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Res_Ipsa
07-14-2011, 01:30 AM
So having finished the book once and in the middle of a 2nd read-through at a more leisurely pace I thought to discuss it here with others who have read the book.

Its only Thursday morning and others might not have had the time to read it through. So I will ask in advance if anyone has an issue with discussing it now?

Isabel
07-14-2011, 02:27 AM
I don't ;) But not sure about the others.
Anyway, there are spoilers for the whole book in my post.








So what did you think? I did enjoy the book. However, i didn't remember everyone so i skimmed through some of the chapters.

I do have to admit the plot hasn't really moved forward, except for that thing with Jon. I find it really annoying that GRRM put that chapter in the end. Especially since we have to wait 2-3 years before we know if he is dead or not, if he is going to be resurrected or not.
It would have been better if he would have left that chapter out and put it in the next book.

MistCloud
07-14-2011, 07:25 AM
Varys must be a long-term, deep-cover agent for the Targs, which would explain all his actions since the series' start. Everything is aimed at de-stabilizing the Seven Kingdoms to allow a Targ to regain the throne.

The Boltons may have Mance Rydar but I don't think they've destroyed Stannis' army. The banker's arrival at Stannis' camp will frustrate the planned Karstark betrayal.

Although I think Jon is really dead, if Melisandre can get to him in time, we may have an un-Jon to go with our un-Cat.

Res_Ipsa
07-14-2011, 08:00 AM
Martin is an excellent author known for his convoluted plot lines that end up being a master lace. However, he seems to either have no talent or patience for real suspense. I never believed the Onion Knight was dead in AFfC. Nor was Brienne.

I agree with you Ishara that the book seemed hardly to have gone anywhere. One thing I find interesting is having read the pre-release excerpts years and years ago the changes to the script and how and when plot devices were put forward.

I was right on Jon but not how. Is he truly dead or dying? Hmm I think the Red woman idea has merit. I don't think Ramsey was telling the whole truth, a shocker there I know.

Tyrion had some great moments.

I felt the addition of Rhaegars son and Connington a bit late into the game was not needed. Then again this book could be one of the middle of the series by the time it is done.
Dany, meh. I think the whole Daario thing was a cop-out. She had burned away all her vanity and youth before and all of a sudden is simply hot to trot with the dude.
Female dwarf seems a bit of an easy plot device especially how her brother and her are related to Tyrion.
Mormont did pretty much nothing.
Victarion having a red priest guide has potential but his plot hardly advanced.
Quentyn dying was a shocker, dumb kid that he was. It seems that Dorne will have to draw and alliance through its princess and the newly alive Targaryan male.


Overall I feel the book is a worthy read however I feel Martin is not dealing with too many plot-lines and trying to weave as fine a thread as he had before with less success. It was a bit meandering at times and certainly did not advance the plot much but the charm or revulsion of the characters is still there and it is a worthy addition to the series. Martin is a master and I do think he can pull all these seemingly useless threads back into a semblance of an order if not a masterpiece. However, the pacing of the books will need to be brisker from here on out otherwise its the WoT in terms of length but without all that careful planning on RJs part that makes his epic work.

Davian93
07-15-2011, 08:31 AM
Absolutely terrible and pointless. That's how I feel about the last 5 years I just waited for this book.

GRRM has completely lost his way at this point. I don't even think he knows where he's really taking the story at this point.

Almost ZERO real plot advancement occurred. Hopefully he's actually working on Winds of Winter because I simply don't care to wait another 5 years for more cliffhangers and more deaths.

The entire Quentyn plotline was an utter waste of time...why devote so many damn chapters to it???

Jon is clearly not dead dead and I'm getting sick of people coming back from the dead anyway.

Stannis is clearly still alive too even though we are supposed to think he's gone.

I also agree on the Aegon plotline...dont add something like that in Book 5 of a 7 book series.


I'm pretty pissed right now on it overall. Its well written and interesting at times but none of the excessive plotting is getting anywhere at this point.

Res_Ipsa
07-15-2011, 04:03 PM
Absolutely terrible and pointless. That's how I feel about the last 5 years I just waited for this book.

GRRM has completely lost his way at this point. I don't even think he knows where he's really taking the story at this point.

I agree here, I think your statement is supported by the obscenely long wait to get the book. It is obvious GRRM had a block and even with the book out now was not able to satisfy that.

Almost ZERO real plot advancement occurred. Hopefully he's actually working on Winds of Winter because I simply don't care to wait another 5 years for more cliffhangers and more deaths.

Those cliffhangers were not even resolved satisfactorily. Brienne shows up like Doc Brown and is like "Jaime, something has to be done about your kids". Ok not so much Back to the Future but its frustrating when you expect to deal with two books that are obviously a poorly edited single book and just feed "cliffhangers".


The entire Quentyn plotline was an utter waste of time...why devote so many damn chapters to it???

And Victarion is shaping up to be the same thing.

Jon is clearly not dead dead and I'm getting sick of people coming back from the dead anyway.

That and you want vindication that he is a Targaryan although I think Aegon being back might be RR Martins way of screwing with that

Stannis is clearly still alive too even though we are supposed to think he's gone.

Yeah for a man with intricate plots he has no subtlety. I would not believe those statements could be true together but with Martin it seems that more and more.


