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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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   101. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:17 AM (#4415434)
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.

This sounds like a great pool in the making!

Which way to do it? Odds on various characters being alive at the end? A draft with all currently live characters available?*


*Currently dead or presumed dead characters also available, good for double points if they somehow end up alive!
   102. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4415438)
That is annoying to me that he wastes so much time on tangents

The Brienne chapters in Feast For Crows is my example of bloat. She goes on a quest and there are chapters and chapters about it, but nothing really happens. What was the point of those? Especially because we already know that she's on the wrong trail. We know about Sansa so we know she's on a wild goose chase. Book 4 is a whole bunch of "nothing happens".

To repeat, I'm not through book 5 yet, so maybe some of this will turn out to be important.
   103. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:28 AM (#4415439)
Also, hasn't GRRM said that he told the show producers the outline of the resolution? So that in case something happens to him that they can finish the show the way that he wants it. If so, that would indicate that he does, in fact, know where it's going.
   104. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:39 AM (#4415445)
The Brienne chapters in Feast For Crows is my example of bloat. She goes on a quest and there are chapters and chapters about it, but nothing really happens. What was the point of those? Especially because we already know that she's on the wrong trail. We know about Sansa so we know she's on a wild goose chase. Book 4 is a whole bunch of "nothing happens".

I'm kind of between the two camps of "bloat" and "world building". I lean more towards one or the other depending on how I feel that day.

But the Brienne chapters in book 4 are among the most interesting of the whole series from a certain point of view. You see everyday life in a way you don't in any other chapter, with the exception of some hints of it in Arya's chapters. Septon Meribald's monologue by itself is worth the price of admission. I'm not a particular fan of Nimble Dick, but the background and flavour he gives you of Crackclaw Point is stuff you wouldn't get anywhere else. From the perspective of bloat I can see how this is a draw-back. Is Crackclaw Point relevant to the plot of the main story? Do we need to know anything about it? Not really. But it all depends on why you're reading the book. For me, learning about places like Crackclaw Point is part of the fun. I'm in no great rush to conclude the main storyline, and as long as the world Martin is building is interesting, and populated by interesting characters I enjoy reading about it, even if it has no bearing on who sits the Iron Throne.
   105. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:41 AM (#4415447)
If so, that would indicate that he does, in fact, know where it's going.

So do the Underwear Gnomes.
   106. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:46 AM (#4415455)
I also think Brienne being on the wrong trail of a pointless quest is a wonderful complement to her character. She's a bit like Book 1 Sansa, in that she thinks she's in an epic poem, when reality so obviously contradicts her. It's probably not an accident that Meribald, who gives probably the least romantic account of the events of Westeros thus far, is coupled with Brienne.
   107. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4415460)
The Brienne chapters in Feast For Crows is my example of bloat. She goes on a quest and there are chapters and chapters about it, but nothing really happens. What was the point of those?


It sets her up to be honor-bound to participate in a plot to kill Jamie, whom she has come to love (even though she can't admit it to herself yet). So it'll produce entertaining interpersonal conflict, and at the end of it she'll probably end up forswearing her oath - something GRRM set up a couple of books ago when Brienne was taunting Jamie about his stained honor. If she doesn't spend that book wandering around with Pod and Hyle Hunt and Septon Meribald and the like, the threat against their lives isn't going to be compelling enough for her to go down that path, and if it was just her, she'd probably rather die than sell out like that.

Those chapters also give you a ground-level view of the troubles in the kingdom and an insight into the way the common people live and are suffering during the war, a perspective that lords in their castles can't give you. If the whole book was just important people doing important things, winning battles and signing treaties, it's be a shallow world and a boring story.
   108. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4415463)
I also think Brienne being on the wrong trail of a pointless quest is a wonderful complement to her character.

I guess so, but it seems like the entire book is like that. Very little of note happens the entire time.

One thing that I like about the series is that even the "smart" characters' plans don't always work. Tyrion sends 100 redcloaks as an envoy to Riverrun with 4 spies to free Jaime (not in this book, just an example of what I like). You figure it's going to work since he's Tyrion and he's smart. But it doesn't.

The problem is that the entire 4th book is like that. People make plans, they try them, they don't work. We're basically right back where we started at the end. Of course, there are a few exceptions (Arya), but overall, nothing happens.

Also, while there is some deus ex machina in the series, I don't think it's too much. And I think that kind of thing might actually happen in real life. Sometimes you'll get unexpected help. Sometimes the help you expect doesn't come.
   109. Ron J2 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:59 AM (#4415465)
I really like the books by Kay (in particular The Lions of Al-Rassan and Tigana). But the fantasy content is low, particularly the recent books (the most recent two are almost pure historical fiction). There's enough fantasy in Lions of Al-Rassan that it qualifies for the genre and I'd rather read it than anything Martin has done (and I'm a Martin fan)

I can see the logic of classifying Lords of Light as SF.

