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(IGN)   Epic new Game of Thrones trailer will make you wish winter was over already   (tv.ign.com) divider line 279
    More: Cool, Game of Thrones, Jon Snow, Spartacus, Andy Whitfield, Ned Stark  
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7066 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 30 Jan 2012 at 10:31 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-30 08:01:01 PM  

lilplatinum: I think its worse in Wheel of Time, it went from sweltering drought to horrible winter and food is spoiling left and right, how are people not eating each other yet.


That's a good point. The conditions in some of the kingdoms of that book were already worse. I really love what Sanderson has done with it though.
 
2012-01-30 08:07:22 PM  

lilplatinum: The point is that you don't need the stark black and white good wizard vs bad wizard to make a story work.


Except the story isn't working. There's a plot, but at this point without deus ex machina all evidence indicates the infighting of Westeros can either continue indefinitely or until there's literally no one left to kill.

For that matter, I take issue with people who find good and bad people "unrealistic". I know some irrepressible optimists I'd trust with my life, and some sociopathic assholes I wouldn't trust with a plastic spoon. If real life can have people that remarkably good and astoundingly bad, why the fark are they shallow in fiction? Depth of character is not a function of how ambiguous one's morality is, and long-term productivity out of a protagonist isn't a flaw. For all of JRRT's flaws (and they are numerous), it is infinitely better than overly convoluted and ultimately pointless political infighting that goes nowhere and periodically slaughters forces that would otherwise be useful in the inevitable fight against the as-yet-unmobilized antagonist.
 
2012-01-30 08:10:59 PM  

dragonchild: At this point in SoIaF, who's the Gandalf?


Varys. Perhaps some Maesters and the Crows.


/hasn't read book five, but... there's some hope.
//but you make excellent points that my weakly thought out rebuttal doesn't really do justice to.
 
2012-01-30 08:31:36 PM  
I just finished Dance with Dragons, I started the first book after seeing the first couple of HBO episodes, i just had to find out what happens next. They aren't my favorite books, but its an entertaining and at least for me engrossing story. As far as i can tell we are only somewhere in the middle of the story. Did i read correctly somewhere on the internets that there are supposed to be 7 books total in the series? 9 seems more like it, but i fear george martin will never get the story finished. So much has happened, but theres so much more to resolve. Im looking forward to the cersei "walk" scene.

this is by far my most anticipated entertainment this year, totally cant wait.
 
mhd
2012-01-30 08:50:41 PM  

Seth'n'Spectrum: Heh, they really could have used Heath Ledger circa Knight's Tale for Loras.


Probably less scruffy, but yes, that type of actor would've worked perfectly. Considering that bulking up for a role seems to be a "solved problem" in Hollywood, I was really surprised at how twinky that actor was/is.
 
2012-01-30 09:19:25 PM  

mhd: Seth'n'Spectrum: Heh, they really could have used Heath Ledger circa Knight's Tale for Loras.

Probably less scruffy, but yes, that type of actor would've worked perfectly. Considering that bulking up for a role seems to be a "solved problem" in Hollywood, I was really surprised at how twinky that actor was/is.


I actually really like the fact most of the cast isn't bulked up hunks. In the conditions they live, most would be scrawny and malnourished. Upper classes included.
 
2012-01-30 09:31:23 PM  

Dog Welder: I'm hoping some other members of the cast start getting attention from the various awards. Sean Bean's lack of nominations was a complete snub for the first season.

Also...I'm amazed at the younger actors they've found for the parts. The whole series could have dropped with bad acting in the parts of Joffrey, Sansa and Arya. I've never wanted to see a child character get a good stabbing like I did with Joffrey, and he's even worse in the second season. And Bran will have a larger role in the second season, so we'll have to see how he carries it.


It takes a great actor and great writing, like that little shiat Joffrey, to make me want to kick my TV in. See also Forrest Whitaker in The Shield.
 
2012-01-30 10:08:14 PM  

dragonchild:
Except the story isn't working. There's a plot, but at this point without deus ex machina all evidence indicates the infighting of Westeros can either continue indefinitely or until there's literally no one left to kill.


You can solve this without a deus ex machina, I can think of numerous ways. The story isn't "the invincible Mordor" rising - if the realms were whole and had a memory about the wall the wights wouldn't really be all that much of a threat. Half the point of the story is that man's greed/ambition/lack of memory is their downfall as they are fiddling while Rome burns.

For that matter, I take issue with people who find good and bad people "unrealistic". I know some irrepressible optimists I'd trust with my life, and some sociopathic assholes I wouldn't trust with a plastic spoon. If real life can have people that remarkably good and astoundingly bad, why the fark are they shallow in fiction? Depth of character is not a function of how ambiguous one's morality is, and long-term productivity out of a protagonist isn't a flaw. For all of JRRT's flaws (and they are numerous), it is infinitely better than overly convoluted and ultimately pointless political infighting that goes nowhere and periodically slaughters forces that would otherwise be useful in the inevitable fight against the as-yet-unmobilized antagonist.

Because that is how people work. JRRT's characters have no farking personalities, they are just archetypes. GRRMs characters are self-centered because thats what farking people are. Sure there are "good" and "bad" people in life, but in poorly written fantasy that is the majority of characters, except when they throw in a few other archetypes like the traitor.

Sorry, there are a lot more sauramons in the world than gandolfs.

Political machinations advance the plot more than a litany of impromptu songs, another random elf, and endless description of the magic land of elves who somehow live forever and have children but don't overpopulate they farking world.

