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Ran

[SPOILERS] New POV Revealed

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Do I want to know how the story begun in AGOT ends? Absolutely. But I'm sure as hell going to enjoy the ride on the way there, scenic detours included.

To this statement, and to Doran as well, these are my thoughts exactly.

The scenic detours are part of the overall story, so I'm going to enjoy them for what they are.

I said it earlier too, this series is about an interconnected world, and hurricanes from butterfly wings happens all the time. on top of that, the need for those butterfly wing moments to set up the hurricane becomes more necessary when a good portion of the major characters that influence the story, whether POVS or not, die like they have.

To list them out, Ned, Robb, Cat to an extent, Robert, Joff, Tywin, Oberyn, Balon, Lysa, The Old Bear and so on and so forth... With tge deaths of these people, and others, the story that has been growing since AGOT was pruned here and there, the first arc of the story is complete, but in order to understand how the sapling grows into the tree that will be the finished tale we need to see where some of the new buds of growth start.

The removal of the 5 year gap made it necessary to go back and add new POVS to show these new buds forming. Without them it would be like walking into your backyard one day to see fully grown limbs added to a tree overnight. It would be rather confusing.

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I have a question: irrespective of which POV character, do people accept that the pacing of AFFC is much slower, even congealed compared to the pacing of ACOK and ASOS?

That's my real worry for ADWD. With all these new characters, GRRM will slow the story down to incorporate the story of Barristan Selmy's cousin and the girl he gave up. I want something to happen and plots to be resolved! Much of what was unsatisfying about AFFC was the utter lack of resolution to any character or major plot elements.

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I have a question: irrespective of which POV character, do people accept that the pacing of AFFC is much slower, even congealed compared to the pacing of ACOK and ASOS?

That's my real worry for ADWD. With all these new characters, GRRM will slow the story down to incorporate the story of Barristan Selmy's cousin and the girl he gave up. I want something to happen and plots to be resolved! Much of what was unsatisfying about AFFC was the utter lack of resolution to any character or major plot elements.

My response is still: it's half a book. I reserve judgment until I see some resolution in DwD.

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I have a question: irrespective of which POV character, do people accept that the pacing of AFFC is much slower, even congealed compared to the pacing of ACOK and ASOS?

No argument here, AFFC pacing is slower than ACOK & ASOS. But it is close in pace to AGOT, it just lacks the ending that the first novel had. But with ADWD being the second half we can't judge AFFC and its ending without seeing the resolutions that happen in ADWD.

I've said it multiple times, AFFC & ADWD are the set up books to TWOW & ADOS just like AGOT was for ACOK & ASOS. the story is moving to a new arc, the pacing slows to end one arc and move into the next. The plot changes slightly to accommodate the beginning of the new arc.

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Hmm...I feel kind of in the middle on this. I enjoyed both the Iron Islands and Dorne subplots in AFFC a fair amount, but I also have some issues with them. Firstly, there seem to be some unnecessary POVs. I feel this more clearly with the Dornish subplot than the Iron Islands one, actually. Is there anything that the Arys chapter gives us that we couldn't have gotten from another Arianne chapter? Why on earth did we need to get inside his head? If Arianne is indeed an important character, why not show this scene from her POV? It's as if AGOT had decided to have one chapter for Janos Slynt, or something. The Areo Hotah chapter is maybe a bit more necessary, but even so, he's a rather dull, generic character and the basic facts communicated in that chapter (that the Sandsnakes want Doran to do something about Oberyn's death and that Doran wants to be cautious) could easily have been communicated in another Arianne chapter, too. But I'll reserve judgment on Areo depending on if his POV ends up doing anything useful in ADWD.

I'll similarly reserve judgment on the Iron Islands POVs. I like Asha, and I enjoyed the Kingsmoot, but I don't particularly care for either Aeron or Victarion as POV characters. They're both pretty unpleasant characters. But, again, if the Iron Islanders have arcs that prove important in the rest of the series, it's not necessarily terrible.

