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mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Wow, I knew the ADWD early release would send early spoilers and ramp up the Bad Thread, but I didn't think it'd get this bad.

I only even checked this because this is what? The second Bad thread in a few days.

That said I'm going to check out of here until I finish ADWD. I was already told that Arya goes blind thanks to this thread, and while I'm sure nothing important will happen in ADWD I'd still like to be surprised the way I was when Robb's head was cut off by Walder Frey's men.

MILD CARDS BITCHES

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mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Hey guys I just finished A Dance with Dragons.

gently caress the fat man.

gently caress him in his folds.

just about 1000 more pages and gently caress it we're barely any closer to a resolution or any answers to platters of the questions we have.

loving GRRM.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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eggsovereasy posted:

There should have been more Bran and Arya chapters and less Jon/Dany chapters. Their stories are just so much more compelling right now. Jon's only interesting chapter was his last one and Dany only had her last 2 that were good.



Swear to loving god Jon just farted around the entire loving book and then finally when poo poo is about to happen GRRM pulls out a cliffhanger saying "oh you don't like Brienne or Davos or Arya cliffhangers? SEE YOU IN FIVE YEARS BITCH."

Also I'm sure as gently caress not sifting through 6000 ADWD posts, but what is the consensus on the Wylla reference? Another thread GRRM is just going to leave hanging because everyone figured out R+L=J?

And the entire first half of Tyrion's journey West felt loving pointless and an excuse to establish Aegon so GRRM didn't just drop him in halfway and go "oh yeah btw legit Secret Targ here."

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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I agree, but his constant dealings with Stannis and Selsye got so loving old so loving quickly.

True, compared to the big wad of "blech" that were the Dany and Tyrion plotlines in this one--especially Tyrion, good god I've never cared less about anything than I did Penny and yes I get that's partially the point--Jon's plotline was better.

Still felt like the three mostly farted around the entire goddamn book. I liked what Jon was doing, but felt like GRRM really could have and should have resolved his plotline in ADWD given how much time was wasted with Barristan musing on poison locusts or Dany wanting to gently caress Daario.

Also Cersei's punishment was pretty , I have to admit. I got the impression with the epilogue that we're supposed to feel kind-of bad in a "A Clockwork Orange" kind-of way, but honestly Cersei earned far worse than what she got and if the lesson was even half-learned it was worth it.

Can we please get some vague explanation for the magic in this series? Finally have someone visit Asshai or Valyria and dump some exposition on how people keep coming back and what the deal with R'hllor is and maybe even some poo poo about the Green Men and the Seasons? Seriously, one corpse brought back under auspicious circumstances is fine but we've seen like 3-4 by now in different ways from different sources, so it can't just be one of those "mysteries we never answer" pieces of crap GRRM seems to be banking on for the end of this series.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Yes, yes we all had our refresher course in book 1 this past year thanks to the HBO show. Thanks for reminding me of the 20 page TVIV butthurt discussion on that particular minutiae after the season finale, christ that was dumb.

It was said Dany had burnt palms by the end of ADWD anyway, so she's clearly not immune to all fire, even super-magic-dragon-fire.

I don't agree that Jon or Dany became a superhero overnight because there are still massive consequences for them and those around them because they constantly overreach their grasp.

Still, it feels like it's taking forever and three days to get the plot anywhere. I know it's important that Jon settles the Gift, but we didn't need a literal procession of it. We just needed a quick paragraph "and then he spent the afternoon watching wildings come through. It was massive and majestic and terrifying and he wondered if he was doing the right thing." The amount of padding from AFFC onwards is loving absurd.

GRRM, pick a conflict for every character and ride it to the end. That's all we loving need. You've done your job and convinced us that no character is safe and there is no "true" protagonist of the books, and gotten us all to buy into your cynical borderline nihilistic worldview. Now pick a point to end, write until you get there, and let us all be done with riding the Fat Mare.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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As someone pointed out shortly before I got the WILDCARDS tag, it's Cersei and Tywin.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Having a Fat Old man write about what a hot young girl wants in a sex partner--and you just know he consulted his wife on this to make sure it was sufficiently erotic--sure didn't feel like projection at all.

That bit where Barristan Selmy goes on about why Quentyn Martell was like mud sure didn't feel like projection either.