Also, I find it amusing when people biatch about GRRM being "overcomplicated" as if its hard to keep track of a story with more than 8 characters who aren't just complete archetypes.
 
2012-01-30 10:15:25 PM  
To continue my rant, I'm probably being unfair because 90% of fantasy and science fiction is fairly atrocious (and i've read a lot - less since I became older and actually appreciative of literature - but it still remains a guilty pleasure), and with the advent of self publishing and every overweight virgin with a drawer full of idiotic fan fiction it is only going to get worse. JRRT isn't as bad as a lot of the trash writers out there, but having just pulled it out recently and read it again after it being a favorite of my childhood it just amazed me of how I had forgotten just how poorly written it is.

I guess it's like the model T. As a fantasy nerd I appreciate that it is the prototype for a lot of things I've enjoyed over the years, but like a Model T I wouldn't actually go out and buy it when much better things are available (unless it was for collectors value).
 
2012-01-30 10:21:22 PM  

dragonchild: but at this point without deus ex machina


Also, you are seriously biatching about GRRM possibly pulling a deus ex machina when we are comparing it to LOTR? Really? Giant farking eagles saving the day? Wind changing just in time to win the battle?

If these things don't count as it, I hardly think one of the main characters showing up with Dragons (which is what we all expect to happen) would...
 
2012-01-30 10:23:27 PM  
I'm excited for the Craster scenes. The girl that plays Gilly has been amazing in the few episodes of Skins I've watched today, she's absolutely gorgeous and one of the best actresses I've seen in a long time.
 
2012-01-30 10:31:52 PM  

This Charming Man: slimkibbles: nopokerface: I get annoyed by much and more of his writing devices.

I read the first four books last year and that wore me down by the time I reached book 4. It made getting through that book, which wasn't that great, that much harder.

/still haven't read book 5
//waiting for it on paperback
///cheap bastard.

Why not try a used book store, or Amazon used books, or a library?

I get loads of books at my local used book place.


That's a great thought. I should have just left the "cheap bastard" part out of it. I have the other 4 books in paperback. I guess I just wanted to stay consistent. That and I needed a break. I think I read all 4 books in a span of 3-4 months.
 
2012-01-30 10:34:37 PM  

Girion47: I'm excited for the Craster scenes. The girl that plays Gilly has been amazing in the few episodes of Skins I've watched today, she's absolutely gorgeous and one of the best actresses I've seen in a long time.


I don't think gorgeous was what Gilly is supposed to look like, but then again Tyrion was supposed to be a hell of a lot uglier and not just a midget so I suppose its better to cast pretty people and keep audiences.
 
2012-01-30 11:46:34 PM  
Finally got around to catching the first season on demand during Christmas. (3 episode chunks is the only way I can watch TV anymore.) I'm not a huge fan of the fantasy genre, but it was one of those shows people just kept telling me I had to see. They were right. The first season was brilliant and I can't wait to see the second.
 
2012-01-30 11:48:03 PM  

lilplatinum: GRRMs characters are self-centered because thats what farking people are.


I'll gladly conceded GRRM is vastly superior to JRRT in fleshing out characters, but this argument is ridiculous. Look, I know Farkers are cynical but I work sales support; I see weapons-grade doucheyness every day -- dishonesty, sloth, greed, you name it. And what businesspeople lack in violence, I more than made up for by reading actual history -- Constantinople, Antietam, Stalingrad, you name it. I know what "real" people are like just fine thank you; I don't need them to invade my fiction. I read fiction to get away from assholes. And hey, maybe that's just me, but if the purpose of making so many assholes is because it's realistic, I could just read actual history and learn something while I'm at it. If he's writing these books to provide philosophical insight, an effin' short story could've gotten the point across without thousands of pages of nihilistic masturbation. If we're gonna take the "GRRM isn't obligated to entertain you" route that a lot of his ballgarglers seem to take, then he's basically just written a fictional history that has no academic value. Any way you justify it, having self-centered characters take the plot nowhere because it's realistic just doesn't carry weight. More personally, an "epic" about assholes being assholes is as uninspiring to me as any high fantasy Mary Sue. To be clear I'm not saying he's a bad writer per se, but that "realistic" = "douche" is way, WAY overrated in today's fiction. Good and bad are not what make people bland, and making people morally ambiguous doesn't make them automatically interesting! We can discuss GRRM's actual literary skill, but I'd say even a hardcore fan would actually argue it's the details GRRM invests in fleshing out his characters that make him a good writer, not the fact that most of them are hopelessly stubborn or pointlessly selfish to the point of "realistic".

JRRT's characters are archetypes but they get shiat done. GRRM's characters are interesting but don't do jack shiat. JRRT's infinitely superior at pacing a narrative than GRRM; GRRM is infinitely superior at fleshing out characters than JRRT. As creators of entertainment I'd call it a wash, with the winning nod to JRRT on my bookshelf out of personal preference.

lilplatinum: Also, you are seriously biatching about GRRM possibly pulling a deus ex machina when we are comparing it to LOTR? Really? Giant farking eagles saving the day?


The Eagles were gratuitious only in that they allowed JRRT to write an epilogue to a heroic tale that wasn't an effin' funeral. I'll concede that's very weak, but saving the Ring-bearers wasn't essential to the fate of Middle-Earth. The Eagles had no direct hand (claw?) in destroying the Ring, which instead was a culmination of hundreds of pages dedicated to a long and arduous journey. The event that saves Middle-Earth itself is the furthest thing from deus ex machina among all fantasy epics I can think of.
 