I think I prefer the first McCaffrey dragon novel to Martin (they went downhill fast, but that has nothing to do with the merits of the first book)

In certain moods I'll choose Sanderson (Way of Kings in particular, though I'm not hopeful long term. It's supposedly a planned 10 part series). He simply writes better action scenes.

   110. The Good Face Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4415504)
Gene Wolfe is the greatest prose stylist in genre fiction by miles; he's a lot better than many writers of "real" literature. His only real shortcoming is a clumsy hand at characterization. The same dreamlike surrealism that suffuses his writing makes it hard to accept his characters as people.

Joe Abercrombie writes excellent action scenes; he was a video editor before he took up writing, and it shows. Strong character driven work, although the plotting and prose are just adequate for the most part.

R. Scott Bakker's Second Apocalypse is brilliant, if borderline deranged. At it's heart a tale of a manipulative sociopath saving the world from alien rape monsters (played UTTERLY seriously), he's somehow made a story with virtually no sympathetic characters and the crappiest of crapsack worlds incredibly compelling. The metaphysics of his world alone are fascinating and could probably support a few dissertations. However, like a lot of authors, he's sometimes too enamoured with his own cleverness and hides the ball from the reader perhaps more than he should.

Put me in with the people who thought Brienne's POV was the best thing about book 4. Also put me down as thinking GRRM doesn't live to finish his work. He's in his mid-60, fatter than a bear in August, has at least 3 books to go, and has produced exactly 2 books over the past 13 years.
   111. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4415509)
Joe Abercrombie writes excellent action scenes; he was a video editor before he took up writing, and it shows. Strong character driven work, although the plotting and prose are just adequate for the most part.


Yeah, I'm quite happy I started reading Abercrombie while waiting for GRRM to finish. I really enjoyed the First Law trilogy, and while his subsequent books are a bit uneven, I think they're also well worth reading.
   112. The Good Face Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4415529)
Yeah, I'm quite happy I started reading Abercrombie while waiting for GRRM to finish. I really enjoyed the First Law trilogy, and while his subsequent books are a bit uneven, I think they're also well worth reading.


I thought The Heroes was probably his best work, but he's remarkably consistent; no real clunkers on his resume. Plus he has a good workrate; almost always a new book every 18 months or so.
   113. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4415530)
Gene Wolfe is the greatest prose stylist in genre fiction by miles; he's a lot better than many writers of "real" literature.


I like Jack Vance's style a lot, though he's nearly a hundred years old and is pretty much retired at this point.
   114. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM (#4415542)
I'm kind of between the two camps of "bloat" and "world building". I lean more towards one or the other depending on how I feel that day.

But the Brienne chapters in book 4 are among the most interesting of the whole series from a certain point of view. You see everyday life in a way you don't in any other chapter, with the exception of some hints of it in Arya's chapters. Septon Meribald's monologue by itself is worth the price of admission. I'm not a particular fan of Nimble Dick, but the background and flavour he gives you of Crackclaw Point is stuff you wouldn't get anywhere else. From the perspective of bloat I can see how this is a draw-back. Is Crackclaw Point relevant to the plot of the main story? Do we need to know anything about it? Not really. But it all depends on why you're reading the book. For me, learning about places like Crackclaw Point is part of the fun. I'm in no great rush to conclude the main storyline, and as long as the world Martin is building is interesting, and populated by interesting characters I enjoy reading about it, even if it has no bearing on who sits the Iron Throne.


*spoilers*

The problem is this: these chapters are not in addition to important parts of the story, they are instead of important parts of the story.

E.G. I wouldn't mind reading a bunch of near-pointless chapters about Sam on a stupid boat trip and his silly adventures across the sea if there also was also chapters about him once he gets in Oldtown, or chapters on any of the other 1/2 dozen characters who are doing things more interesting than a stupid boat ride and whom we don't hear about for thousands of pages.
   115. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4415550)
I wouldn't mind reading a bunch of near-pointless chapters about Sam on a stupid boat trip and his silly adventures across the sea if there also was also chapters about him once he gets in Oldtown, or chapters on any of the other 1/2 dozen characters who are doing things more interesting than a stupid boat ride and whom we don't hear about for thousands of pages.


In theory, you're going to get chapters about Sam in Oldtown, too. Just not in that book.
   116. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM (#4415554)
I thought The Heroes was probably his best work, but he's remarkably consistent; no real clunkers on his resume. Plus he has a good workrate; almost always a new book every 18 months or so.


The Heroes is my favorite book of his, with Last Argument of Kings tucking in behind, but I think if I was trying to argue best, I'd probably have the 2 reversed. LAoK is just breathtaking as Abercrombie starts dishing out what he's been setting up the entire time ...

I thought Red Country quite good as well, but was much less taken with Best Served Cold, which just kind of wore me out with its incessant "twists" ...
   117. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4415568)
I thought Red Country quite good as well, but was much less taken with Best Served Cold, which just kind of wore me out with its incessant "twists" ...