I have to admit I agree with him, but that didn't make it any better to read.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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I'm 100% sure he wasn't drawing from experiences that the girls always want the bad boy, because as we all know that's always 100% true all the time.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Is this the bad thread or did this place get neutered while I was gone?

My complaint has dick to do with Dany being out-of-character and more about the fact that GRRM--disgusting absolute fucker that he is--had to conceive all this crap and as anybody from the Bad Thread I knew would know that is grounds to gripe.

poo poo this place lost what little humor it had. Too many fresh-faces coming off a year with the show and a new book. It's like leaving a bar and coming back to find out that it's now an AA center, or vice versa when you consider ASoIAF.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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That explains a lot.

Ah, flippancy turned down then.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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A Typical Goon posted:

Except that GRUM has straight up said the knot was figuring out what order to get people to Dany. This was made worse by the fact that he never planned on writing the exact order, but then he had to write it...except he didn't write half of it, so the knot could still very well be there, just pushed back to the next book.

Considering how Victarion, Tyrion, and whomever the gently caress else still aren't any closer to being near Dany and she's now stuck loving around with the Dothraki again and I honestly don't see how she's going to even be arsed to get back to Mereen let alone resolve the entire loving plotline in less than half a book without being contrived as hell, and this in a book where he literally had a Dragon come out of the sky to get Dany out of an awkward "who's trying to poison her" plot.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Ross posted:

Yes the next book should really tell how much water this excuse holds.

He's had a decade to build his boat. Now it's time to see if that sucker floats.

The longer he spends time setting the pieces up the better their eventual "bang" is going to have to be to justify the wind-up. While there's certainly a chance, if he hasn't significantly moved everything forward a' la aCoK or aSoS by the end of tWoW then the series as a whole risks becoming septic.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Azure_Horizon posted:

It's better than constantly complaining about the books every single post. I'm not a TVIV person for that matter.

There's no shortage of communities that'll jerk off ASoIaF, including threads in the TVIV. What I liked about the Bad Thread is that it actually had criticisms, many of them valid, without the need to pretty up the prose with "But GRRM is really a great writer, and I'm sure the series will get better." I thought this was a thread where you could trust people to poo poo on the books out of a general like or even love, has that really changed?

As for the books:

Fog Tripper- are you reading through ADwD for the first time now? If so good luck. The book really does gather more momentum towards the 3/4 mark.

I was disappointed to see a lack of Samwell. Not because I like the character, but because I'm really eager to find out more about Oldtown and how the Maesters do things. Them and the Church and the Reach are the last three "major" powers I don't feel have been explored in as much detail as everywhere else in Westeros.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Ambiguatron posted:

The last two books sucked, this one more than the last one, and the character arcs ended in lame plot twists, last second cliffhangers, and making GBS threads on a dragon. Martin wrote himself into half a dozen corners and cranked out another book that doesn't resolve anything so his editors stop nagging him to put out another book because the television series just started. He can't think of how to resolve his plot because he can't go back and change material in already published books, so he's gotten frustrated and given up.

There will never be another book.

It's like inhaling ozone through a gas mask.

You're not wrong either, even if I did almost enjoy the last two books on the sheer momentum of the prior lore.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Fog Tripper posted:

For an entire book though?

Update:
Dany takes her bunny ears off in a huff, stamps her feet because she doesn't want dwarves eaten by lions (ENOUGH OF THE loving COCK TEASES ALREADY), and her loose adolescent dragon gets all pissy. She's carried up in the air on his back, looking forward to a good shat I imagine.

Mood: optimistic.

Did you pick up the bits about the honeyed locust? No? Well you're in luck because GRRM sure as poo poo isn't going to make you forget it.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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I'm going to defeat hyperbole by being hyperbolic. I'm so clever

It is possible to acknowledge that GRRM has done some good stuff while still not being the American Tolkien and acknowledge that while Tolkien's prose was occasionally boring as poo poo he was an unfathomably committed loremaster who set the pace for obsessive neckbeards like GRRM for nearly a century on now and that GRRM just isn't in that league because frankly next to no one is.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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You mean Wylla? I think that means "red herring" in High Valyrian.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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DONT CARE BUTTON posted:

I think it's possible that Theon was stabbed, not flayed.

ADWD specifically said he had a finger flayed at one point.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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mikey triumph posted:

I think Bran will end up being more of a dramatic device than a real force in the unfolding events.

