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Monday, April 15, 2013

The700thLevel: Jayson Werth Used ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme Song as At-Bat Music

I don’t know about you, but HBO’s Game of Thrones is probably my favorite show on television right now. So it’s safe to say I thought it was a pretty badass when DC Sports Bog posted about Jayson Werth using the shows theme song as his walk up music. The fact that Werth and his beard could probably make for a great character in Westeros just makes it even better.

You can kind of hear it in the above video but if you’re unfamiliar with the theme song you may not make it out.

Now, sadly, Werth doesn’t use that tune exclusively. He also came to bat to “Werewolves of London” and the theme music from “The Walking Dead,” according to Dan Steinberg, which led the WAPO reporter to say, “Werth continues to state his case for most unusual pro baseball player in D.C.”

We still kind of miss him a little. Even if he did have a bad aura. Maybe he was a warg or something.

Tripon Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:06 AM | 175 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. JE (Jason) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:50 AM (#4414297)
Pfff. R.A. Dickey was using the Game of Thrones theme as walk-up music when Eddard Stark was still Hand of the King.
   2. AROM, Instagram Gangsta Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4414340)
Time for someone to use "The bear and the maiden fair" as their walk up music.
   3. Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4414362)
I mentioned this in the game chatter that day, I think. First I noticed it was when I was at the game on friday- too bad if that was the first time since it seems to have brought the Nats bad mojo!
   4. McCoy Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM (#4414372)
I didn't notice it on Opening Day but I do recall hearing it on Wednesday against the White Sox. I mentioned it to my buddy who just shrugged and said he had no idea what I was talking about and he doesn't watch that Dungeons & Dragons type stuff.
   5. JE (Jason) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4414379)
I didn't notice it on Opening Day but I do recall hearing it on Wednesday against the White Sox.

I'm pretty certain that Werth didn't use GOT on Opening Day.

Morse deserves major self-marketing kudos for picking "Take on Me." Similarly, the batter who selects Baltimorra's "Tarzan Boy" promises to be an instant fan favorite, no matter what he does with his plate appearances.
   6. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4414394)
Time for someone to use "The bear and the maiden fair" as their walk up music.


No, stadiums need to play it every time a batter gets hit on the hand with a pitch.
   7. JE (Jason) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4414406)
No, stadiums need to play it every time a batter gets hit on the hand with a pitch.

I can't seem to put a finger on what happened to Jaime Lannister last night. Will someone give me a hand?
   8. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4414415)
I can't seem to put a finger on what happened to Jaime Lannister last night.

THEY CUT OFF HIS ############# HAND!

And now I will leave this thread forever before the nerds with their spoilers show up.
   9. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4414436)
I can't seem to put a finger on what happened to Jaime Lannister last night. Will someone give me a hand?


This joke is disgraceful. I ought to show you the back of my hand.
   10. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4414523)
So, who's surprised they feel bad for Jaime considering one of the first things we see him doing is pushing a kid out a window?
   11. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4414533)
So, who's surprised they feel bad for Jaime considering one of the first things we see him doing is pushing a kid out a window?


In fairness, before that you also see him having sex with his sister.
   12. JE (Jason) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4414543)
So, who's surprised they feel bad for Jaime considering one of the first things we see him doing is pushing a kid out a window?

In fairness, before that you also see him having sex with his sister.

In further fairness, before that you also see him leaving the door to the whorehouse open while his brother is bedding Ros and her colleagues.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:09 PM (#4414545)
So, who's surprised they feel bad for Jaime considering one of the first things we see him doing is pushing a kid out a window?

OK. I'm back. Thanks for no spoilers those who have read the books. I didn't feel sorry for him. I don't think he realized how smug and condescending he was coming off to those guys many of them who had probably had friends and family killed by Lannister soldiers during the war. They had probably also gotten wind of what happened the last time Lannister sweet talked his captors into loosening his chains. It was ironic that he was brutalized after finally doing something nice for someone, but #### that guy all the same.
   14. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:12 PM (#4414548)
You should read the books.

Jaime becomes one of the more sympathetic characters by the time Book 4 ends.
   15. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4414552)
You should read the books.

Goddammit. Why do you guys who've read the books have to drop spoilers?
   16. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4414555)
That's one of the best things about the books. Some of the good guys aren't very sympathetic (e.g., Caitlin...although she's more sympathetic in the show), and some of the bad guys are. Some of the characters transform in unexpected ways. Some of the characters who you think are key players are not (Ned), and some in the background become key players.
   17. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:19 PM (#4414560)
I think Book One specifically mentions that Jaime uses his right hand to push Bran out the window....
   18. Brian White Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4414570)
Goddammit. Why do you guys who've read the books have to drop spoilers?