2012-01-31 12:10:03 AM  

dragonchild: I know what "real" people are like just fine thank you; I don't need them to invade my fiction. I read fiction to get away from assholes. And hey, maybe that's just me, but if the purpose of making so many assholes is because it's realistic, I could just read actual history and learn something while I'm at it.


So the vast litany of fiction where people are not idealized archetypes of good and evil or at best "the traitor" throughout human history is pointless because you could just read history? Do yourself a favor and don't read Tolstoy..

If we're gonna take the "GRRM isn't obligated to entertain you" route that a lot of his ballgarglers seem to take, then he's basically just written a fictional history that has no academic value.

This would be an argument if large swaths of people didn't find him entertaining.

Any way you justify it, having self-centered characters take the plot nowhere because it's realistic just doesn't carry weight. More personally, an "epic" about assholes being assholes is as uninspiring to me as any high fantasy Mary Sue.

The story isn't about assholes being assholes, its about political struggles in a world largely ignorant of it's impeding death. If you like tales where the stalwart hero always wins then, fine, stick with Harry Potter or JRRT - but for many people the realism of the characters is what makes it far more interesting than the juvenile bulk of fantasy.

Incidentally I don't think that it is the real characters taking the plot nowhere, and certainly not their conflicts making the plot require a Deus Ex Machina as you seem to assert, but rather GRRM's poor pacing over the past couple books. His loss of focus is a linguistical problem (although nowhere near as atrocious as JRRT's writing), not a characterization problem. Maybe he needs to die and Brian Sanderson can take over - while he is not exactly Shakespeare he certainly salvaged the train wreck that was the middle of the WOT..

To be clear I'm not saying he's a bad writer per se, but that "realistic" = "douche" is way, WAY overrated in today's fiction.

I wouldn't even say that most characters in the book are "douches", per se.. You end up understanding quite a few of their motivations

Good and bad are not what make people bland, and making people morally ambiguous doesn't make them automatically interesting!

I agree, but having completely vapid characters like JRRT automatically makes them disinteresting. And one can only read about so many fights with orcs and elves before who the fark cares.

We can discuss GRRM's actual literary skill, but I'd say even a hardcore fan would actually argue it's the details GRRM invests in fleshing out his characters that make him a good writer, not the fact that most of them are hopelessly stubborn or pointlessly selfish to the point of "realistic".

The point that most of them have severe character flaws is definitionally what a fleshed out character is.

dragonchild: The Eagles were gratuitious only in that they allowed JRRT to write an epilogue to a heroic tale that wasn't an effin' funeral. I'll concede that's very weak, but saving the Ring-bearers wasn't essential to the fate of Middle-Earth. The Eagles had no direct hand (claw?) in destroying the Ring, which instead was a culmination of hundreds of pages dedicated to a long and arduous journey. The event that saves Middle-Earth itself is the furthest thing from deus ex machina among all fantasy epics I can think of.


It doesn't have to be the central plot to be a deus ex machina. IIRC there was also a magical wind change at the last second that turned the tide of the battle to gondors favor, Gandalf was sent back from farking God when they needed him, tons of lazy writing.

Anyway regardless of if you actually agree or not, nothing in GRRM's book doesn't say the Targaryen children (including the speculative one) will in some way shape or form gather enough remainents to beat the supernatural threat.

The difference between LOTR and this is LOTR is an epic quest story - trying to consider ASOIAF as one is silly since it never set itself up to be. We are constantly reminded that Sauron is the antagonist, here it is an ancillary story in something that is likely going to be the tale of the return of the Dragon Kings (IMO)...
 
mhd
2012-01-31 12:54:28 AM  

ilikestuff: I actually really like the fact most of the cast isn't bulked up hunks. In the conditions they live, most would be scrawny and malnourished. Upper classes included.


A boy, grown up during one of the longest summers, to the richest and most powerful house in the most fertile region of the kingdoms? Never mind being allowed to hunt, thus having a pretty decent source for protein. Someone who's wearing plate armor quite often and is supposed to move rather gracefully in it. Or being an excellent rider... Mind you, I'm not expecting him to look like the cast of 300 (or the Cleganes), and I think the sheer amount of toned muscles within recent years is a bit over the top. I do wonder whether the character being gay didn't lead to a bit of twinky typecasting. on the other hand, considering the amount of beards and potbellies in the series, maybe they just ran out of androgynous youths for the young female demographic. In which case I'm just glade that they didn't make him a vampire.

Even the serfs and wildlings seem to be doing reasonably well in time of the first few books. Never mind that even in our history, malnutrition came and went, depending on time and place.
 
2012-01-31 12:59:01 AM  
TIL that some people actually complain about historical inaccuracies in stories set in fictional worlds. Fictional worlds that have magic, dragons, and ice zombies(?).
 
mhd
2012-01-31 12:59:41 AM  

lilplatinum: The difference between LOTR and this is LOTR is an epic quest story - trying to consider ASOIAF as one is silly since it never set itself up to be.


I've always thought of the books as a hero's journey story without a hero, i.e. there should be someone getting some magic McGuffin to fight the threat from the North, but nobody's answering the call. (Or everybody who does answer is killed or distracted beforehand)

Or given the last book, maybe that's actually happening, and 90% of the is just proving the thesis that 99% of the population usually doesn't care about the ancient prophecy, they're too busy scheming, conquering, raping, dying and raping.
 
