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


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20 hours ago, SeanF said:

Raff is a paedophile.  

Not to get too tangential, but ever since I read an article called ‘confession of a paedophile’ I have tried to observe the distinction between people who are…cursed?… with a natural attraction to children they did not choose (paedophiles) and people who sexually abuse children.
 

Because there are plenty of the former who live their entire lives never acting on their impulses because they know it’s wrong…can you imagine that fucking life?…and at the same time most sexual assaults on children are done by people who’d prefer to assault adults but prey on children because they are much easier to control. 

Edited by James Arryn
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17 hours 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.

I think Ned is really unfairly judged a lot. We are given a lot of information he is not, and he’s primarily suffering from entering a game late in the 4th quarter that he doesn’t even know is happening. All the other players already have intel networks and know the game, he’s groping in the dark having to use one of the other players for eyes and ears. His crucial mistake was turning Renly down, but given the clusterfuck of shit falling down on him at that moment, can we really blame him for blinking at just the wrong moment. Additionally, without Sansa’s completely unpredictable betrayal he at worst loses his life but preserves the honour he values much more and the family he values most.  

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17 hours 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.

He does warn them. A lot. The whole ‘lone wolf’ speech is just one example. 

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5 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

I think Ned is really unfairly judged a lot. We are given a lot of information he is not, and he’s primarily suffering from entering a game late in the 4th quarter that he doesn’t even know is happening. All the other players already have intel networks and know the game, he’s groping in the dark having to use one of the other players for eyes and ears. His crucial mistake was turning Renly down, but given the clusterfuck of shit falling down on him at that moment, can we really blame him for blinking at just the wrong moment. Additionally, without Sansa’s completely unpredictable betrayal he at worst loses his life but preserves the honour he values much more and the family he values most.  

I think that's right.  Court nobility may have quite a clear idea of how the Game operates, but country nobility would not.

It would be like some Earl who'd spent almost his entire life in the North or South West, or campaigning in France, suddenly being made chief minister at the court of Henry VIII. 

Edited by SeanF
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17 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

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.

I don’t think Jon Arryn was especially gullible. His only mistakes were not anticipating twincest…and I mean?…and being fooled by LF who is both an apparently huge asset and fools everyone else too, and aside from Lysa doesn’t really do much betraying until he’s dead.

But he’s pretty realpolitik in his decisions, and the Lannister marriage w/o twincest was a master stroke, as was his handling of Dorne. Third, Robert’s Rebellion ought to be called Jon Arryn’s Rebellion, as when he made that tough choice it was literally him alone against the crown, but he seems to have assessed the possibility for success where most wouldn’t. And lastly we are given his death as the great unravelling for a reason. 

Edited by James Arryn
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2 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

I don’t think Jon Arryn was especially gullible. His only mistakes were not anticipating twincest…and I mean?…and being fooled by LF who is both an apparently huge asset and fools everyone else too, and aside from Lysa doesn’t really do much betraying until he’s dead.

But he’s pretty realpolitik in his decisions, and the Lannister marriage w/o twincest was a master stroke, as was his handling of Dorne. Third, Robert’s Rebellion ought to be called Jon Arryn’s Rebellion, as when he made that tough choice it was literally him alone against the crown, but he seems to have assessed the possibility for success where most wouldn’t. And lastly we are given his death as the great unravelling for a reason. 

I personally think there was more than just sending back bones to negotiate a ceasefire with Dorne, otherwise the return of Ned's bones would have ceased hostilities between the Starks and the Lannisters... in theory.

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17 hours 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.

I would say the best father is the dolt Mace…the Tyrells, so far as we can see, are an incredibly well run family who really care for one another and support each other. 
 

Ironically, the father we hear who spends the most time actively working to get his child the skills and connections important to a feudal lord is….wait for it…Randyll Tarly.

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5 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

I personally think there was more than just sending back bones to negotiate a ceasefire with Dorne, otherwise the return of Ned's bones would have ceased hostilities between the Starks and the Lannisters... in theory.

Well part of it was Doran deciding to play the longest game in history outside of Varys/Illyrio, but in JA’s situation you take that and run with it. 

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45 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

Not sure I’d call Bran evil; just supremely indifferent. I think evil might become apparent if we explored the ~ theocracy the 6K were going to become, but I don’t think we saw it on screen. 

I mean, sure. We could call a sociopath (in the clinical sense) simply indifferent as well, since they are just that. Simply indifferent and unable to feel empathy and remorse. The best real-life example would be how people tought of certain Gods. Of course, most humans to these imaginary beings would mean nothing more than an ant to us, but their actions influencing those given people would still get deemed as ultimately wrong.

Or I dunno, think of aliens that are so advanced that they wouldnt even consider us an obstacle if the consequence of their actions mean our doom. I know, there's no really good example for this, but what can I do, there's no magic IRL. (Or is there? Where I'm from witchcraft is a legal profession.)

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17 hours ago, Angel Eyes said:

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.

What work are you referencing here? Just curious, plus it’s been seconds since I posted. 

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2 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

What work are you referencing here? Just curious, plus it’s been seconds since I posted. 

The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin; both are prequels to The Lord of the Rings (in fact, The Children of Hurin is an expansion of several chapters of The Silmarillion).

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16 hours ago, sifth said:

You mean those wonky seasons, that are mostly ignored in the history books. There's an exception here and there, but for the most part no major event in those books is ever effected by a long winter or an insanely hot summer.

To be fair, pre-industrial history in ~ colder climes also seems to almost all happen when the weather allowed, as far as the kind of big stuff that gets well recorded. Towton was considered pretty exceptional. 