Well, hey, you DID promise to leave the thread. (edit: I guess you rescinded that promise)

One of the (few) things I enjoyed about the fourth book is the contrast between Jaime, tiring of his 'kingslayer' label and starting to do the honorable thing, and Cersei and her ever-continuing descent into pure self-interest and corruption.
   19. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4414571)
I've said to friends who like the show but haven't read the books that the series reminds me a little of "This Be the Verse," the Philip Larkin poem. The story is mostly about children and their attempts to escape from or correct the stupid stuff their parents and grandparents did. (that's not a spoiler)
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4414573)
I wonder if he will "live long and prosper." LOL

< / doesn't watch any fantasy stuff >
   21. Greg K Posted: April 15, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4414590)
I mentioned it to my buddy who just shrugged and said he had no idea what I was talking about and he doesn't watch that Dungeons & Dragons type stuff.

It's a cross-over hit! It's not just for fantasy enthusiasts, they're telling human stories in a fantasy world!
   22. McCoy Posted: April 15, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4414724)
That's one of the best things about the books. Some of the good guys aren't very sympathetic

There are no good guys in the book. There are just major and minor characters. That is why the books are so good. George is telling a story as if it was really history where people struggle against each other for power and their own reasons. All the sides let their need for power or honor cause sorrow and death amongst the population and for what gain? Nothing for the peasants, it's the same for them regardless of who is sitting on the throne.
   23. Greg K Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4414827)
There are no good guys in the book

Maybe Septon Meribald? Though he sounds like he was a bit of a dangerous rapscallion in his youth.
   24. JJ1986 Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4414830)
I think Bran at least is a good guy.
   25. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4414831)
There are no good guys in the book. There are just major and minor characters. That is why the books are so good. George is telling a story as if it was really history where people struggle against each other for power and their own reasons. All the sides let their need for power or honor cause sorrow and death amongst the population and for what gain? Nothing for the peasants, it's the same for them regardless of who is sitting on the throne.

I don't know if I agree with that. No one is pure good, but some have a lot more good in them than others.
   26. Greg K Posted: April 15, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4414834)
I think Bran at least is a good guy.

The same Bran that violently commandeers another human's body for fun, leaving him whimpering in the corner of his own psyche?

I mostly kid, Bran means well.
   27. zonk Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4414850)

Well, hey, you DID promise to leave the thread. (edit: I guess you rescinded that promise)

One of the (few) things I enjoyed about the fourth book is the contrast between Jaime, tiring of his 'kingslayer' label and starting to do the honorable thing, and Cersei and her ever-continuing descent into pure self-interest and corruption.


This is because George Martin is an SOB.

He kills the ones you love, ruins the ones you're growing to love, and tries to shove redemption down your throat for the ones you hate.

#### him.

If Martin had written Huckleberry Finn -- Huck would have inherited a plantation and Jim would have strangled Miss Watson...
   28. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4414854)
The same Bran that violently commandeers another human's body for fun, leaving him whimpering in the corner of his own psyche?


HODOR!
   29. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4414872)
You should read the books.


No, you shouldn't. The last two are godawful, and more than a thousand pages each. Don't get invested.
   30. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4414874)
There are no good guys in the book.


Well, I haven't read book 5, but till then I'd say Jon Snow is a good guy.
   31. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4414876)
I think it's very much a dick move to actively spoil plot points by discussing events/character turns and highlighting specific points in the book where they occur when clearly many people in this thread have not read the books, YMMV. I say all that as someone who has read all the books.
   32. McCoy Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:31 PM (#4414883)
I'd also say it is very much a stupid move to enter into threads in which there will almost certainly be spoilers.
   33. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4414894)
Voxter: That's just, like, your opinion, man.

I'm with McCoy.
   34. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4414895)
[32] I guess. Or you could just go discuss the particulars of the book elsewhere when there have already been posts on the thread showing thankfulness for the lack of spoilers and it was clear that the thread's topic was the show. I suppose this is a pointless discussion though and I will see myself out.
   35. toratoratora Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:03 PM (#4415048)
Ya know, it's a damn shame someone didn't have the whistle version of Farmer in the Dell playing Omar style when they walked to the plate.

(And IIRC,Martin once said that the only good/traditionally heroic type in the books is Stannis. Because he's not in it for glory or personal gain, but he's only acting because he sees it as the right thing to do, his duty, so to speak. Now, I'm not saying I agree with that assessment (Because Stannis has done some pretty nasty sheeeeiiiit, like kill lil brother Renly with dark sorcery), but I can see where Martin is coming from. Personally, I think part of GRRM's theme is that the price of power is the loss of innocence. There are no cute little halflings or ewoks overthrowing emperors,toppling thrones. Instead, the people who aim at the throne have spent everything trying to achieve it, and have usually betrayed themselves and their values (ala Stannis) in doing so.)
   36. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:08 PM (#4415055)
No, you shouldn't. The last two are godawful

The last one (that is, most recent one) was by far my favourite <.<

(I'm a strange person apparently)
   37. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:18 PM (#4415066)
Yeah, the last two books were a step down from the third one, but that's because the third book is basically one continuous fireworks factory. The second half of the story needs setting up, and GRRM needed an editor to tell him how he could get everything that happened into one big book. That being said, the fourth and fifth books has some of his best writing, the Reek chapters of book 5 are some of the most terrifying things I've ever read, and I'm someone who will regularly seek out things that can frighten me. They're better than the 2nd book, as good as the 1st book, and the 3rd book might be the greatest novel in the genre so being a solid step back from that is no shame.