I bet he'll be so much of a dramatic device that his entire plot thread will have no relevance to any of the narrative by story's end and exist for "flavor."

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Mount&Blade: Gregor edition is just Saint's Row/GTA: Westeros edition.

Not that I'm not totally down with that.

Maybe a Skyrim mod?

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Yeah, the Reek bits are nasty and definitely don't add much to the grand arc, but they're an adequate look at PTSD resulting from torture.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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IRQ posted:

Sure, here is a brief summary of what happens in ADWD:

This is actually really loving accurate, and not just in an "LOL BAD THREAD" kind-of way.

I just tried to think about what happens, and all I thought was "subplot, subplot, subplot, subplot that may intersect with the main plots, subplot, plot stalled out due to bad weather, subplot that's just left by the wayside, Jon gets stabbed in the back SEE YOU IN HALF A DECADE."

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Oh god now I'm remembering this pointless loving plot that brings loving "regular" zombies into the equation. Between ice zombies, ice spiders, dragons, warlocks, stone-men, living trees, shadow baby demons, face-changing assassins, and fire priests making bionic arms out of charred bone, I'm not sure there's enough room in this story to explain all this conflicting magic crap.

Seriously, between Beric/Zombie Cat and Gregor it seems like the whole "Bring the dead back to life" is another subplot that is never going to see any development or resolution. SO WHY EVEN BRING IT IN?

e- yeah, yeah, fire magic and red priests and whatever. I swear to loving God GRRM is going to have to write a scene where Tyrion just meets the God of the GRRM universe and has him dump exposition on all these conflicting magic schools.

But that'd be work and actually clarify the consistency of the world GRRM built. Instead he's just going to leave it all open-ended and hide behind ye olde "it's magic and the world is big and mysterious and you can't explain everything or know everything just look at how much science we really know" excuse to cover his inability to codify his world into anything with internal consistency beyond regional dinner menus.

mind the walrus fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2011 around 19:13

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Fog Tripper posted:

That's awesome.

I also sometime feel like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uvm...feature=related
when reading ASoI&F.

The last chapter of the last book: "haHA!"

You... this is Hall-of-Fame worthy in my book. You've contributed a work of short genius to this thread, in hitting a target none of us could otherwise see. You've found the perfect visual metaphor for the narrative structure of Books 4, 5, and 6.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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DirtyRobot posted:

ADWD also hints that Dany has to go to Asshai first before going to Westeros. So in one sense yes, we are further away than we were at the beginning of the book.

This has been hinted at since Book One. Ever since I first read "in the shadowlands beyond Asshai" I was all "oh there is no way we aren't seeing those lands somewhere between 2/3-7/8ths of the epic, and Dany is the perfect character to end up going there." Not only that, but since then as she gets further and further and loving further away from Westeros it seemed that she'd end up wrapping her way around the globe (is it a globe? Did GRRM cover that in the "it's a fantasy world not sci-fi stop with the astrophysics" chat?) and getting back to Westeros.

And then there's the fact that a lot of magic sources that aren't Dragon/Others related seem to originate there, though the R'hollor crap and the Rock-Virus in Book 6 mutes a fair bit of that.

But knowing GRRM these days he'll introduce some new Meereenese group of characters, one of whom ends up on a boat to Asshai at the end of Book 7 and shows up there in a epilogue to tease the fans about the further "mystery" the world holds. There will be no book 7.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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rockamiclikeavandal posted:

Why does Dany have to go to asshai? Something that old woman said? I don't remember that at all.

It's just a carrot dangling at the end of the stick. "Ooh here we are in this big world-spanning epic that's going to last thousands of pages and we're mentioning these dark shadowy lands where magic comes from." While never going there is the kind of cheap "twist of convention" I'd expect from GRRM at this point, initially it really did seem like something that was bound to happen at some point. Not necessarily with Dany, but with someone eventually seeing Asshai.

At this point we've seen all Seven Kingdoms, the Iron Islands, more than a few of the Slaver Cities, the center of the Red Priests, Oldtown, parts of Valyria, the Free Cities, the Dothraki Sea, the lands beyond the Wall and the Children of the Forest.

Asshai is basically the last major piece of the map aside from the Summer Isles that hasn't been explored in-depth at all.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Nope, I'm just a moron who forgot how to count.