Loved The Heroes, never really connected with Best Served Cold, and Red Country was a western. Logen is a great character and all, but that book was straight cowboys vs indians. Didn't think it fit in with the rest of his world building at all.
   118. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM (#4415573)
In theory, you're going to get chapters about Sam in Oldtown, too. Just not in that book.


Maybe.

I wish he had never gone into detail about the Iron Islanders. If they were just a force to be reckoned with, but we only encountered them in chapters from other people's points of view, there would have been space to cover some of the neglected areas.
   119. The Good Face Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4415575)
The Heroes is my favorite book of his, with Last Argument of Kings tucking in behind, but I think if I was trying to argue best, I'd probably have the 2 reversed. LAoK is just breathtaking as Abercrombie starts dishing out what he's been setting up the entire time ...


I can see that, at least from the perspective of narrative payoff. LAoK dishes that stuff out by the shovel, and it's wonderfully done.

I thought Red Country quite good as well, but was much less taken with Best Served Cold, which just kind of wore me out with its incessant "twists" ...


Huh, I felt the opposite. Red Country felt kind of self-conscious and contrived to me, as Abercrombie desperately attempted to contort his world into the trappings of a Western.
   120. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM (#4415577)
I'm in no great rush to conclude the main storyline, and as long as the world Martin is building is interesting, and populated by interesting characters I enjoy reading about it, even if it has no bearing on who sits the Iron Throne.


I agree. I see this as similar to what happened with WoT. Obviously Jordan dieing had an impact, but from what Sanderson and Jordan's wife have said, the conclusion to the series was IT for the world. No further spin off books or stories were anticipated. I think Martin is trying to get in all he can about the world, because when he is done with ASoIaF that is it. Could be wrong on that, and after the series wraps up in 10 years there will be countless small series or one offs a la Dragonlance. We shall see.
   121. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4415580)
I wish he had never gone into detail about the Iron Islanders. If they were just a force to be reckoned with, but we only encountered them in chapters from other people's points of view, there would have been space to cover some of the neglected areas.


I don't really understand that perspective. Martin can write as many pages as he wants. Writing about the Iron Islands isn't going to keep him from writing about other things, too, if he wants to write about them.

What areas do you think are being "neglected"?
   122. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4415582)
I think Martin is trying to get in all he can about the world, because when he is done with ASoIaF that is it. Could be wrong on that, and after the series wraps up in 10 years there will be countless small series or one offs a la Dragonlance. We shall see.


Given the existence of the Dunc and Egg stories, I think we might see some other works about earlier periods in the history of the franchise.
   123. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4415587)
Given the existence of the Dunc and Egg stories, I think we might see some other works about earlier periods in the history of the franchise.

Which George claims he is interested in doing once the main series wraps up. He has stated that once the main story finishes there will be no more novels about it but that he would like to tell more stories about the "historical" Westeros.


The one thing that always amuses me about fantasy novels is how progress throughout the centuries is never made. There are never any innovations and life is much the same today as it was 2,000 years ago in fantasy novels. Unless of course innovation (deus ex machina) is required to solve the current time's conflicts and then even then those innovations don't have far sweeping effects.
   124. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4415591)
Martin can write as many pages as he wants. Writing about the Iron Islands isn't going to keep him from writing about other things, too, if he wants to write about them.


He can only write about a finite amount of things.

What areas do you think are being "neglected"?


There's been nothing about Rickon for several whole books.

Nothing about Sam once his journey reaches Oldtown.

There's an exciting buildup w/ Stannis' troops in the snow and then we never go back to it.

Dorne and the Vale

Davos' mission from Manderly

Re-juvenated Catelyn and that whole group

Hand-less Jaime.

----

I like the expansive world-creating, but I wish he had curtailed the expansion once he stopped being able to cover the world that he had already created.
   125. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4415592)
Huh, I felt the opposite. Red Country felt kind of self-conscious and contrived to me, as Abercrombie desperately attempted to contort his world into the trappings of a Western.


Oh, no doubt it's an odd beast and the seams show, but as awkward as it was at times, I enjoyed it quite a bit, which elevated it (to me at least) above BSC, which also felt terribly contrived, as it felt like Abercrombie desperately attempted to see how many plot twists he could stuff into the story, like he was working through a dare from another author.

Still, I'd say that although both had their warts, there's enough there for someone that enjoyed his other books to be worth their time ...
   126. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4415595)
Given the existence of the Dunc and Egg stories, I think we might see some other works about earlier periods in the history of the franchise.


Martin has already signed a deal to develop another series for HBO, which is widely believed might be the Dunk and Egg material:


In exciting news for fantasy and Game of Thrones fans out there, George R. R. Martin has discussed the real possibility of a Dunk & Egg series for HBO.

This news comes hot-on-the-heels of the announcement in early February that Martin had signed a two-year deal with HBO to stay on as Executive Producer on Game of Thrones and write a script per year. The deal also included creating a brand new series for the premium cable network.