Also, IT'S A CROSSOVER HIT! It really is basically historical fiction in a fictional world. I'm really excited that they already introduced the Iron Bank of Braavos in the series, there's a reason why A Song of Ice and Fire is beloved by International Relations scholars.
   38. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4415074)
There are no good guys in the book. There are just major and minor characters. That is why the books are so good. George is telling a story as if it was really history where people struggle against each other for power and their own reasons. All the sides let their need for power or honor cause sorrow and death amongst the population and for what gain? Nothing for the peasants, it's the same for them regardless of who is sitting on the throne.


The books are tediously and continually enforcing a moral view.


No, you shouldn't. The last two are godawful


++
edit:
3rd book might be the greatest novel in the genre

wat
   39. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4415086)
Name me the fantasy novel that's clearly better than A Storm of Swords. There's several great fantasy novels that might be better, my pick would be the Silmarillion, and perhaps The Two Towers, but having read a lot of fantasy in my teens and most of the highly recommended stuff since, very little comes close to ASOS.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:46 PM (#4415089)
SPOILERS

I think the Reek chapters are by far the best in the fifth book (and very good in their own right), but they're symbolic of the larger problem. Reek is still involved in the events of the first three books, the War of the Five Kings and the situation at Winterfell. All of the other characters are either doing new, unconnnected things, or literally doing nothing but waiting.
   41. Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 15, 2013 at 07:52 PM (#4415095)
The 3rd book is spectacular. The only thing "wrong" with the 4th book is the first 3 books- it doesn't give you all the things you are hoping for, but it is a nice piece of writing and exploration of the world all the same. The 5th book is clearly wrestling with the gordian knot of the series and I hope represents a breakthrough- it is the weakest by far of the series in my opinion.
   42. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:02 PM (#4415114)
Name me the fantasy novel that's clearly better than A Storm of Swords.


The Once and Future King? Particularly the third book...
   43. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4415120)
Name me the fantasy novel that's clearly better than A Storm of Swords.

My Le Guin-fandom would have me saying either A Wizard of Earthsea or The Tombs of Atuan or Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea (spoiler: it isn't actually the last book of Earthsea!), my absolute love of everything Tolkein would have me saying the entirety of The History of Middle Earth (just kidding: I think The Silmarillion is probably up there) or one of the books of the Wheel of Time or something (I know that's controversial here and I know a number of people absolutely hate that series, which is why I'm avoiding it and DON'T WANT TO GET INTO THAT DISCUSSION), or even something on the edge of the genre (Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian if you're into historical fiction or maybe some China Mieville book if you're into sci-fi, or maybe even one of the early Jasper Fforde Thursday Next novels because I have no idea which genre those fall into) and I've seen arguments for R. Scott Bakker (not really my style, don't dig how he plays the characters/relationships) or Patrick Rothfuss (some portions are utterly brilliant imo, others...aren't), or, err, maybe others. Point being, I've definitely heard arguments for a number of other book? This got a bit rambly.

I'm just not as huge an aSoIaF fan as a lot of people; I tend to be a lot more engaged in Essos for whatever reason. Maybe I just hate the Middle Ages. :p
   44. Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4415129)
(Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian


My sister because of some medical conditions has for her entire life had a problem where she occasionally substitutes an utterly random word for the word she means to use. It happens just rarely enough that it is funny to her and, thus, everyone, which I thank god for.

Anyway, my all time favorite was when we were on a family vacation and she presented me with a book (the historian) that she had just finished and said,

"You have to read! I just finished it! It's about Rudyard Kipling!"

I looked and the book and said, "this is about Rudyard Kipling?"

and she said, "No, no, not Rudyard Kipling. Dracula."

   45. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4415133)
Also, is Dune fantasy or SF? It kind of rides that line, IMO.
   46. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:14 PM (#4415135)
Also, is Dune fantasy or SF? It kind of rides that line, IMO.