Though I am also assuming that Winds of Winter will be more of the same. Basically nothing but the Stannis plot getting stuck by a Snowstorm only spread out over every POV save maybe Dany, who retreads crap with the Dothraki because it's easier to remember their crap than invent more Mereen poo poo.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Bonesnap posted:

I don't see why everyone is freaking out about Aegon. Yes, it's strange for a character who holds such importance to be introduced in the 5th of a 7 part series, but people have suspected he's still around since the beginning and GRRM basically told everyone that in an interview years ago.

Suspecting he's been around and hearing it interviews is an implication of Aegon's involvement. He was still pulled out of GRRM's rear end like the star of his own mini-novel, and all he's done so far is add onto the pile of "poo poo that needs to get sorted in 2 books." The most he did was show up on the Westerosi radar, which while admittedly more than nearly any other character has done in the last two books, you have to also admit that isn't a high hurdle to clear.

And we got 20 more chapters of Dany doing fuckall anyway, it's not like his addition alleviated that problem one bit.

hailthefish posted:

What kind of zombie is "Ser Robert Strong" then?

A surprise sex zombie?

Franken-Gregor. That much is obvious, which is why GRRM is going to pull the mask off and have him instead be some composite that has Gregor parts or something equally dumb, because it's a TWIST on CONVENTION.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Joramun posted:

That's exactly what happens in the prologue. Seems you have indeed forgotten about Waymar Royce. Though I assume you threw in the little bit about consciousness to turn this into a tiresome discussion about semantics and divert attention away from the real issue, which is that you knew exactly what you were in for right from the very beginning.

neongrey posted:

Low magic and no magic are two different things, and a few magical things happening doesn't make something not a low magic setting.

Battuta has a drat good point and you both know it. It's still a low magic setting, but I wouldn't say by much. At current rate it's going to be full-blown Dragon vs. Zombie battles, and while we had hints of that from Book One I personally didn't expect nearly every major faction in the books to have individually run into direct manifestations of magic that will indirectly or directly impact the resolution of their narratives.

Jakabite posted:

I don't see how anyone can argue against the fact that the series became way more saturated with magic after book 3. I mean, seriously, they made a good point and you argue semantics? Just a heads up, it makes you look like a real arsehole.

What he said.

Books 4 and 5 have so much more magic than the first 3 it is a point of valid recognition without it just being "hating" or semantics. Even with the whole "Magic is bleeding into the world" undercurrent, the pacing is so off and disconnected from the reason most people stuck with the series--interesting politics and intrigue--that it's become a huge part of what the books are about. For gently caress's sake the last book has a magic virus that turns you into an angry golem-monster and it attacks the boat our POV character is on like it's Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean.

Joramun posted:

But all that didn't happen all of a sudden after the third book like someone above implied. Melisandre's (admittedly kind of ridiculous) killer vagina shadows were already way back in book 2. If you managed to get through that without giving up due to "too magical", you are in for the long haul. Magic has been there throughout all the books, from the very first chapter. It's evidently just not a valid criticism against AFFC or ADWD.

Her vagina shadows show up as the first actual manifestation that "whoa, this psycho scheming bitch might actually have some legitimacy to her whole Fire-Witch claims," bearing in mind that this is a full book before we realize absolutely that she used a jewel as poison to kill the maester at the beginning of book 2 instead of a conventional poison, and even then that's only if we're paying attention at Joffrey's wedding.

In other words they aren't just pulled out of nowhere like the rock golems were. I get why those were put in--they give Valyria a sense of ancient magic and menace, they provide an action sequence in the boring-as-gently caress Tyrion plotline, and are a cheap way to give Jon Connington pathos beyond his admittedly interesting-as-gently caress backstory. But they just show up to give the plot a jolt. They don't feel like manifestations of a larger universe beyond the characters the way the magic in Book 1-3, and even a bit in 4 did. They felt like GRRM legitimately needed to spice things up in the Tyrion plotline and pulled out a D&D book for inspiration.

That's the kind-of poo poo that causes others and myself to question a tonal shift straight into regular fantasy, especially when if the series ever continues.