2012-01-31 01:13:55 AM  

homarjr: I hate these threads.

I'd love to talk about GoT, but people who have read the books feel the desire to play spoiler way too much.


Go read the books. NOW. Storm of Swords is sooooooo good. That book is farking EPIC
 
2012-01-31 01:54:46 AM  

homarjr: I hate these threads.

I'd love to talk about GoT, but people who have read the books feel the desire to play spoiler way too much.


You are complaining about this? The books have been out for 15 years and most likely older than some farkers. The statute of limitations on spoilers has long past for this.
 
2012-01-31 02:30:22 AM  

Jake Havechek: sprawl15: Jake Havechek: sprawl15: Jake Havechek: Knights only got cash payments from the villages they owned, in battle they had to make do with plunder.

Which makes your assertion that they should hang out on their landed property in the middle of a war a bit silly.

Well obviously not, but outside of the Game of Thrones world, warfare is usually not perpetual.

So you're complaining that knights aren't doing something they shouldn't be doing?

I'm just saying, it's a plot hole, and maybe Ren Faire folk will let it slide but as a different (or parallel world) that is at the Medieval level of development, some of it doesn't make logical sense.


Also the fact that it is a mythical world where the summers are 8-10 years long as are the winters doesn't give you some sense that earth medevil times shouldn't be used as a direct comparison.
 
2012-01-31 05:51:08 AM  

Bschott007: ...a mythical world where the summers are 8-10 years long as are the winters...


More than anything else that's the thing that makes the novels unbelievable for me. Winter is coming and some people are running out of food already and yet armies are still moving to try and do some last minute conquering? That strikes me as something that would only occur during the first half of the "Summer" while the second half was a desperate race to store up enough food to last the Winter.

At this point it looks like all of Westeros will be dead of starvation before the Others even get there.

Doesn't look like GRRM thought that plan all the way through.

Beyond that? He's done so much damage to the entire Stark family at this point they are now beyond repair.

Don't like Spoilers? Do not read below...

*** RANT and SPOILER ALERT ***

Ned Stark. (Dad). Dead. First book.
Catelyn Stark, (Mom), a half-dead mute who's life has become a travesty.
Rob Stark (First born son). Dead. Red Wedding.
Jon Snow (Bastard Son). Dead. His own men.
Bran Stark, (youngest son) Broken. Probably gonna turn into a tree.
Sansa (Eldest daughter) Least interesting Stark . Still alive. *rolls eyes*
Arya: (youngest daughter) 100 of miles away. Turned into Zen Assassin.

Seriously, at this point Book 6 just should start with the remaining Starks all assembling in one place and committing group suicide because the world has become too bleak a place to live in.

*** Rant Off ***

That all noted, looking forward to Season two.
 
2012-01-31 05:59:02 AM  
I think the most recent two books suffer in comparison to SoS because it was so awesome. They were conceived as one book, but it got too sprawling to manage, and, even as a single work, it would be too much moving of chess pieces and not enough payoff to be as satisfying as the two previous books. I also think what Tyrion did at the end of book three should have been saved for later, and Cersei has been ruined by being made a PoV character (as opposed to Jaime, who is much more interesting as a PoV). I don't think the deck has been too stacked against Westeros, as it seems like Martin has already written the escape hatches into the plot. My hope is that Martin had a blueprint in mind, and he needed to get through this patch of story with the pieces in place for something great
 
2012-01-31 06:03:44 AM  

quatchi: Bschott007: ...a mythical world where the summers are 8-10 years long as are the winters...

More than anything else that's the thing that makes the novels unbelievable for me. Winter is coming and some people are running out of food already and yet armies are still moving to try and do some last minute conquering? That strikes me as something that would only occur during the first half of the "Summer" while the second half was a desperate race to store up enough food to last the Winter.

At this point it looks like all of Westeros will be dead of starvation before the Others even get there.

Doesn't look like GRRM thought that plan all the way through.

Beyond that? He's done so much damage to the entire Stark family at this point they are now beyond repair.

Don't like Spoilers? Do not read below...

*** RANT and SPOILER ALERT ***

Ned Stark. (Dad). Dead. First book.
Catelyn Stark, (Mom), a half-dead mute who's life has become a travesty.
Rob Stark (First born son). Dead. Red Wedding.
Jon Snow (Bastard Son). Dead. His own men.
Bran Stark, (youngest son) Broken. Probably gonna turn into a tree.
Sansa (Eldest daughter) Least interesting Stark . Still alive. *rolls eyes*
Arya: (youngest daughter) 100 of miles away. Turned into Zen Assassin.

Seriously, at this point Book 6 just should start with the remaining Starks all assembling in one place and committing group suicide because the world has become too bleak a place to live in.

*** Rant Off ***

That all noted, looking forward to Season two.


No way in hell is Jon Snow dead
 
2012-01-31 07:32:37 AM  
Hodor hoDor HOdor HodOR Hodor HODoR!

Hodor hodor HODOR.

Hodor.

\Hodor
\\HODOR!!
 
2012-01-31 07:41:05 AM  

tooeasy: .No way in hell is Jon Snow dead


*click*

"When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold ..."

Hoping your right but by this point I'm half convinced that GRRM is just a sadist getting his jollies by making people care about his characters and then killing them off brutally.

I used to joke about how pissed I'd be if RJ died before WOT was done. Then when he died I felt kinda bad but ended up being impressed by the way he managed to get his affairs in order and get the last books done posthumously.