I was wondering about that book specifically, and a couple of other similar sci-fi novels, in the above post too, which is probably why it's so unclear/windy (and why I copped out and just said "some China Mieville books", hoping that would be vague enough, heh).
   47. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:17 PM (#4415143)
I found book 4 to be a large disappointment. Basically, it was boring. Nothing happened. I'm in the middle of book 5 now, so not quite done with the published stuff. Anyway, book 5 is a whole bunch of nothing. Nothing is resolved, but nothing even really moves along. I don't really want to give specific examples, because of spoilers, but the plot isn't really at a different place at the end of the book than it was at the beginning.
   48. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:19 PM (#4415144)
Name me the fantasy novel that's clearly better than A Storm of Swords. There's several great fantasy novels that might be better, my pick would be the Silmarillion, and perhaps The Two Towers, but having read a lot of fantasy in my teens and most of the highly recommended stuff since, very little comes close to ASOS.


Lord of Light is better than A Storm of Swords. So are Titus Groan and Gormenghast. And The Handmaid's Tale, five or six Discworld books, and at least a couple Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books. Possibly also The Mists of Avalon and The Last Unicorn if you're into that sort of thing.

Also: The Silmarillion isn't even a novel, and it's the sixth-best LotR-related book. (Yes, sixth. I'd rather read The Adventures of Tom Bombadil than try to slog through the Silmarillion again.)

   49. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:23 PM (#4415150)
Name me the fantasy novel that's clearly better than A Storm of Swords.


A Storm of Swords is not even a particularly good book. Among it's flaws are far too many characters, a lack of resolution of central themes, and of course all the chapters with Arya and Daenerys are wastes of time.

In no particular order:

100 Years of Solitude
--Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I mean, it's never referred to as a fantasy novel because it's Literature, but it is fantasy. Macondo is just as wonderful and made-up as Narnia.

Perdido Street Station
--China Mieville. I would say that The City and the City was a better book, but was more science fiction. This is more fantasy/horror.
American Gods--Neil Gaiman. You could also put Neverwhere here, but I liked American Gods better (I think).
The Magicians
--Lev Grossman. I was so disappointed by the sequel. This book is really great, though. Just don't read the sequel.
The Princess Bride
--substantively different from the movie, and the annotation conceit is carried off well here.
The Great Book of Amber (really just the first 5)
--Roger Zelazny. If I had to pick a single book, I'd take the Guns of Avalon. Each book is tight. Each book tells a story and is compelling on its own. It literally has everything that you see in A Song of Ice and Fire (save midgets and gratuitous sex scenes), but with more humanity, more literate prose and better storytelling.
The Once and Future King
--T.H. White. Still fresh and vibrant years later. The best treatment of the Arthur mythos.
Lord Foul's Bane
--Stephen Donaldson. The later books sort of drop off, but the shock of the protagonist is so fresh in this first book.
   50. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:24 PM (#4415151)
Lord of Light is better than A Storm of Swords.


Lord of Light is close, but I'm not sure I can sign off on it, given how rushed the ending felt. Also, it's another one that's hard to classify as fantasy or SF.

Titus Groan and Gormenghast.


Not my cup of tea, but I guess someone could make a case for them.

The Handmaid's Tale


Sorry, but no. Not better, and calling that "fantasy" stretches the term to the breaking point.

five or six Discworld books


Maybe? Depends on which ones, I think. Seems pretty hard to make a direct comparison between the two. You could add Barry Hughart's novels in the same general category here.

at least a couple Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books


As much as I love those, I can't really go along with it.

Possibly also The Mists of Avalon and The Last Unicorn if you're into that sort of thing.


The former, not so much, IMO. The latter, maybe, though again it's a very different type of novel.
   51. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:27 PM (#4415156)
100 Years of Solitude
--Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I mean, it's never referred to as a fantasy novel because it's literature, but it is fantasy. Macondo is just as wonderful and made-up as Narnia.


If you count magical realism, then yeah, GGM wins.

American Gods--Neil Gaiman. You could also put Neverwhere here, but I liked American Gods better (I think).


American Gods, I could see, but not Neverwhere. It hasn't aged well.

The Great Book of Amber (really just the first 5)
--Roger Zelazny. If I had to pick a single book, I'd take the Guns of Avalon. Each book is tight. Each book tells a story and is compelling on its own. It literally has everything that you see in A Song of Ice and Fire (save midgets and gratuitous sex scenes), but with more humanity, more literate prose and better storytelling.


Good, but if we're going with a Zelazny, I think Lord of Light has a better claim.
   52. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4415157)
Oh, man, I thought of another one: The Name of the Rose. That's a killer book, but is it fantasy or historical fiction?
   53. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:29 PM (#4415158)
Good, but if we're going with a Zelazny, I think Lord of Light has a better claim.


I had it on there, but took it off because it is technically sort of science fiction.

I mean, honestly, it's all speculative fiction, so differentiating between them is sort of stupid, but I figured someone would pick nits with it, so I went with the GBoA. Really, Guns of Avalon is right up there with Lord of Light.
   54. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4415164)
Maybe? Depends on which ones, I think. Seems pretty hard to make a direct comparison between the two. You could add Barry Hughart's novels in the same general category here.