And this is where it becomes really exciting.

Martin just confirmed to IGN that HBO may be considering adapting Martin’s novellas on the adventures of Dunk & Egg, two characters who lived a century before the events of Game of Thrones.

Martin described the series of stories (there are currently three—The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight—and Martin has ideas for nine or ten more) as more adventurous, saying “Maybe that will be what we’ll do. We’ll see.”

The A Song of Ice and Fire author is only pitching these ideas to HBO (along with a sci-fi series and some historical dramas) since he is busy at work on the last two novels, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. He confirmed he would not write the scripts, but hopes HBO will get another Benioff and Weiss to supervise which ever series that will ultimately be chosen.
   127. AROM Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4415600)
The one thing that always amuses me about fantasy novels is how progress throughout the centuries is never made. There are never any innovations and life is much the same today as it was 2,000 years ago in fantasy novels. Unless of course innovation (deus ex machina) is required to solve the current time's conflicts and then even then those innovations don't have far sweeping effects.


I think it's more like 8000 years. To me that unchanging world (A Stark always ruling Winterfell, etc.) requires as much suspension of disbelief as the dragons and undead. Just think of how massive the Winterfell crypts would have to be, holding so many generations of Starks.
   128. Mefisto Posted: April 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4415604)
There's been nothing about Rickon for several whole books.


That's because Rickon is a shaggydog story.
   129. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM (#4415642)

There's been nothing about Rickon for several whole books.
Nothing about Sam once his journey reaches Oldtown.
There's an exciting buildup w/ Stannis' troops in the snow and then we never go back to it.
Dorne and the Vale
Davos' mission from Manderly
Re-juvenated Catelyn and that whole group
Hand-less Jaime.
----
I like the expansive world-creating, but I wish he had curtailed the expansion once he stopped being able to cover the world that he had already created.


Pretty much all of the lack of updates in book V about these storylines is because they were covered in book IV. Martin had to split the books and chose to cover (roughly) half the characters in one and half in the other. Not the prettiest way of doing it, but he should be back to covering all the storylines in book VI.
   130. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4415644)
And I see I was mistaken out not writing about the world in other books. I guess it all depends on him living another 40 yrs so we can get all the stories out of him.
   131. Shredder Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4415645)
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.
This isn't really surprising to learn. I just finished book 4 and am ready to start book 5, but the note at the end of the iPad version of book 4 says that he basically wrote it at the same time as book 5, and instead of splitting them by chronology, he'd do it by character. He thought it would be better to tell all the story for half the characters instead of half the story for all the characters. So if things moved slowly in book 4, I suppose I should expect that for book 5.
   132. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4415656)
Plus the whole Dany storyline was crap because he has to allow time to pass before she becomes interesting again but he can't simply leave her out of the books for 15 real time years.
   133. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4415662)

There's been nothing about Rickon for several whole books.

Nothing about Sam once his journey reaches Oldtown.

There's an exciting buildup w/ Stannis' troops in the snow and then we never go back to it.

Dorne and the Vale

Davos' mission from Manderly

Re-juvenated Catelyn and that whole group

Hand-less Jaime.


With the exception of hand-less Jamie, who got pretty extensive treatment in the most recent book, these are all likely to be prominently featured in the next book. We needed to wait for other stuff to happen in other parts of the world until GRRM was able to write about them, which is why he's writing about them in that book rather than the most recent one. So it's not a choice between Sam's sea voyage and the Rickon update you want. It's a choice between Sam's sea voyage and a shorter most recent book that still doesn't have any Rickon in it.

It seems to me like your complaint ultimately boils down to Martin not writing as quickly as you would like, more than anything else.
   134. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4415664)
Has anyone read Rothfuss's second book? I'm waiting for the mass-market. (For which there was no release date, last I heard, actually.)
   135. Shredder Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4415672)
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.
Mine would by Ghost Town, by the Specials.
   136. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4415691)
So it's not a choice between Sam's sea voyage and the Rickon update you want. It's a choice between Sam's sea voyage and a shorter most recent book that still doesn't have any Rickon in it.


Why?

....these are all likely to be prominently featured in the next book.


But lots of time has passed so it's unlikely that we are going to go back to where they were left off for all of them. For a lot of those situations, we are going to just jump to where those characters are "now."

It seems to me like your complaint ultimately boils down to Martin not writing as quickly as you would like, more than anything else.


I just read all the books this winter, so I wasn't waiting around for Dance with Dragons to come out.
   137. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4415695)
Has anyone read Rothfuss's second book? I'm waiting for the mass-market. (For which there was no release date, last I heard, actually.)

I enjoyed it, from what I recall. He expands the world beyond the university, which is nice.
   138. Bourbon Samurai Posted: April 16, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4415696)
Has anyone read Rothfuss's second book? I'm waiting for the mass-market. (For which there was no release date, last I heard, actually.)