If GRRM dies before these books are done I will bypass "feeling bad" and go straight to "pissed".
 
2012-01-31 08:00:03 AM  

quatchi: Bschott007: ...a mythical world where the summers are 8-10 years long as are the winters...

More than anything else that's the thing that makes the novels unbelievable for me. Winter is coming and some people are running out of food already and yet armies are still moving to try and do some last minute conquering? That strikes me as something that would only occur during the first half of the "Summer" while the second half was a desperate race to store up enough food to last the Winter.

At this point it looks like all of Westeros will be dead of starvation before the Others even get there.

Doesn't look like GRRM thought that plan all the way through.

Beyond that? He's done so much damage to the entire Stark family at this point they are now beyond repair.

Don't like Spoilers? Do not read below...

*** RANT and SPOILER ALERT ***

Ned Stark. (Dad). Dead. First book.
Catelyn Stark, (Mom), a half-dead mute who's life has become a travesty.
Rob Stark (First born son). Dead. Red Wedding.
Jon Snow (Bastard Son). Dead. His own men.
Bran Stark, (youngest son) Broken. Probably gonna turn into a tree.
Sansa (Eldest daughter) Least interesting Stark . Still alive. *rolls eyes*
Arya: (youngest daughter) 100 of miles away. Turned into Zen Assassin.

Seriously, at this point Book 6 just should start with the remaining Starks all assembling in one place and committing group suicide because the world has become too bleak a place to live in.

*** Rant Off ***

That all noted, looking forward to Season two.


More book spoiler talk

Catelyn's life may be a tragedy, but she still commands a significant amount of troops (and possibly Jaime as well, now) so she's still pretty significant to everything.

As someone else said, no way in hell is Jon dead. If Dondarrion's red priest can bring people back to life, Melisandre can too. Or Jon wargs into Ghost. Or he was only wounded. He's not dead.

Sansa has been pretty boring, but she's hanging out with Littlefinger. He's going to get her married and use that to convince the Vale to finally enter the war against the Boltons. Her story is about to pick up.

Arya is becoming a pretty sweet assassin, and it seems like they get sent all over the world. She has plenty to do yet.

Bran is Bran, he'll probably witness stuff in the past through his tree-vision and fill the readers in on mysteries like Jon's real parents. Davos is going after Rickon on Cannibal Island, but I don't know much about Rickon so who knows what that means.

So yeah, the Starks are scattered but far from broken. Hopefully GRRM can start advancing the plot a little bit.

end spoilers
 
2012-01-31 08:01:19 AM  

lilplatinum: dragonchild: I know what "real" people are like just fine thank you; I don't need them to invade my fiction. I read fiction to get away from assholes. And hey, maybe that's just me, but if the purpose of making so many assholes is because it's realistic, I could just read actual history and learn something while I'm at it.

So the vast litany of fiction where people are not idealized archetypes of good and evil or at best "the traitor" throughout human history is pointless because you could just read history? Do yourself a favor and don't read Tolstoy..

If we're gonna take the "GRRM isn't obligated to entertain you" route that a lot of his ballgarglers seem to take, then he's basically just written a fictional history that has no academic value.

This would be an argument if large swaths of people didn't find him entertaining.

Any way you justify it, having self-centered characters take the plot nowhere because it's realistic just doesn't carry weight. More personally, an "epic" about assholes being assholes is as uninspiring to me as any high fantasy Mary Sue.

The story isn't about assholes being assholes, its about political struggles in a world largely ignorant of it's impeding death. If you like tales where the stalwart hero always wins then, fine, stick with Harry Potter or JRRT - but for many people the realism of the characters is what makes it far more interesting than the juvenile bulk of fantasy.

Incidentally I don't think that it is the real characters taking the plot nowhere, and certainly not their conflicts making the plot require a Deus Ex Machina as you seem to assert, but rather GRRM's poor pacing over the past couple books. His loss of focus is a linguistical problem (although nowhere near as atrocious as JRRT's writing), not a characterization problem. Maybe he needs to die and Brian Sanderson can take over - while he is not exactly Shakespeare he certainly salvaged the train wreck that was the middle of the WOT..

To be clear ...


Just to be clear. Gandalf was a god. In fact he was the most powerful of the minor gods. The fact that he came back is the same way Sauron was able to come back after his defeat in Mirkwood, he discorporates, gathers his power to him, and then refleshes himself.
 
2012-01-31 08:53:36 AM  

quatchi: tooeasy: .No way in hell is Jon Snow dead

*click*

"When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold ..."

Hoping your right but by this point I'm half convinced that GRRM is just a sadist getting his jollies by making people care about his characters and then killing them off brutally.

I used to joke about how pissed I'd be if RJ died before WOT was done. Then when he died I felt kinda bad but ended up being impressed by the way he managed to get his affairs in order and get the last books done posthumously.

If GRRM dies before these books are done I will bypass "feeling bad" and go straight to "pissed".


He's Ahzor Asshai, there's no way he dies
 
2012-01-31 08:57:34 AM  

tooeasy: quatchi: tooeasy: .No way in hell is Jon Snow dead

*click*

"When the third dagger took him between the shoulder blades, he gave a grunt and fell face-first into the snow. He never felt the fourth knife. Only the cold ..."

Hoping your right but by this point I'm half convinced that GRRM is just a sadist getting his jollies by making people care about his characters and then killing them off brutally.