It's odd, I did expect a serious maturation of magic as the series progressed, but not to this extent. It doesn't bug me to the point where I'd abandon the series--there have been worse crimes against the reader committed already and I'm still here--but it is a valid topic for analysis. Not necessarily criticism, analysis and yes, argument.

mind the walrus fucked around with this message at Dec 1, 2011 around 22:20

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Azure_Horizon posted:

There's no semantics argument here. The point is that magic has been there since the beginning, and has had considerable influence. Once dragons reappeared, it was inevitable that magic was going to saturate the world, and it appears that it is both a wild and almost unilaterally destructive force (see: zombies, greyscale, dragons, vagina shadow demons, et. al.). It really isn't the huge glaring change it's made out to be; it was pretty much foreshadowed.

So what's your point exactly? To point out how stupid readers who say "hey, there's a fuckton more but it's not progressing in a manner we like or enjoy, let's talk about why?"

We all know that magic was foreshadowed, that's why we say it's a semantics argument. Your entire thesis seems to predicate on "Magic was always in the series, thus it is dumb to analyze the glut of magic that has appeared since then." Considering how long we're all likely to be waiting for GRRM to keel off and finish the series, in that order, that's negative to the point of being a real rear end in a top hat.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Fog Tripper posted:

Jesus christ.

Warning: LONG loving SPERG POST. It kind of got away from me here.

I realize the slapshod use of magic has a hell of a lot more to do with GRRM's roots as a TV writer/TV guy. It's not that magic takes the forefront that bothers me, it's that the use of magic is much more messy and less cohesive. Magic increasing is part of the natural turn this epic was always going to take, I don't know where AN or anyone thought that anyone was denying that. That's good too, in narrative turns in answers old mysteries and adds new ones. The problem is that instead of getting to the root of even one of the magical threads we've just compounded more and more, like Battlestar Galactica or the X-Files or LOST.

If you follow any of those shows you find there are two major types of fans-- those who were so enamored by the "ride" that they stuck around even when the mysteries were so built up that no conceivable answer would justify the immense lead-in; and those who realized that the writers couldn't satisfy them and jumped ship. I'm usually the latter, and while ASoIaF has been enough of a fun ride that I'll actually stick with it to the bitter and inevitable death of GRRM, I do feel like all the new types of magic are so mysterious and so complicated that next to no resolution is going to be satisfying.

And this is especially egregious because as a fantasy series--especially low fantasy--all you have to do is come up with an imaginary system of magic that "hangs" together in the context of your universe. Maybe GRRM has that. I doubt it. Between armies of Ice Spiders and Five Flavors of Zombie and Dragons and Warlocks and R'hllor and the Seasons and the Children of the Forest and the Seven and the Old Gods and the House of Black and White you would have to spend Tolkein-levels of time sorting out any sense of mythological harmony.

Like it or not this isn't the Marvel or DC universe where you can throw a literal manifestation of Ares, the Martian Manhunter, and Batman into the same story and make it work because it's all fun and games. This is a series that has always had pretensions to general realism in terms of physics and historical cohesion, and on the political side has always delivered. There is a bar set in terms of cohesion, and it's set pretty loving high.

Thus the magic and all the various instances of it are sticking out like a sore thumb. How old could this world possibly be that almost everyone is ignorant of magic, when apparently all you need to do is fart around with half a purpose and a minor House to your name and you'll trip over ancient ruins with Golems or a House run by Warlocks or a Red Priestess who can kill Kings with shadow babies?

The Red Priests alone are clearly some heavy-duty magical powerhouses in this world. It's obvious that if you get a Red Priest who is even kind-of good they'll be able to pull off some awesome poo poo for you. Why can no other major priests do this? Why don't the Red Priests have immense political pull everywhere if they can clearly demonstrate this ability? The Warlock guilds and other poo poo in other cities dampening their impact? General xenophobia causing witch hunts in the presence of raw magic? If so why don't the Dothraki or Free Cities or Slave Cities give a flying poo poo? Granted, there's only a few demonstrable instances of true Red Magic users, but unless Melissandre and that dude who burnt Vicatrion's arm are secretly King Kahunas of that church it stands to reason that others in the Church can pull this poo poo off. It's either that or the genuine magic is a very recent development, in which case this algorithm goes down to my mini-paragraph beginning with "Moreover."

Which brings us to the question of why no other churches seem to be able to do any magical poo poo, and I ain't even going near the House of Black and White and all the questions that raises. The Old Gods don't really have a church that we've seen, the Seven don't seem to have any real mysticism beyond a spiritual pantheon, and the Drowned God doesn't seem to do poo poo other than maybe keep its priests from drowning. There are potential answers, since they're all pretty restricted to Westeros, which brings up the question: Why does no one on the continent seem to be aware of the crazy awesome magic on the other continents unless it's terribly recent or the source of the magic is very very far away?