Yeah, it was good- not as good as the first one but good. Doubles down on the Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings stuff.
   139. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:02 PM (#4415700)
A sea voyage is rather boring. What did you want to read about for that voyage?

Sam was in A Feast for Crows which is why he wasn't in A Dance With Dragons.
   140. Lassus Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4415702)
Thanks, guys. I'm more of a sci-fi than a fantasy guy but I picked that first one up on a stoop in NYC one night and found it passable on the subway so I ended up finishing it.
   141. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4415704)
A sea voyage is rather boring. What did you want to read about for that voyage?


I didn't want to read about that voyage.

(edit to remove unintended question mark.)
   142. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:11 PM (#4415712)

For the time being Sam's story is complete. There isn't much there right now. He has done his part to move the story along.
   143. JJ1986 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:14 PM (#4415713)
For the time being Sam's story is complete. There isn't much there right now.


There isn't much to Dany's or Tyrion's story right now either, but Martin still wrote hundreds of pages about them (or about how turtles are a delicacy in some region no one has heard of before).
   144. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4415732)
And Dany's story sucked because of it. Tyrion was not in AFFC but was in ADWD just like Sam was in AFFC but not in ADWD. Tyrion was written about to get him next to Dany.
   145. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4415740)
This isn't really surprising to learn. I just finished book 4 and am ready to start book 5, but the note at the end of the iPad version of book 4 says that he basically wrote it at the same time as book 5, and instead of splitting them by chronology, he'd do it by character. He thought it would be better to tell all the story for half the characters instead of half the story for all the characters. So if things moved slowly in book 4, I suppose I should expect that for book 5.

Right, so I'm barely ahead of you (maybe 1/3 through book 5). I get that he split them up. Maybe it's just coincidence that the less-interesting characters are "in and around" King's Landing right now. OK. But it's not so much whether or not the characters are interesting, I don't think. It's that at the end of the novel we're not really at a different point plot-wise than we were at the start. GRRM seems to actually acknowledge this by making the very last line of the book "Pate, the pig boy" putting us right back to the prologue.

After reading some of the comments here, it almost seems like GRRM wanted to advance the story by a year or so, but didn't want to just say "One year later". So he wrote a bunch of filler stuff. I mean, other than Arya, who is in a materially different place (plot-wise, not location) at the end of the book than at the beginning? And we only got, like, 2 Arya chapters.
   146. toratoratora Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4415743)
Obviously Jordan dieing had an impact, but from what Sanderson and Jordan's wife have said, the conclusion to the series was IT for the world. No further spin off books or stories were anticipated.

Yeah, but Jordan had planned a set of Outrider stories featuring Mat and Tuon. They were only cancelled because of his death.
That said, part of the reason I'm not complaining about GRRM's "meandering" is because of Jordan. WoT tended to wander quite a bit in the middle books, but lots of that wandering came to fruition in the final books and you could see the reason for the plot arcs. But while they were still developing, the plotlines looked aimless and silly-it was only when one could step back and see the entirety of the tapestry that the placement of individual threads began to make sense. I'm hoping that GRRM is operating on the same principle.
Side notes
Book 2 of Rothfuss isn't nearly as good as the first. Meanwhile, I almost mentioned The Heroes in good fantasy but didn't think it's absolute upper echelon top shelf masterpeice stuff. The same goes with Lies of Locke Lamora, which I think is better than anything Abrecrombie has yet done.
   147. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4415747)
I haven't discussed this anywhere else, so maybe this is old hat, but GRRM did something in Book 4 that did infuriate me. He did a lot of the "Dan Brown suspense building". The main reason I hated The DaVinci Code was that the author didn't tell us what the character knew. Chapters would end with "He looked at the photo and was horrified." And then in the next chapter it was "He thought about the photo and wondered". Or "The second line of the poem stuck out at him". But we're supposed to be in the character's head and we don't know what he knows. It's artificial suspense because we don't feel the suspense of the character not knowing. We're in his head but he keeps us from things.

The Cersei-Prophecy was like that. We're in Cersei's head in the chapters but we only get snippets of the story. It's building up of suspense by just not telling us something that happened as opposed to the character actually feeling the suspense. I think it's false, and it annoyed me.

If I was reading on an actual book instead of the Kindle, I may have thrown it across the room when I read "Brienne screamed a word". We're in Brienne's head! We should know what the word is. I've seen a bit so far in book 5 but I don't know if it's as bad.
   148. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4415749)
After reading some of the comments here, it almost seems like GRRM wanted to advance the story by a year or so, but didn't want to just say "One year later"

He wanted to move it forward by 5 years. These books were always going to largely be a time wasting device for George once he decided he wasn't going to jump ahead 5 years.
   149. JJ1986 Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4415759)
I mean, other than Arya, who is in a materially different place (plot-wise, not location) at the end of the book than at the beginning?