I used to joke about how pissed I'd be if RJ died before WOT was done. Then when he died I felt kinda bad but ended up being impressed by the way he managed to get his affairs in order and get the last books done posthumously.

If GRRM dies before these books are done I will bypass "feeling bad" and go straight to "pissed".

He's Ahzor Asshai, there's no way he dies


He's also half Targaryen, probably gonna ride that white dragon
 
2012-01-31 09:24:20 AM  
*** SPOILER ALERT ***



quatchi:
Jon Snow (Bastard Son). Dead. His own men.

As a few people already pointed out, there is no way in hell that Jon Snow is dead. By all indications he is likely Ahzor Asshai and to boot probably the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The dragon has three heads: Daenerys Targaryen, Aegon Targaryen and Jon Snow. Either he's brought back by Melissandre just like Thoros of Myr has done several times or he is resurrected in the same form as Coldhands.



*** END SPOILER ALERT ***
 
2012-01-31 09:37:29 AM  

FooDog: *** SPOILER ALERT ***



quatchi: Jon Snow (Bastard Son). Dead. His own men.

As a few people already pointed out, there is no way in hell that Jon Snow is dead. By all indications he is likely Ahzor Asshai and to boot probably the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The dragon has three heads: Daenerys Targaryen, Aegon Targaryen and Jon Snow. Either he's brought back by Melissandre just like Thoros of Myr has done several times or he is resurrected in the same form as Coldhands.



*** END SPOILER ALERT ***


Either way I feel like shiat is about to get awesome. We've reached that midpoint where the pieces have been scattered throughout the world and now everything is about to come back together for the endgame. I expect major deaths... deaths that stick anyway... in the next book. And where the fark is Rickon? I don't even remember his story now.
 
2012-01-31 09:50:40 AM  

lilplatinum: So the vast litany of fiction where people are not idealized archetypes of good and evil or at best "the traitor" throughout human history is pointless because you could just read history?


Who are you arguing with? Arguments don't get anywhere if you always extrapolate whatever's said to the absurd extreme. It's not a refutation of the point made and doesn't build your case either. It's just derping.

lilplatinum: This would be an argument if large swaths of people didn't find him entertaining.


Precisely why the "GRRM isn't obligated to entertain you" argument is meaningless, which is one of the fiercest and nonsensical defenses of a beloved author's criticisms these days, but I'm afraid to say I'm not the one who made it. I know you didn't say it either, but I have to pre-empt this one because in an open thread, this argument eventually will be made. So, got that out of the way, moving on.

lilplatinum: You end up understanding quite a few of their motivations


OK, I'm not making an argument here, but one thing that grinds my gears about Americans these days is the absurd ease at which they can justify actions with motivations -- in real life and in fiction. Popular fiction often reflects the sentiment of the time, and I guess GRRM is no exception; today's Americans' outlook on society is cynical, self-serving and depressing. I don't expect to convince you with this rant, but I personally find it unoriginal, boring and even disturbing.

I've often considered myself born in the wrong generation, as I've been called old-fashioned even by people much older than me. But it gives me an outsider's perspective; a lot of which gets passed off as "great" these days is just the "in" thing among my peers. Flawed characters, shades of gray, evil beats good. . . Wow, how edgy, how original! Yeah, I've only seen it in EVERY GODDAMN TV DRAMA FOR THE PAST TWENTY FARKING YEARS. Law and Order, CSI, X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, The Supranos, The Walking Dead, just about every soap opera, and even Game of Thrones wasn't a bestseller until HBO made it yet another "dark" show. The ultimate culmination of this derp was critics calling Episode III the "best" of the Star Wars prequels for the sole reason that it's dark, and I just about spilled a dead hooker's body parts in joy when Plinkett called them on their bullshiat. Give GRRM credit for being ahead of his time, maybe, but how many more times am I going to have to watch this tripe before we admit it's just the latest fad? Again, I'm NOT saying GRRM's writing is bad per se, but that "it's gritty" is the ONE aspect of it I do NOT consider evidence of talent. It's a style, maybe original at the time, but not a defense of his writing so much as just the target audience drooling over getting what it wants.

Flaws aren't what make characters interesting per se; they're an essential ingredient (like moral compass) but otherwise that's just how modern characters are done these days because Americans want to see flawed protagonists and think it's interesting. While I'd say GRRM is good at developing characters, what I'm arguing here is that you agree GRRM's characters are interesting for all the wrong reasons. "Shades of gray" had its novelty but at this point I find it equally vapid; that's not why GRRM's characters are interesting.

lilplatinum: I agree, but having completely vapid characters like JRRT automatically makes them disinteresting.


I conceded that twice already; your JRRT hate is showing and it's doing a number on your credibility. I compared GRRM to JRRT as an example of how to do epic narrative, but if you think GRRM's characters are hot shiat you shouldn't need to compare SoIaF to a work published in 1955 that was criticized for its weak characters. I'm not defending JRRT's characters anyway so while mentioning it once is OK, bringing it up over and over just leads me to believe you can't defend GRRM's writing purely on its merits.

lilplatinum: And one can only read about so many fights with orcs and elves before who the fark cares.


Here's where we have to agree to disagree. In GRRM's case, oh, he's good at fleshing out characters and families and motivations and societies, but the people of Westeros have spent so much time dicking each other in a cyclical cycle of fark that two underlying themes are now firmly established in the reader-writer contract:

1) At five books in and no signs of slowing down (hell people are defending the series by saying it's heating up) this could theoretically go on indefinitely, and
2) No victory can't be completely undone by some other hot dicking 200 pages later.