Men at Arms and Small Gods are both just great fantasy books (and of course better than A Soiree with Sabers or whatever it's called.)
   55. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:40 PM (#4415177)
Maybe? Depends on which ones, I think. Seems pretty hard to make a direct comparison between the two.


I left it vague to get out of answering. I'd lean toward something in the Mort/Reaper Man area. Sure, it's hard to make a direct comparison. But that's what we're doing! A Storm of Swords is book 3 of at least 6, so it should be okay to pull books out of the middle of a longer series to compare it to.
   56. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4415178)
Oh, man, I thought of another one: The Name of the Rose. That's a killer book, but is it fantasy or historical fiction?


Historical fiction. There's no magic or mythological creatures.
   57. Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:42 PM (#4415179)
And The Handmaid's Tale

Another one I was considering, but I wasn't sure if it was fantasy. Wonderful novel, though.
The Mists of Avalon

Oh, man, I love that one too, totally forgot about it.
Perdido Street Station
--China Mieville. I would say that The City and the City was a better book, but was more science fiction. This is more fantasy/horror.

Embassytown is my favourite Mieville (and one of my favourite sci-fi books in general), but it's very clearly sci-fi, I avoided naming that specifically and went more generic above, heh.
   58. Chokeland Bill Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:46 PM (#4415184)
Even with the smuggler past, Davos strikes me as probably the most well-intentioned character in the series. Barristan Selmy also comes to mind. There's an interesting discussion to be had in this regard about the Lannister brothers.

Name me the fantasy novel that's clearly better than A Storm of Swords.


Deadhouse Gates from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series might be, I'd have to see how it holds up on a re-reading. The Malazan series as a whole is probably better than ASoIaF, since it A. is finished and B. doesn't suffer a dramatic drop in quality in the later books (there is a drop after book 6, but not a huge one).

ASoIaF mostly suffers from bloat in books 4 and 5, and I think the show has a good chance of avoiding that. Certainly it will dodge the no Jon/Tyrion/Dany problem from book 4 by intermixing the material. A few of the Martells and Greyjoys who don't really contribute much can be cut (I'm thinking Quentyn and Damphair for sure), and Dany's book 5 plot can definitely be thinned out a bit. It will be interesting to see how the show handles the surprise new character from book 5, as well as the secret behind the three-eyed crow. The backstory in general needs to start popping up more if things like Jon Snow's parentage are as important as most fans believe.
   59. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 08:53 PM (#4415188)
ASoIaF mostly suffers from bloat in books 4 and 5, and I think the show has a good chance of avoiding that. Certainly it will dodge the no Jon/Tyrion/Dany problem from book 4 by intermixing the material. A few of the Martells and Greyjoys who don't really contribute much can be cut (I'm thinking Quentyn and Damphair for sure), and Dany's book 5 plot can definitely be thinned out a bit. It will be interesting to see how the show handles the surprise new character from book 5, as well as the secret behind the three-eyed crow. The backstory in general needs to start popping up more if things like Jon Snow's parentage are as important as most fans believe.


I am somewhat militant on this, but ASoIaF suffers from bloat throughout. Arya's character is a good example of this as there are whole books where you can just skip her sections without any consequences. Similarly, Robb is mostly duplicative with Ned.

edit:
Embassytown is my favourite Mieville (and one of my favourite sci-fi books in general), but it's very clearly sci-fi, I avoided naming that specifically and went more generic above, heh.


Embassytown was a great concept, but I don't think he executed it all the way into a great novel. The ending's rough.
   60. JJ1986 Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:10 PM (#4415219)
I am somewhat militant on this, but ASoIaF suffers from bloat throughout. Arya's character is a good example of this as there are whole books where you can just skip her sections without any consequences. Similarly, Robb is mostly duplicative with Ned.


Arya in Book 4 is the worst example of Martin sticking with a character because she's already been in it; we could leave her and pick back up when she was doing something interesting. However, I really like her chapters in the first 3 books. (The other kind of bloat - having to see what's happening all over the world first hand, when we just heard about it in the first three books - is worse)

And Robb features prominently in maybe three chapters in the first three books, two of which are unnecessary, but it's not much of the story.
   61. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4415221)
Oh man, I am so happy with the discussion I've spawned.