Brienne is. Sansa is too, though her story isn't exciting at all.
   150. Shredder Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4415765)
GRRM seems to actually acknowledge this by making the very last line of the book "Pate, the pig boy" putting us right back to the prologue.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but I'm pretty sure that "Pate" in the last chapter is not the same Pate in the prologue. I mean, the other characters may think that he is, but that Pate is dead, and I don't want to give too much away, but the Pate at the end of the book is not who he appears to be (sorry if you already know this).
   151. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4415770)
If I was reading on an actual book instead of the Kindle, I may have thrown it across the room when I read "Brienne screamed a word". We're in Brienne's head! We should know what the word is. I've seen a bit so far in book 5 but I don't know if it's as bad.

I enjoyed books 4 and 5 (not as much as 3 mind), but I had a very similar reaction.
   152. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4415786)
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but I'm pretty sure that "Pate" in the last chapter is not the same Pate in the prologue. I mean, the other characters may think that he is, but that Pate is dead, and I don't want to give too much away, but the Pate at the end of the book is not who he appears to be (sorry if you already know this).

Oh, I realize this. But I thought it was a kind of nod to saying that we're back where we started.
   153. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4415790)
Brienne is. Sansa is too, though her story isn't exciting at all.

Seriously?

At the end of book 3 Brienne's given the quest. By the end of book 4 she has simply wandered around the countryside, not discovering anything.

At the end of book 3 Sansa is whisked off to the Vale. By the end of book 4 she is... still at the Vale and nothing has happened.
   154. Monty Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4415798)
The same goes with Lies of Locke Lamora, which I think is better than anything Abrecrombie has yet done.


I don't know if The Lies of Locke Lamora is great, but I do know it's enormously fun to read.
   155. The Good Face Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4415816)
A sea voyage is rather boring. What did you want to read about for that voyage?


I didn't want to read about that voyage.


This really gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to books 4 and 5. Plenty of characters went on extremely long journeys in the first three books, but it usually happened offscreen. Catelyn went from Winterfell to King's Landing and back again, and we weren't privy to the details; she got to where the plot demanded she be and things happened from there. Hell, Littlefinger apparently had the ability to teleport around Westeros at will in the first few books. But for some reason Martin decided that virtually no journey could go undocumented in books 4 and 5 and the pacing has really suffered for it.
   156. The Good Face Posted: April 16, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4415821)
I don't know if The Lies of Locke Lamora is great, but I do know it's enormously fun to read.


Yep. Not a great book, but a fun enough read just for the "Ocean's 11 in fantasy Venice" setting.
   157. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4416002)
Hell, Littlefinger apparently had the ability to teleport around Westeros at will in the first few books.

I've heard this before, and I'm trying to work out where he travels to.

If this site were up and running it would be easy - a live map which tracks any character you like through the course of the book.

Off the top of my head - he heads out in the general direction of Bitterbridge and meets up with the Tyrells, then presumably joins their host on their march on King's Landing. Then he claims to set off for the Vale, but really hangs out in a ship off the coast until Joffrey's wedding. Is there somewhere else he goes?
   158. Nasty Nate Posted: April 16, 2013 at 04:49 PM (#4416036)
Well, in the TV show he appears in Renly's camp and also far away in Harrenhal to meet with Tywin Lannister, although I'm not sure he did that in the books.
   159. McCoy Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:11 PM (#4416056)
I really want to reread the series but they are so damn long and the first 100 pages of the series are so godawful that it makes it virtually impossible for me to do so.
   160. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:13 PM (#4416059)
Well, in the TV show he appears in Renly's camp and also far away in Harrenhal to meet with Tywin Lannister, although I'm not sure he did that in the books.

It's possible (in the sense that we don't get Tywin or Littlefinger chapters so when he's not in King's Landing we really don't know where he is). But in terms of explicitly mentioned locations of Littlefinger I think it goes:

King's Landing
Bitterbridge
King's Landing
His house in the Fingers
the Eyrie

I think in book 4 or 5 he goes off some place in the Vale to meet up with various Lords and Ladies.
   161. Greg K Posted: April 16, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4416064)
I really want to reread the series but they are so damn long and the first 100 pages of the series are so godawful that it makes it virtually impossible for me to do so.

Assuming you're talking A Song of Ice and Fire, sadly I have read the series five times now I believe? And books 1-3 I've read at least 12 times.

I can be a bit compulsive when I choose to be.

Though apparently that still didn't qualify me to write a chapter for an upcoming "Song of Ice and Fire and Popular History" book. Apparently Lord Baelish as a transitory figure between medieval concepts of familial honour and early modern concepts of state service honour was "too esoteric".