This is NOT good for a narrative; in fact for what is an otherwise accomplished writer it's arguably worse than any literary mistake JRRT made. What made Game of Thrones intriguing was that GRRM defied all conventions to the point where no one had any idea what was going to happen next. For veteran readers that was no doubt refreshing, but fives books in the novelty has worn off and people are realizing that dramatic structure exists for a reason. No matter how well any character or family is "fleshed out" in SoIaF, is it worth getting emotionally invested in anyone within Westeros at this point when there's no indication any character beyond a select and (so far) largely irrelevant handful will survive, much less any of their hard-won accomplishments? At least with JRRT, vapid characters and lazy writing and all, he progressed through a narrative. So people actually do care about every fight between orcs and elves because every fight had meaning within the context of the story arc. When Family X dicks Family Y and figuring Family Z is going to dick Family X later, why bother?
 
2012-01-31 10:23:28 AM  

dragonchild: 1) At five books in and no signs of slowing down (hell people are defending the series by saying it's heating up) this could theoretically go on indefinitely, and


Uh, the most recent book put everyone on a collision course for wackiness.
 
2012-01-31 10:47:28 AM  

FooDog: *** SPOILER ALERT ***



quatchi: Jon Snow (Bastard Son). Dead. His own men.

As a few people already pointed out, there is no way in hell that Jon Snow is dead. By all indications he is likely Ahzor Asshai and to boot probably the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. The dragon has three heads: Daenerys Targaryen, Aegon Targaryen and Jon Snow. Either he's brought back by Melissandre just like Thoros of Myr has done several times or he is resurrected in the same form as Coldhands.



*** END SPOILER ALERT ***


I might be remembering wrong, but wasn't there some bit about the Mad King Targaryen having a thing for Tywin's wife? I suppose it's possible then that Tyrion is actually the third dragon head. Aegon seems like a convenient ploy by Varys.
 
2012-01-31 11:00:04 AM  
GRRM isn't fit to shine JRRT's shoes.
 
2012-01-31 11:37:03 AM  

Madbassist1: GRRM isn't fit to shine JRRT's shoes.


Unless you are willing to describe those shoes in at least 5000 words, you are not fit to talk about JRRT.
 
2012-01-31 11:42:14 AM  

GameSprocket: Madbassist1: GRRM isn't fit to shine JRRT's shoes.

Unless you are willing to describe those shoes in at least 5000 words, you are not fit to talk about JRRT.


meh. Good point. GRRM isnt really for me, but I have no right to cast stones.
 
2012-01-31 12:01:22 PM  

tooeasy: He's Ahzor Asshai, there's no way he dies


*phew*

TY all for pointing me away from the rocks of perpetual despair just in time there.

/My second favorite character after Arya.
//Wanna see the mask room.
 
2012-01-31 12:16:48 PM  

sotua: Confabulat: alwaysjaded: Considering Tyrion's new role in this part of the story and how much Dinklage knocked it out of the park in the first season, should they go ahead and award the best supporting actor?

Supporting actor? He'd be robbed if he wasn't the lead winner already and we haven't even seen it yet.

That. Considering how much Tyrion is the driver in the next books, he should get a lead actor nomination.

/then it all sours and he would get "best passenger on boat" awards...
//damn you GRRM


You realize Tyrion is suffering from PTSD in DWD, right? In SOS he has everything taken from him and he snaps, which would give any PTSD.

I think Penny and Dany are supposed to snap him outta PTSD and get him back on the road to awesome.
 
2012-01-31 12:30:55 PM  

Girion47: Just to be clear. Gandalf was a god. In fact he was the most powerful of the minor gods. The fact that he came back is the same way Sauron was able to come back after his defeat in Mirkwood, he discorporates, gathers his power to him, and then refleshes himself.


Wasn't it implied (and I think said in some later work) that he was sent by by overgod who otherwise never took a hand in the world.
 
2012-01-31 12:32:05 PM  
This is what happens when you write 10 books at 1000 pages each.

You think your story can't be told in 10,000 pages? Bullshiat. The greatest works of literature were done in one book. That much wordage is just selling drugs to the addicts. It's dragging it out to see how much money you can make.

Someone says I need to give the books at least 300 pages to get going? Outrageous. Even Wheel of Time gets going faster than that, and that book is one of the most long winded and tedious I've put up with (and quit reading at 7+). Again, the great classics of literature were done in 300 pages TOTAL, and those are mind blowing stories of the human condition, full of philosophical musings and heart wrenching human tragedies.

Eff you, pulp fantasy writers, eff you very much.
 
2012-01-31 12:32:16 PM  

lilplatinum: Girion47: Just to be clear. Gandalf was a god. In fact he was the most powerful of the minor gods. The fact that he came back is the same way Sauron was able to come back after his defeat in Mirkwood, he discorporates, gathers his power to him, and then refleshes himself.

Wasn't it implied (and I think said in some later work) that he was sent by by overgod who otherwise never took a hand in the world.


you are correct.