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7 minutes ago, Angel Eyes said:

The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin; both are prequels to The Lord of the Rings (in fact, The Children of Hurin is an expansion of several chapters of The Silmarillion).

Christ, I’ve read the Silmarillion, didn’t think I’d forgotten that much. 

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57 minutes ago, James Arryn said:

I think Ned is really unfairly judged a lot.

I don't judge Ned as a character. I judge the writing. For someone who has been in a war, has the supposed hang ups and issues that he has (for example children) and been ruling the North for almost half his life (which is as much a political theater as the South as we later find out), his actions and behavior in the story we read make no sense.

Edited by Mystical
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2 hours ago, James Arryn said:

As I am evidently offering my opinion on ~ every post, I would like to clarify your meaning here: are you saying that GRRM’s critiques of Tolkien along these lines are what heightened their significance for us?

Just his general influence on the genre. But Martin’s sense of competition with Tolkien is definitely conducive of that.

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1 hour ago, James Arryn said:

I don’t think Jon Arryn was especially gullible. His only mistakes were not anticipating twincest…and I mean?…and being fooled by LF who is both an apparently huge asset and fools everyone else too, and aside from Lysa doesn’t really do much betraying until he’s dead.

But he’s pretty realpolitik in his decisions, and the Lannister marriage w/o twincest was a master stroke, as was his handling of Dorne. Third, Robert’s Rebellion ought to be called Jon Arryn’s Rebellion, as when he made that tough choice it was literally him alone against the crown, but he seems to have assessed the possibility for success where most wouldn’t. And lastly we are given his death as the great unravelling for a reason. 

I don't think he was that pragmatic.  On the one hand, he was unbothered by the murder of Elia and her children.  Yet, he talked Robert out of going after Daenerys and Viserys.  And, he ought to have anticipated that the Dornish would want revenge.  

A pragmatist would have sent Ser Amory Lorch and Ser Gregor Clegane to Dorne for execution.  Or, alternatively, he'd have doubled down on murdering what was left of the royal family, and would have murdered the Martells.  He neither conciliated his enemies, nor crushed them.  he left them in a position to seek revenge.

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2 hours ago, James Arryn said:

Which presumes that any interest someone has in someone else is grounded in attraction, rather an odd development for someone coming from a QOT lead court. I think, to be fair, it’s more about him concentrating on the joust…he’s a young Jaime, remember, and tuning out everything else. It’s also his first time in KL, so probably a lot of things are just background noise. 

That’s why I said he takes knighthood very seriously. If he saw a handsome guy, Loras may have remembered him additionally, but pretty girls weren’t going to distract him from the joust.

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3 hours ago, James Arryn said:

 

1) I think we are supposed to see WH as the rising power (in the glacial pace of ASOIAF, because I think they were rising back during the Dance too) and the Boltons as the primary threat in the established/traditional sense, though it doesn’t necessarily have to be strictly bi-polar. Religion might always be a ceiling for the Manderlys. 
 

2) That’s all fruit of the poisoned tree…well, Benjen included if In Deep Geek’s take is ~ accurate. It’s all related to Jon and his conception. 
 

3) You can make an argument that his campaign south of the neck was more or less destroyed at Duskendale and the RW was just mopping up the remnants of a rebellion. 

1. Yea maybe. Idk, Bolton gets a lot of flack because of their sigil, and the two lovely characters of asoiaf, but I don't really see them as the historical ultimate badguys. But mainly because of this quote which puts the whole North as suspect 

Quote

"I never knew that northmen made blood sacrifice to their heart trees."

"There's much and more you southrons do not know about the north," Ser Bartimus replied.

He was not wrong.

Anyway, in terms of military might, Karstark looks pretty strong too.

2. Lyannas promise is the poisoned tree. Ashara and Brandon is just the classic talking to your spouse about the love of your life, understandably uncomfortable. 

Idk Deep Geeks theory but if it has anything to do with Benjin and the birth of Jon, I don't think I want to lol.

3.  In hindsight it's fun to paint Duskendale as treason, especially since (iirc) immediately after sending Glover and them he goes out wolf hunting which is pretty ominous to say the least. (But Gloves was all gung-ho, only wise commander Robb saw the whole campaign as ridiculous, after the fact)

But it's not really practical since we see Roose talking to Jaime much later demanding assurances from KL, as if his minds not made up

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2 hours ago, James Arryn said:

I think Ned is really unfairly judged a lot. We are given a lot of information he is not, and he’s primarily suffering from entering a game late in the 4th quarter that he doesn’t even know is happening. All the other players already have intel networks and know the game, he’s groping in the dark having to use one of the other players for eyes and ears.

But this isn't his first game, young Eddard had no problem with picking up his steel and crafting a better world. The strict Targaryen rules of succession meant nothing for him as he strived to end the madness of KL. 

Now his plan is to reject all assistance and give KL to Stannis. Ned liked to say Robert changed, it's probably true. But Ned changed as well.

3 hours ago, James Arryn said:

 His crucial mistake was turning Renly down, but given the clusterfuck of shit falling down on him at that moment, can we really blame him for blinking at just the wrong moment. Additionally, without Sansa’s completely unpredictable betrayal he at worst loses his life but preserves the honour he values much more and the family he values most.

I think turning down Renly was one of his only correct decisions. I also think, despite Cerseis claim, that Sansa didn't really participate in the downfall of her father.

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3 hours ago, James Arryn said:

To be fair, pre-industrial history in ~ colder climes also seems to almost all happen when the weather allowed, as far as the kind of big stuff that gets well recorded. Towton was considered pretty exceptional. 

Just saying, you'd think seasons that last years, not months, at a time should have a bigger impact on the history in A Song of Ice and Fire. In our world, if he have a bad winter, in most places it's over in two or three months and we just move on.

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