"The Limitations of Medieval Technology, Communication, and Education" doesn't explain the sheer precedence of magic not getting noticed by loving everyone important by the end of ADWD. Even with "drunk tavern talk" and limited spheres of exposure and strained communication methods severely dampening validity eventually you're going to run into enough commoners and sellswords and merchants talking about poo poo they've seen and heard that a Noble or Historian is going to take serious notice of it. At the very least it'd show up in enough histories for a long enough period that you wouldn't go "oh, magic's been gone for a few centuries to a millennium, guess it's not worth remembering anything about loving Ice Spiders and sealing it in a library for Kings and other Important People."

People in medieval societies--even uneducated, misinformed ones--aren't necessarily dumber than us as humans today; at least if we follow the conceit that humans in ASoIaF are evolved to this medieval society from roughly the same point as us per narrative conceit to be relatable, but that's another topic entirely. They're going to talk, and shrewd people are going to codify it and organize ways to deal with it and profit on it. I find it very hard to believe no one truly made it a priority to educate the Lords of High Houses that while it's been gone for centuries, that poo poo was real and there are documents on the who, what, why, where, and how.

So then, if magic is only just coming back then how long was it gone and why do so few histories up until 'now' mention it and if said histories do mention magic why the gently caress does no one believe them? Historical decay from parchment being too old to last the centuries? Why did no one ever loving copy that poo poo down then while the memories were fresh? There are statements painting that all the magic has devolved to the point of fairy tales, which doesn't hold a ton of water when there are still clearly great magical remnants like the Wall still around. And if magic's been gone for so many centuries why is global technology still stuck somewhere between 700 AD and 1400 AD depending on society?

Oldtown conspiracy? Are the Maester's keeping a lid on everything? It's been hinted at, but to properly keep a lid on everything magical outside of Westeros they'd have to be the ultimate power players on the continent, and if so why the gently caress wouldn't they be involved in any of the wars up until this point? Why do Varys or Littlefinger or Tyrion or other educated men not even give a gently caress about them them? Are any Nobles in on it?

Propaganda and misdirection, maybe, but unless there are immensely supportive passages of a maester conspiracy in the first 3 books it'd come across as more of a retcon than a revelation. It could happen, and might be the best rational way to bridge the politics and sheer explosion of magic in recent Westerosi history--as far as we know, there may be some X-Files/MIB black ops of maesters covering up magical incidents across the land; that'd make for one hell of a spin-off novel.

Moreover, this brings us to the BIG question which is what exactly is causing magic to come back and why? Especially why so quickly if magic is even 50% isolated to what we see in the books and a relatively recent historical occurrence within the fictional universe?

There was a nice Warren Ellis issue of Ultimate Fantastic Four that attempted to explain why suddenly everyone and their mother is getting superpowers in the Marvel Universe. The jist is that there's a probability curve, and once just one crazy "bit by a radioactive spider" event occurs and causes a Spider-man, the probability of other similar incidents jumps up in probability immensely, causing a snowball effect. Cute bullshit mathematics, but it works in the context of the Marvel Universe and was so satisfactory I let it explain a ton of preposterous poo poo that occurs in those books.

My point being, what could possibly cause all these disparate forces of magic to suddenly arise within a generation? Is there even an answer that could satisfy that with anything short of Silmarilion levels of exposition, or at the very least some legitimate Gods showing up to answer trivia from Tyrion or some poo poo?

Well, there is one. It answers everything. And it follows Occam's Razor that the simplest solution is the best one: GRRM is pulling all of this magic out of his rear end with no idea of how any of it fits together, and it's likely he's just going to let all the disparate threads of "how, where, why" just hang loose because it's ultimately window dressing to the politics.

That approach worked really well for the first three books when he had a definite political arc to hang the magic on, but now that he's spent two full books positioning his characters all he's done is throw a ton of questions that beg for--if not resolution, at least addressing.

It is a real potential concern as the books proceed. Is it a killer to the series? I wouldn't say so. Is it worth scrutinizing? I'd clearly say so.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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GRRM's version of the Hungry Little Caterpillar

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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My guess is that by this point he sees aSoIaF as a job that he's stuck with, and sees the fans as little more than customers. Conceptually the only difference between him and a McDonalds worker is that he only needs to make one burger and it takes him 5 years to do it.