Eru's direct interventions

In the First Age, Eru created and awakened Elves as well as Men. In the Second Age, Eru buried King Ar-Pharazôn and his Army when they landed at Aman in S.A. 3319. He caused the Earth to take a round shape, drowned Númenor, and caused the Undying Lands to be taken "outside the spheres of the earth". When Gandalf died in the fight with the Balrog in The Fellowship of the Ring, it was beyond the power of the Valar to resurrect him; Ilúvatar himself intervened to send Gandalf back.[4]
Discussing Frodo's failure to destroy the Ring, Tolkien indicates in Letter 192 that "the One" does intervene actively in the world, pointing to Gandalf's remark to Frodo that "Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker", and to the eventual destruction of the Ring even though Frodo himself fails to complete the task.[5]
 
2012-01-31 12:46:16 PM  

natmar_76: This is what happens when you write 10 books at 1000 pages each.

You think your story can't be told in 10,000 pages? Bullshiat. The greatest works of literature were done in one book. That much wordage is just selling drugs to the addicts. It's dragging it out to see how much money you can make.

Someone says I need to give the books at least 300 pages to get going? Outrageous. Even Wheel of Time gets going faster than that, and that book is one of the most long winded and tedious I've put up with (and quit reading at 7+). Again, the great classics of literature were done in 300 pages TOTAL, and those are mind blowing stories of the human condition, full of philosophical musings and heart wrenching human tragedies.

Eff you, pulp fantasy writers, eff you very much.


The Most long winded and tedious belongs to the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. That book made me hate reading for a while.
 
2012-01-31 12:56:44 PM  

sprawl15: dragonchild: 1) At five books in and no signs of slowing down (hell people are defending the series by saying it's heating up) this could theoretically go on indefinitely, and

Uh, the most recent book put everyone on a collision course for wackiness.


Thats sure to be a very, very, very, very bloody understatement.

*****SPOILER ALERT********

For whoever asked where Rickon was: He is on the Isle of Skagos (or skane, forget which). Davos was sent by Manderly in book 4 I think to go fetch him after they faked his death for the pleasure of the thrice damned Freys.

****END SPOILERS*****
 
2012-01-31 01:26:58 PM  

shortymac: sotua: Confabulat: alwaysjaded: Considering Tyrion's new role in this part of the story and how much Dinklage knocked it out of the park in the first season, should they go ahead and award the best supporting actor?

Supporting actor? He'd be robbed if he wasn't the lead winner already and we haven't even seen it yet.

That. Considering how much Tyrion is the driver in the next books, he should get a lead actor nomination.

/then it all sours and he would get "best passenger on boat" awards...
//damn you GRRM

You realize Tyrion is suffering from PTSD in DWD, right? In SOS he has everything taken from him and he snaps, which would give any PTSD.

I think Penny and Dany are supposed to snap him outta PTSD and get him back on the road to awesome.


*** MOAR SPOILERS ***

My beef isn't with Tyrion. My beef is with NOTHING HAPPENS in books 4 and 5 after the breakneck pace of 123. It's not Tyrion's fault. It's not like he said "you know, all this intrigue and deceit and murder has become too burdensome. I shall go sailing. And, of course, keep consuming ridiculously detailed feasts". The "story" pretty much takes him on a trip where he has no say, but this trip isn't entertaining as the previous stories. It's a farking bore that does fark all for the plot.

/will still read book 6
 
2012-01-31 01:45:03 PM  

natmar_76: This is what happens when you write 10 books at 1000 pages each.

You think your story can't be told in 10,000 pages? Bullshiat. The greatest works of literature were done in one book. That much wordage is just selling drugs to the addicts. It's dragging it out to see how much money you can make.

Someone says I need to give the books at least 300 pages to get going? Outrageous. Even Wheel of Time gets going faster than that, and that book is one of the most long winded and tedious I've put up with (and quit reading at 7+). Again, the great classics of literature were done in 300 pages TOTAL, and those are mind blowing stories of the human condition, full of philosophical musings and heart wrenching human tragedies.

Eff you, pulp fantasy writers, eff you very much.


By page 300 of The Wheel of Time, it's still an extremely generic fantasy novel.

Maybe not 300 pages, but 20 might be giving up a bit quickly. Hell by page 20 in the Odyssey they're still talking about how Odysseus hasn't returned home and there's a bunch of guys who want to marry his wife.

You have the definition of the term pulp wrong. That would be in reference to cheap, short fantasy stories with exploitation themes.

Wordage is not a negative, and there are several classics that are long. Tad Williams is an example of an author who is verbose but is able to keep the plot tightly written the entire way through.
 
2012-01-31 01:57:25 PM  
Oh, a line by line refutation, great.

By page 20, WoT was moving along, nor did I claim WoT was anything special.

As said, I skipped around and looked at other parts of the book and did not like it.

Pulp is pulp. Call it serial garbage, whatever you want, I don't care.

Wordage is not negative. 10,000 pages of nothing is negative. It's rehashed, pandering pablum and its only purpose is to make money. It's not there to tell a story or be literature. It's there to draw out the sales of each new book in the series, and the publishers and authors will continue to madlibs the formula until you people stop $20 for each new book.
 
2012-01-31 02:18:48 PM  

dragonchild: The Stealth Hippopotamus: They've burned or destroyed every ounce of food and a recorded setting winter is falling on them. Hell the poor fools dont even know what is crawling over the Wall right now!

The epic has set itself up for the most disappointing deus ex machina ending since the Battlestar Galactica reboot TV series, as GRRM has basically farked up Westeros to the point where it's too depleted and dysfunctional to make any successful resistance to the Others allow suspension of disbelief.


Yeah, that is were the dragons come in, but I think part of the bittersweet ending will be that westeros will be so messed up that after all this it's open for invasion from easteros and fall.
 
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