...not that I'm bitter.
   162. Misirlou has S.C.M.O.D.S Posted: April 16, 2013 at 06:27 PM (#4416117)
It's possible (in the sense that we don't get Tywin or Littlefinger chapters so when he's not in King's Landing we really don't know where he is). But in terms of explicitly mentioned locations of Littlefinger I think it goes:

King's Landing
Bitterbridge
King's Landing
His house in the Fingers
the Eyrie


I think that's right. It's Cat who really gets around. Winterfell, Kings Landing, Winterfell again (with a detour to the Eyrie) (those two moves alone probably qualify her as the longest traveled character, excepting maybe Sam, and I guess Tyrion now that he's in Essos. Certainly the longest exclusively in Westros), then with Robb's host through the Twins to Riverrun, then to Renly's camp and back, then the Twins again, then finally off in some unknown location with the BwoB.
   163. Baldrick Posted: April 16, 2013 at 08:20 PM (#4416219)
That said, part of the reason I'm not complaining about GRRM's "meandering" is because of Jordan. WoT tended to wander quite a bit in the middle books, but lots of that wandering came to fruition in the final books and you could see the reason for the plot arcs. But while they were still developing, the plotlines looked aimless and silly-it was only when one could step back and see the entirety of the tapestry that the placement of individual threads began to make sense. I'm hoping that GRRM is operating on the same principle.

Disagree. Strongly.

Jordan wrote all kinds of stuff into the middle four or five books that was totally irrelevant to the conclusion. WTF was the point of Masema? Why spend all that time with the Sea Folk? Remember all those intricate mysteries about who killed X random character, who is totally irrelevant? Do you remember who was the killer? Of course not. Who cares?

You could basically cut the entire Crossroads of Twilight book and what would you lose? Perrin goes to the wolf dream and putzes around...Mat is in a tavern and in a bad mood...things are spoiling...Okay, next book.

Sad to say, but bringing Sanderson in was the best thing that could have happened to the WoT. He tied off loose ends and actually got around to advancing the plot.
   164. tshipman Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4416526)
We needed to wait for other stuff to happen in other parts of the world until GRRM was able to write about them, which is why he's writing about them in that book rather than the most recent one. So it's not a choice between Sam's sea voyage and the Rickon update you want. It's a choice between Sam's sea voyage and a shorter most recent book that still doesn't have any Rickon in it.


Thank you for adequately summing up the problems with George R. R. Martin. The fact that the books are so bloated that a simple story cannot be told without pointless digressions that do not move the story along is the entirety of the problem.
   165. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 17, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4416601)
Thank you for adequately summing up the problems with George R. R. Martin. The fact that the books are so bloated that a simple story cannot be told without pointless digressions that do not move the story along is the entirety of the problem.


Not asking this in a snarky way, if you think the books are bad, then why did you read them?
   166. Shazbot Posted: April 17, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4416788)
I can't speak for him, but I have a time-consuming and boring job where I'm either busy or manning a switch. I read through WoT a few years back and it could have been literally anything, I still would have read it. I can definately see Martin wandering around a lot, but he's got a long, long way to go to get as bad as WoT is for that. That said, though, if Winds of Winter doesn't actually move, I think I'll give up on the series.
   167. toratoratora Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4416843)
Disagree. Strongly.

Jordan wrote all kinds of stuff into the middle four or five books that was totally irrelevant to the conclusion. WTF was the point of Masema? Why spend all that time with the Sea Folk? Remember all those intricate mysteries about who killed X random character, who is totally irrelevant? Do you remember who was the killer? Of course not. Who cares?

You could basically cut the entire Crossroads of Twilight book and what would you lose? Perrin goes to the wolf dream and putzes around...Mat is in a tavern and in a bad mood...things are spoiling...Okay, next book.

Sad to say, but bringing Sanderson in was the best thing that could have happened to the WoT. He tied off loose ends and actually got around to advancing the plot.

I said lots, not all.
WARNING_SPOILERS AHEAD!

Disclaimers aside, the Masema thing was designed to get Perrin to chase him, which led to A-Perrin finally growing up and accepting his leadership role, B-Perrin acquiring an army, and C-a resolution to the whole whitecloaks thread that had been going on since book one.
The Sea folk thing is a better point (Though I wonder how much of this occurs because BS and not RJ wrote the final books, but they do spend pretty much the entirety of AMoL combating the dark one's weather control while Rand's fighting (If you want to call it that) the dark one. Did lots of it get dropped-Sure. But how much of that is because Jordan’s original vision was derailed we'll never know.)
And while CoT isn't exactly my favorite book, it's main purpose is twofold-to hook Perrin up with an army and, far more importantly, for Mat to get together with Tuon (Their courtship is freaking hysterical too, one of the better sectors of the middle books IMHO. This paved the way for Mat becoming the Prince of Ravens, which has a huge role in his becoming the chief general during Ragnarok.
I'm not saying I like all the ways Jordan/BS went about it, and surely an editor was badly needed to cut out the excess fat (Like all the tea drinking crap-Dear God, that was awful and went on endlessly, but I am saying that during the central books, the entire plot line that once seemed somewhat pointless had an ultimate purpose. Sure, some of it was worldbuilding (I think the sea folk fall into this category in many ways), some had to do with character growth, but lots was simply completely relevant to the plot as it progressed towards it's conclusion.
And I say this as a guy who's not all fanboy fond of WoT. I like the series, but it's not all that and a bag of chips. As stated earlier, I find the first few books weak in writing and originality, think he desperately needed an editor who wasn't his wife in the central sections, and damnitall, if he could have cut down the excess scenes and verbiage, hell, maybe he could have finished the series before he passed.
   168. Baldrick Posted: April 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4416871)
Maybe we're just talking past each other, but every single thing that 'happened' in CoT could have easily been stuck into Winter's Heart. Easily. Those two books run to something like 1500 pages, of which maybe two or three hundred actually advanced the plot in any useful way.