eta: this is in lieu of a larger post discussing contenders to the throne of "greatest fantasy novel ever" argument, but I'm largely in agreement with Vlad. Also, anyone who thinks the Silmarillion is hard to read hasn't gotten past the very short, not very good epic poem that kicks it off. Everything once Feanor gets involved is top flight high fantasy, well above and beyond The Lord of the Rings.
   62. toratoratora Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:30 PM (#4415240)
Let's see, I wouldn't call Dune fantasy-it's pretty clearly SciFi, swords be damned.
As far as better fantasy novels, my all time favorite "fantasy" would probably be Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale, though that probably falls closer to GMM magical realism style than straight fantasy.
John Crowley's Little Big is pretty darn good too.
I'll back the first set of Amber books, but the second set, dear Lord, what a waste. And sorry, I read WoT since the first book came out and while it's a good series, it in no way stands with ASOIAF. The first few books are straight Tolkien rip offs, Jordan hits his stride about 1/2 through book three, four and five aren't bad, and then, kinda like GRRM, wanders throughout the middle novels badly in need of an editor. And we won't even discuss the job Sanderson did finishing them. Yeah, I'm glad the series was completed, but man, BS is well, BS. A cat on a WoT forum aptly compared Sandersons completion into the Ecce Homo restoration. Fafhrd and Mouser come close, Books 1 # 3 of the series are about as fine as fantasy gets even if they are short stories.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:38 PM (#4415253)
Let's see, I wouldn't call Dune fantasy-it's pretty clearly SciFi, swords be damned.


What about the Bene Gesserit? A lot of the stuff they do is de facto magic, though not de jure.

I'll back the first set of Amber books, but the second set, dear Lord, what a waste.


Yep.
   64. zonk Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:42 PM (#4415258)
Sooo.... I'm watching this 'Defiance' thing on whatever syfy has become (Wrestling and Reality TV?) - and trying to decide if I have something here worth my time.
   65. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4415261)
Dune is SciFi. Everything "magical" about it is built out of an early understanding of genetics and BF Skinner's behavioralism. Atop that, it's about a space empire.

I'd also argue that magical realism is a different genre from traditional western fantasy. Otherwise, Borges is the greatest fantasy author in the history of what is and what will be.

Heck, he's got as good an argument as anyone not named Shakespeare to that title regardless of genre.

ETA: LeGuin might be better than GRRM, especially if we're judging them on a contained story basis. A lot of what makes ASOS so good is the payoff from the first three books.
   66. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4415269)
Heck, he's got as good an argument as anyone not named Shakespeare to that title regardless of genre.


Ooh! Macbeth has witches in it; can I claim it as a work of fantasy?

My basic problem when discussing "the best [WHATEVER]" is that my mind always tries to go for the corner cases so I can argue about whether something qualifies in the first place. FWIW, I think the line between fantasy and science fiction is usually fuzzy and sometimes completely nonexistent. Like Dragonriders of Pern: clearly fantasy, regardless of how many space ships show up.
   67. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4415276)
I put that poorly, I meant best writer regardless of genre. That makes me a Borges fanboy, obviously.

eta: I think the Pern novels dealing with the initial settlement of Pern are sci-fi, even though the series as a whole is fantasy.
   68. Mefisto Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:10 PM (#4415287)
Arya is the best character in the series. tshipman is going on her list if he keeps this up.

That said, GRRM definitely needs an editor, preferably one who will delete all his food descriptions. That alone would save an entire tree.
   69. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4415303)
Arya is the best character in the series.


You can skip all of Arya's sections from the end of book one to whenever she gets to (spoiler alert) Braavos.

You will miss absolutely nothing.
   70. Tripon Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM (#4415308)
I see some people(not here, but other websites) complaining that the show is going so 'slow' that the children characters are aging too fast, specially complaining of Bran and Arya's actors. I haven't read the books myself outside of a couple of chapters, but this seems like an odd complaint. The series as a whole seems to take place over years, not a couple of months. Just traveling from the North to where the Capital is seems to be a months long trip. Something long enough that it isn't just a weekend trip from L.A. to Las Vegas that my friends and I take every six months or so.

Besides, the characters aging just means it'll hurt less when they all die in a brutal fashion.
   71. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:35 PM (#4415311)
The series as a whole seems to take place over years, not a couple of months.


How many years? With two seasons for book 3, and at least two more seasons for books 4 and 5, even the actor who plays Rickon is going to be 16 by the time the show gets to where the books are now. The actor who plays Bran will be 18.
   72. JJ1986 Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM (#4415313)
I think the first four books take up less than two years time. The fifth can't be more than another six months.
   73. McCoy Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4415317)
Considering how long Book 3 is I think you can lump all the Watch novels into one big book and probably say that it is a greater book than Book 3. When you think about George and Terry have probably written a very similar amount of pages about their respective worlds or will by the time George is done.
   74. McCoy Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4415320)
I think the story was supposed to take many years but George sped up the timeline which I believe caused part of the delay in the finishing of the books. I believe the 5 books cover around 3 years of time. Originally (well, not originally originally) the series was going to be a set of trilogies with a break in between to allow time to move forward a great deal.

I truly believe George has backed himself into a corner and has no real idea how to end this series.
   75. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4415323)
In series Jaime has said he was captive for a full year. Jaime was captured near the end of season one. So we're looking at roughly 2.5 years passing in show until the present point.