When did he decide to make the whole thing more than a trilogy anyway? I bet he wakes up in the morning regretting that decision all the time.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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It wouldn't be the worst-thing to have the epic be driven by characters, but to do that he'd need to actually move the characters about. I like that he spends lots of time with each character's thoughts as they move into a new environment, but for gently caress's sake you can actually skip forward in time and not lose out on organic nuance.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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I was going to let this shill piece go because well, that's just how the game works in media entertainment--fawn over the most popular and sell it to the casual readers. That said I think he's got some nice stealth insults to GRRM going on in here.

Lev Grossman 's Time Piece posted:

What was George R.R. Martin doing all that time? Was he wandering in the wilderness? Was he sunning on the beaches of Dorne? No: he was girding his loins and rallying the banners, and he has come charging back with one of the strongest books of the series, and the year.

Ok, this is just a blatant lie to anyone who actually bothered to read the series. Even if you're of the opinion that ADWD isn't worthless or is one of the best books you've read all year, you cannot argue that it beats out ACoK or ASoS or even AGoT.

quote:

Dance with Dragons puts us back in the main narrative stream of A Song of Ice and Fire: we go into exile with the black-humored dwarf Tyrion, raise dragons with Daenerys, walk the wall and brood with Jon Snow.

Did you watch the first season of HBO? Like those charaters? Hope you don't mind getting spoiled that not only are these 3 fan-favorites alive 3 books from now, but still doing the same stupid poo poo 3 books after you'd expect them to have moved on.

quote:

The artistry and savagery of Martin's storytelling are at their finest: he has seized hold of epic fantasy and is radically refashioning it for our complex and jaded era, and the results are magnificent.

Ok, this is a legitimately clever way to say "Remember how the whole schtick and selling point with the HBO show and the series at large is that it's complex, jaded, and unlike schlock fantasy? Yeah, that's not true anymore 3 books in. Hope you like stone golemns and honeyed locusts bitches."

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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SteepleJack posted:

That's a pretty loaded question. I go to school for writing, though. I suppose you're about to say that my views on the subject are moot because I'm not published, yeah?

No, though a substantial percentage of people who claim to be writers aren't and it has everything to do with the quantity of their actual output, published or no. "I'm in school for it" is also a subset of people who claim to be writers who claim they in the same way you "dress for the job you want, not the job you have". Not saying you are or aren't a "real" writer, I don't care; I'm just explaining the reasons why you're so defensive.

That said I don't care that GRRM didn't write ASoS again.

I care that aFfC and aDwD was filled with needless padding and sequences that could have been jettisoned to little ill effect. Dany agonizing over Daario and loving about Mereen, Brienne's meandering quest through the Riverlands, Tyrion's bullshit in the circus, Bran's slog up North, Jon's endless "let's let the wildlings in" procession, Sam's boat ride, Victarion's boat ride. Honestly all of those plotlines could have been condensed to a serious degree--some of them down to 1-2 chapters-- to the point of having books 4 and 5 equate to one 1200 page book instead of two 1000 page books.

One book of set-up is fine, especially if it's followed by a new one within two years. Call me entitled for having standards as a reader at all, but that's ideal pacing when it comes to a modern epic. Two books of set-up over a decade is poo poo, the difficulties of being a writer be damned. I say that with the best appreciation for just how difficult it is to write an epic as I can muster.

Fact is he needed an editor willing to trim the prose down and cut to the core of the narrative skeleton and a publisher willing to kick him in the rear end and finish the series before he gets too old and/or. Given his age and visible health this is a legitimate profit concern, so either those two bodies are lazy/cowed by his reputation or they're making a massive gamble that his fans will buy any crap he makes and that he'll finish the series before anything happens, both of which are ultimately examples of being lovely to the customers--in this case us.

SteepleJack posted:

I will never understand the amount of hate you have for this guy. It seriously is almost psychotic. The dude is just a writer.

You're the one whose sense of empathy and ego is so maladjusted you feel compelled to white knight a fat man who has a recorded history of contempt for the desires of the people who indirectly paid for his livelihood and fame.