On Masema, for example: Perrin had been basically fuzing around being lame for six or seven books - at ANY point in that time, he could have 'grown up and accepted his leadership role.' I understand that Masema served a point back in book 2-4. But the fact that we had to keep following him around endlessly...no.

All I'm saying is: the first six books of the series were bloated but enough fun to keep me genuinely interested. The middle four or five books are just an exercise in self-indulgence that really can't be excused. Even assuming the desire for massive world-building and intense detail, the whole series could have been done in 8 or 9 books and would have been markedly improved. It wouldn't have been 'tight' by any means, but it could have rescued us from some of the more egregious meanderings.
   169. zack Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:01 PM (#4416885)
I still find it unbelievable that anyone could read five WoT books, let alone the entire series. And I understand the feeling of keeping up with something terrible just to stay with characters you like, but they are just so awfully written.
   170. The Good Face Posted: April 17, 2013 at 01:07 PM (#4416897)
I still find it unbelievable that anyone could read five WoT books, let alone the entire series. And I understand the feeling of keeping up with something terrible just to stay with characters you like, but they are just so awfully written.


/signed

I think I made it ~4 books in before I stopped. Not once did I ever regret that decision or have the slightest interest in picking the series up again. Derivative, formulaic trash at the time it was written; I can't imagine what it'd be like reading it today.
   171. Ron J2 Posted: April 17, 2013 at 02:04 PM (#4416979)
#170 Was recently re-reading David Gemmell's "Quest For Lost Heroes". In the intro he doesn't specifically mention Jordan but does mention the number of "kid on a quest to save the world" books and had decided to write a story where the heroes are all past their prime and are doing something that they absolutely know is not of earth-shaking importance. (written partly as therapy, to help him deal with his having been laid off)

And yes, I get that Gemmell's not exactly somebody to be complaining about derivative or formulaic. Though when it comes to the genre his major characters are not exactly cookie cutters. Druss, Skillgannon, Waylander come to mind. Particularly the Druss in Legend. (the other Druss books are truly formulaic)
   172. The Good Face Posted: April 17, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4417013)
#170 Was recently re-reading David Gemmell's "Quest For Lost Heroes". In the intro he doesn't specifically mention Jordan but does mention the number of "kid on a quest to save the world" books and had decided to write a story where the heroes are all past their prime and are doing something that they absolutely know is not of earth-shaking importance. (written partly as therapy, to help him deal with his having been laid off)


Yeah, the "A young hero rises from humble origins, acquires true companions and restores meaning to a meaningless world." premise was moldy even back when the WoT first came out. It's one of the reasons I'm so fond of Bakker's Second Apocalypse; his story is, "A mature hero(?) descends from exalted origins, manipulates everyone he meets to serve his own ends, and tries to destroy meaning in a world filled with it."
   173. Lassus Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:08 PM (#4417072)
Yeah, the "A young hero rises from humble origins, acquires true companions and restores meaning to a meaningless world." premise

Lloyd Alexander, come on down!
   174. Ron J2 Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4417105)
#172 I really enjoyed the first set of books. I'm kind of struggling with the new series. Not sure exactly what the difference is.
   175. The Good Face Posted: April 17, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4417129)
#172 I really enjoyed the first set of books. I'm kind of struggling with the new series. Not sure exactly what the difference is.


The metaphysical uncertainty has really been ratcheted up in the Aspect Emperor series, and since the series isn't complete yet it can be difficult to know what's significant and what's not. The mechanics behind Damnation and the Outside are critically important to making sense of what's happening, and the reader is still kind of in the dark as to how they work. Souls are real. The Outside is real. The agencies that live in the Outside are real. Everything else is subject to debate.

It's possible to read and enjoy the Prince of Nothing series without engaging too deeply on that stuff; it's a complete story arc with a reasonably strong conclusion. But in the Aspect Emperor, the first question any reasonably attentive reader asks is "Why is Kellhus leading the Ordeal against the Consult?" Does he plan to destroy them? Join them? Either could make sense depending on what Kellhus knows or believes he knows, but as readers we're ignorant through the first two books and it's frustrating.

Alternatively, the second series could just not be as good because the POV characters are less interesting. Cnaiur and Conphas were both awesome POVs to inhabit, and I miss their absence.
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