You can skip all of Arya's sections from the end of book one to whenever she gets to (spoiler alert) Braavos.


You're not one of those people who think that a journey's worth is not where you end up but how you get there, huh? That's fine, but it really kills one thing that I think ASOIAF does better than most any fantasy series (and better than most any book), which is showing personal development. She's a vastly different person when she escapes Kings Landing compared to when she gets to Braavos, and skipping even half the interim would make the change jarring.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that some people don't find the spread and length and depth of the series enjoyable. I agree that GRRM needs an editor. And I can completely understand how people find his interest in so many characters distracting from the central story. But I still defend it as a master class in worldbuilding that hasn't been approached since Tolkein, and that fantasy depends very much upon worldbuilding in a way even science fiction doesn't.
   76. Mefisto Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:51 PM (#4415324)
You can skip all of Arya's sections from the end of book one to whenever she gets to (spoiler alert) Braavos.

You will miss absolutely nothing.


Nah, the scene in the Inn is epic, and many others are very good. They better do the inn scene right on the show.

Edit: Ditto to scott.
   77. JE (Jason) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 10:53 PM (#4415325)
I truly believe George has backed himself into a corner and has no real idea how to end this series.

It's a shame Suzanne Pleshette passed away.
   78. McCoy Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4415331)
In series Jaime has said he was captive for a full year. Jaime was captured near the end of season one. So we're looking at roughly 2.5 years passing in show until the present point.


The series pushed all the timelines forward two years so that the actors playing the children can be older and thus potentially better actors. They have also made time move faster within the series to try and keep up with the real life aging of the child actors.
   79. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM (#4415336)
I truly believe George has backed himself into a corner and has no real idea how to end this series.


I don't. I think he might have bloated the series beyond what he can easily deal with, but I'm fairly sure he knows where the story is going to end with. It's not that hard to surmise.
   80. toratoratora Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:10 PM (#4415339)
I truly believe George has backed himself into a corner and has no real idea how to end this series.

Nah-He's said that from day one he knew how the series was ending and he's stuck with that assesment all through the years.His problem was two fold 1-He decided that instead of a five year gap between SOS and whatever book he had planned next (Which was the original outline)he needed to fill in the gaps that occurred during that period-hence A Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. This led to problem number 2- The Meerenese Knot and how to get Danni off of the continent and back to Westeros.
That's where he got lost (Well that, and I have a funny feeling that he's got so many characters and threads going he's kinda lost in the shuffle-he's going to have to do a massive kill off soon to solve this issue)
Course, keep in mind that lots of folks had similar complaints about WoT and the meandering there, but it all came to fruition in the final books so maybe, just maybe, Martin knows what he's doing.

IIRC, he even said something to the extent that the person who ends up on the throne is the most unlikely suspect of all. My personal dark horse candidate in this category is Sweet Robin, simply because WTF else is more unlikely.
   81. Tripon Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM (#4415340)
Too bad the official Fire Emblem game seems to be cruddy. Martin or whomever has the rights should probably get Nintendo and Intelligent Systems (who makes the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series) to make a Game of Thrones game using the new Fire Emblem game engine. I want to slay some White Walkers on a 16x16 grid map.
   82. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM (#4415342)
Nah-He's said that from day one he knew how the series was ending and he's stuck with that assesment all through the years.


They always say that.
   83. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4415343)
The series pushed all the timelines forward two years so that the actors playing the children can be older and thus potentially better actors. They have also made time move faster within the series to try and keep up with the real life aging of the child actors.


Right, but insofar as it's a self contained piece, it's dealt with the time issue adroitly.
   84. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4415344)
They always say that.


Except it's not that hard to see where ASOIAF is going. The question is in the details but is anyone really doubting that Bran is going to warg one of the dragons and light some Others up?
   85. Monty Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4415345)
No, I agree that the ending actually is planned this time. It's just...they really do always claim that everything's planned out. And in this case, I think Martin has an ending but maybe not a clear plan on how to get there.

It's possible that I'm being influenced by Wild Cards, which I liked a lot. But after awhile, it definitely suffered from not having an overall plan. So that's how I think of GRRM, you know?
   86. Mefisto Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:36 PM (#4415348)
My personal dark horse candidate in this category is Sweet Robin, simply because WTF else is more unlikely.


Hot Pie? Pod? Hodor? Patchface? Penny?

And if you don't want to rule out the dead, the possibilities are endless.
   87. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4415350)
You're not one of those people who think that a journey's worth is not where you end up but how you get there, huh? That's fine, but it really kills one thing that I think ASOIAF does better than most any fantasy series (and better than most any book), which is showing personal development. She's a vastly different person when she escapes Kings Landing compared to when she gets to Braavos, and skipping even half the interim would make the change jarring.