If this gets under your skin in terms of psychosis may you never venture into E/N or check out some of the Weekend Web/Worst-of the Internet poo poo from the front page. Hell, are you even aware of FYAD for that matter?

quote:

EDIT: PS he owes you nothing. It's your problem and yours alone if you don't enjoy what he's putting out. Plenty of other people do. You didn't like AFFC/ADWD. Well, a lot more people did like them. Remember that.

Ah, those old chestnuts. Yes yes we're the minority and he's just a poor old sensitive guy who does a job at his pace because he's such a special snowflake. I'm sure when you've written your own masterpieces you'll say the same to your detractors.

mind the walrus fucked around with this message at Dec 9, 2011 around 06:06

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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We'll miss you as much as you'll miss us. Thanks for stopping by.

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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SammyWhereAreYou posted:

I'm pretty sure most of us are exaggerating our hatred of the book and of GRRM for the sake of humor. Saying "Dance wasn't terrible but it wasn't that great either. I'm slightly disappointed but it's just a book and it's not really that important to me" isn't particularly fun or funny. It's a lot more fun to act like Dance is worse than AIDS.

Yeah, anyone who can't see how this thread operates and would rather act all looks like a serious wanker. GRRM is an excellent lightning rod for frustration and vitriol because he's frankly earned quite a lot of that vitriol. It's like hating Jersey Shore or Glee only for all their faults those fuckers don't dick their audience around.

Saul Goode posted:

I can understand how people are disappointed, but it still surprises me how few fanboys are standing up for the books amidst all the endless diatribes against them and the author.

Maybe not here, but the HBO show has brought in a HUGE influx of fanboys and the like willing to circlejerk the series like ASoS just came out.

And if you understand why people are disappointed, why would you be surprised? If anything it's really a testament to just how much GRRM has hosed with the goodwill of his customers.

neongrey posted:

He may well only watch football if he makes wordcount for the day. But he blogs like it and miniatures are his loving life and this actual, you know, book series is just some sort of sideline.

The clear problem is that he blends his professional blog with his personal blog. If he had some closed-circuit live journal for himself and maybe a few colleagues/friends/family and a "Not-a-Blog" open to the public for aSoIaF announcements, he'd actually have fans protecting his right to have a closet-circuit blog to bitch about football and ask the fans to get off his back.

Does that sound entitled as fan to say "Oh he should have done/do twice the blog works if he doesn't want hate"? Maybe, but that's a constructive way to solve vitriol and generally take responsibility for the professional reality of being a writer in the developed world of the 21st Century.

Maytag posted:

I made his corpulent lifestyle possible he owes me hard.

Legitimately want this to be the new thread title.

mind the walrus fucked around with this message at Dec 9, 2011 around 19:54

mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Yeah Man posted:

To be honest, I just don't buy the argument that a creator owes their fans anything. You already paid for the entertainment. There's a right to be disappointed in what the author continues to put out, but I don't see a right to demand them anything when there has already been a transaction.

This argument is fine in a vacuum, but it doesn't hold water in the case of GRMM because he wrote an epic that did not have a full story resolution, leaving the end of each book extremely open-ended and with implied promise of more story to come provided the audience continued to patronize and promote him. This was explicitly verified when he announced more books in the series.

As has been cited more than once in this thread there are plenty of writers who provide similar arrangements with their readers but do not gently caress with their readers to the degree of severity that GRRM has, even when on a severely delayed schedule with diminished output in terms of both quantity and quality.

I really like how people who purport this argument have just enough analytical prowess to parrot a blog post Neil Gaiman farted out several years ago, but lack the basic faculty for independent thought to think circumstantially about how and why the bad thread evolved.

mind the walrus fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2011 around 04:54

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mind the walrus
Sep 22, 2006

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Yeah Man posted:

See, I don't buy this argument. For each book you read, you already paid once, either money, time, or both. Just because there is obviously going to be a series doesn't mean that the author has to cater to you, because he doesn't owe you that series.

Who said poo poo about catering? He professed to write a series and professed to update about progress on his blog. He is thus subject to analysis and criticism of said profession. That's part of the job. He can't take nasty things being said because he's not doing his job very well? Quit the drat job.

quote:

You already paid for entertainment. If you want more, you have to pony up more.

This is just nonsense because I don't even think you know what you're arguing, just that it's "against" the "bad thread." Are you saying that if I want more of a series I have to buy more of his lovely tie-in merchandise when all I want is another book released on a reasonable schedule?

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