much, when I was reading the main series, but now that we have history books dating back hundreds, if not thousands of years, I find it rather odd how little science has advanced in GRRM's world.

Edited by sifth
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The history that we know of has progressed from bronze age to something approximating the late Middle Ages. That took something like 4600 of our years. Throw in the existence of magic as something that took up time and resources and provided benefits, and throw in the wonky seasons and their negative effects on development, and it's not so strange that the development of science is where it's at, especially given that it's unclear whether the timeline given by Luwin in AGoT is fully accurate as George has thrown out contrary views and evidence. 

 

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