I'm perfectly willing to accept that some people don't find the spread and length and depth of the series enjoyable. I agree that GRRM needs an editor. And I can completely understand how people find his interest in so many characters distracting from the central story. But I still defend it as a master class in worldbuilding that hasn't been approached since Tolkein, and that fantasy depends very much upon worldbuilding in a way even science fiction doesn't.


I don't even understand what this means. Worldbuilding? The #### does that mean? We're focusing on very specific characters who are at times saved by deus ex machina devices. It's not a world.

Re: Destination/Journey: I accept it, but to a limit. He's had over 5,000 pages, and everyone's still on the wrong continent. Literally half the characters are duplicative in the series. Littlefinger and Tyrion, Robb and Ned, etc.
   88. Tripon Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:42 PM (#4415351)
HODOR HODOR HODOR
   89. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:46 PM (#4415354)
SPOILERS:

Robb and Ned I can see as being similar, but that is intentional given that it's the son failing in the same way the father did. The RW is a double down on Ned's execution. Littlefinger and Tyrion are nothing alike.

And by worldbuilding, I mean that he's creating a world that's not real but is very well designed and which seems realistic but for the fantasy/fictional elements. It's not an easy task, and it's what makes something Fantasy instead of Magical Realism.

And in this case, I think Martin has an ending but maybe not a clear plan on how to get there.


That's possible, but I feel like once he hits a certain point everything will fall into place. It's getting there that's the hard part. But that's total fanwank on my part.
   90. tshipman Posted: April 15, 2013 at 11:52 PM (#4415361)
Littlefinger and Tyrion are nothing alike.


They have the exact same character arc. Seriously.

Also Jon Arryn's crazy little kid and Joffrey are identical characters.

Davos and that guy who's in love with Daenarys.

Um, there's more. Can't remember them all.

The only characters that matter are Bran, Arya, Daenarys, and Jon Snow. Maaaaaybe Jaime/Brienne. Maybe Rickard will matter eventually, but if so, he's been pretty solidly window dressing for 5,000 pages.

That is annoying to me that he wastes so much time on tangents--and on characters who are narratively identical.

edit:
And by worldbuilding, I mean that he's creating a world that's not real but is very well designed and which seems realistic but for the fantasy/fictional elements. It's not an easy task, and it's what makes something Fantasy instead of Magical Realism.


So why all the deus ex machina? Sorry, the people don't seem that realistic to me ... It just has a lot of extraneous ####.
   91. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:09 AM (#4415369)
If I was a closer my entry music would be either Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, or Ride of the Valkyrie. Or the trumpet flutter in Miles Davis' Spanish Key, just to #### with their heads.
   92. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:23 AM (#4415375)
The only characters that matter are BranAryaDaenarys, and Jon SnowMaaaaaybe Jaime/Brienne


I'm inclined to agree with this, though I wouldn't rule out Sansa either.
   93. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:35 AM (#4415378)
If I was a closer


Mine would be SOAD's Cigaro. Uncensored.
   94. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:44 AM (#4415380)
They have the exact same character arc. Seriously.

Wha? No.

Also Jon Arryn's crazy little kid and Joffrey are identical characters.

Wha? No.

Davos and that guy who's in love with Daenarys.

Wha? No.

Are you sure you're talking about the right book series?
   95. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:45 AM (#4415381)
Again, I agree with Vlad.
   96. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4415383)
If I was a closer my entry music would be either Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, or Ride of the Valkyrie. Or the trumpet flutter in Miles Davis' Spanish Key, just to #### with their heads.


I think this is mine. Seems like it'd work well with a nice slow walk out of the pen.
   97. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:10 AM (#4415387)
You need to start it at least 25 seconds in. But that is a good one.
   98. Monty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:14 AM (#4415390)
I'd just go with Carmina Burana. Sure, everybody's heard it a million times. But it still works!
   99. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:20 AM (#4415392)
I'd just go with Carmina Burana. Sure, everybody's heard it a million times. But it still works!


Wouldn't work in Pittsburgh. That's the music on the video they play before the start of the game - you wouldn't want to double up.
   100. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:03 AM (#4415425)
I don't. I think he might have bloated the series beyond what he can easily deal with, but I'm fairly sure he knows where the story is going to end with. It's not that hard to surmise.

I think he knows what the end should be but I don't think he knows how to actually do it.

Once he got his ducks in a row this series was supposed to be a 6 volume series. Now it is a 7 volume series that will most likely get expanded to at least eight volumes.

A big part of the problem is time in Westeros. The series is supposed to happen over 10 to 15 years so as to let the kids and dragons grow up but it is really hard to skip many years without writing about those missing years which is why George abandoned the whole 3 books then jump 5 years and write 3 more books concept.

I'll also say that while it is predictable what the end game will be in some rough shape of an outline I don't think anyone can really say with confidence who is going to come out on top when it is all said and done.
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