That being said, the tendency of just throwing in new POV characters with little space to actually develop them is troubling to me, because it's not how the first three books worked. Remember that we had no POV showing us Robb's campaign in the Westerlands. We had no POV for Barristan's journey from King's Laning to Qarth, and, indeed, we then saw him only through the eyes of a character who had no idea who he was. I'm not sure it's a good thing.

I also want to stick up for Brienne's POV in AFFC, because it's the thematic heart of the book. It's true - nothing actually happens in the Brienne story. She wanders around, meets a variety of new characters, doesn't really learn anything useful, and then gets hung. But to me her chapters are really important, because they help set the kind of slow, elegiacal tone of the book. The book is about the costs of war, the way war is ultimately a negative sum game that hurts everyone, and while this is to a certain extent a theme in most of the POVs (particularly Jaime), it comes through most clearly with Brienne. And, of course, we'll see in the sixth book, I guess, the extent to which Brienne's story will have a larger significance to the story as a whole.

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Hmm...I feel kind of in the middle on this. I enjoyed both the Iron Islands and Dorne subplots in AFFC a fair amount, but I also have some issues with them. Firstly, there seem to be some unnecessary POVs. I feel this more clearly with the Dornish subplot than the Iron Islands one, actually. Is there anything that the Arys chapter gives us that we couldn't have gotten from another Arianne chapter? Why on earth did we need to get inside his head? If Arianne is indeed an important character, why not show this scene from her POV? It's as if AGOT had decided to have one chapter for Janos Slynt, or something. The Areo Hotah chapter is maybe a bit more necessary, but even so, he's a rather dull, generic character and the basic facts communicated in that chapter (that the Sandsnakes want Doran to do something about Oberyn's death and that Doran wants to be cautious) could easily have been communicated in another Arianne chapter, too. But I'll reserve judgment on Areo depending on if his POV ends up doing anything useful in ADWD

I agree almost entirely with this assessment. The Arys chapter, 'The Soiled Knight', was interesting in its own right. I liked seeing how much Arys' vows meant to him - which is a nice contrast to some of the previous members of the Kingsguard. I liked his conflict between the vows and his love for Arianne. His take on the situation with Myrcella was good as well. Yet the question remains, on reread, was Arys' chapter necessary?

To me, the answer is no. The chapter could have developed Arianne instead and considering that she is set to have at least 3 chapters in TWOW, I think developing guest characters who have a role in the overall arc is more important than developing "one-shot" PoVs.

That being said, it looks like Arys is the only one shot PoV of the "old prologue" characters, which was my worry when I first read AFFC. However, knowing now that some of the characters will be developed further - even as the supporting cast - makes me feel a lot more comfortable with these PoVs.

That being said, the tendency of just throwing in new POV characters with little space to actually develop them is troubling to me, because it's not how the first three books worked. Remember that we had no POV showing us Robb's campaign in the Westerlands. We had no POV for Barristan's journey from King's Laning to Qarth, and, indeed, we then saw him only through the eyes of a character who had no idea who he was. I'm not sure it's a good thing.

I think the point of some of the new PoVs will become clear in the early parts of ADWD. GRRM is going to build up certain sympathies to the characters, so the reader can build up an opinion of them before Dany meets them. Also, chapters like Quentyn 1 seem like an exercise in World Building.

I have a question: irrespective of which POV character, do people accept that the pacing of AFFC is much slower, even congealed compared to the pacing of ACOK and ASOS?

I would agree that the pacing of AFFC is slower, but I don't think congealed would be a word I would use to describe it. The only chapter that I felt was unnecessary was Cersei's dinner with the Stokeworths.

Yet I would argue that AFFC is the best book because of the parallels that it draws between the major characters; particularly Cersei and Brienne. The central theme of identity: who am I? What am I expected to be? What can I be? Which runs through all of the PoVs - easily GRRMs best thematic unison in any of the books. The role that religion ripples through all of the PoVs - bringing with it another form of identity and guidance for the peripheral characters such as Lancel. For these reasons I think the book is wonderful in its execution.

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