I'm pretty pissed right now on it overall. Its well written and interesting at times but none of the excessive plotting is getting anywhere at this point.

The book is plodding and full of unnecessary additions but I still enjoyed it. Frustrating, yes but I liken it to Perrin's plot. As long as it gets where it needs to go (In a fistpumping uber fanboy way) I will forgive him the crappy parts.

I should add the books first chapter and epilogue were very satisfactory.

Varys killing Pycelle and Kevan was unforseen and while I think its a bit of a stretch for the character it could herald his desire to actually start effecting the change he so inadequately professed to.

Basel Gill
07-17-2011, 07:29 AM
This doesn't bode well. I have been waiting for this damned book for 6 years along with everyone else. Cursing GRRM all the way for the wait. (Hell, he's no spring chicken, he could die before he ever THINKS about finishing). NOW...all these rave reviews...

Hate to think such a good story could go to shit like that.

cottillion
07-18-2011, 11:28 AM
First off I completely agree with a lot of the opinions here. There was way to little plot advancement for such a long wait. I feel that if the parts of Feast for crows and a dance with dragons that ran on the same timeline were put together and condensed it would be a good book.
A few things on Dwd.
Aegon does seem a very late entry to the game but I feel he is just the mummer's dragon that is talked about in more than one prophecy. It was dragged out a bit but I came to like the plotline with him and Jon Connington. I especially like the potential with Connington and his greyscale.
Quentin was an idiot and deserved to burn.
Varys is clearly working to prepare Westeros for the Targs arrival.
As to Jon, I have a big theoryland style theory in the works for him and how the plot will go from here but it's as of yet incomplete. A few things on it though:
-Mel had a vision of him as a man, then a wolf, then a man again.

The flames crackled softly, and in their crackling she heard the whispered name Jon Snow. His long face floated before her, limned in tongues of red and orange, appearing and disappearing again, a shadow half- seen behind a fluttering curtain. Now he was a man, now a wolf, now a man again. But the skulls were here as well, the skulls were all around him.

-The second dream to do with this came a while back from Bran:
Jon dreams of the direwolves, and realizes that one of the female wolves is dead. Then he hears a voice behind him, a silent shout or whisper, and he looks around, searching for a lean grey shape. He sees a sapling weirwood rapidly growing from the cliff side, and it has Bran's face, except it has three eyes. He wonders if his brother always had three eyes, and the weirwood tells him that it wasn't the case until the crow. John smells wolf, tree and boy, and warm earth, hard stone and death. Bran tells him that he likes it in the dark, and then the weirwood touches Jon to open his eye. Suddenly Jon slips into Ghost and sees things from his perspective.
-Third, his death fits the prophecy for Azor ahai reborn perfectly.

"when the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, Azor Ahai shall be born again amidst smoke and salt to wake dragons out of stone."
The knight that was getting swung around by Wun Wun was bleeding and his crest is a star. Winter was just heralded by the white birds so the darkness has gathered. He noted how the blood from his wounds looked like they were smoking. Then last you have the salt in Bowen's tears. I think the "wake the dragons out of stone" is yet to come.
-So with all this I feel Jon is now chilling in Ghost and will be resurrected but by other means than Mel.

As to resurrection being used to much, there really hasn't been that many so far. besides the mindless wights there are only a few characters that we have that have been brought back. There have been a lot of cliffhangers and feints but few real resurrections. Also Martin said at one point that all of the little resurrections were paving the way for a major one in the future I guess. Which makes sense cause if you just had a character brought back to life in book 6 or 7 after never having seen it previously in the book it would look kind of cheap.

Cor Shan
07-18-2011, 04:49 PM
I'm going to be contrary here. While yes, it did drag on, it finally felt good to be back in the North, to be focused on Ice and Fire - not the much less interesting War of the 4-6ish Kings.

On the other hand, if everything could just hurry up a little bit, it would be wonderful.

Did not see Jon, Aegon, or Tyrion's misfortune coming.(Dany's escapade seemed about par for the course.) I skimmed the chapter after Jon's Red Meeting, I was in such shock. I saw a review which claimed that one main character seemed pretty dead after this book, and I thought it was Tyrion when he fell off the ship.

Mort
07-18-2011, 07:33 PM
Just finished the book.

Wow.

No way in hell GRRM will be able to complete this in just two books, unless he's going to split each into two again.

I love the details and the character stories, but the major plot is only creeping forward. Could have been expected since it was split in half, but considering the last two books now and what happened in them... yeah.

I was really surprised about what happened to Jon. Either he's dead, and that's a shame. Or he'll survive by some miracle, and that's old and stale by now. Loose-loose situation :(

I wonder if GRRM did this so that Jon is somehow released of his vows? Although his place is at the Watch IMO. This story hasn't only been about who gets to be king, but I have been waiting for an Other invasion, who is to take care of that if not Jon?

I don't know what to make of this book.

Kimon
07-19-2011, 01:33 AM
I almost wonder if GRRM decided that he had to bring in the Aegon and Connington plotline to make up for the fact that Dany is such a vapid disappointment that ending the series with her on the throne would be an abomination. Her entire part in this series has been the most boring, and that time she spent in Meereen was frankly unforgivable. What could she possibly have been thinking? Meereen is too far from Westeros that she could possibly have envisaged ruling both it and the Seven Kingdoms. She should have simply played the part of a marauding horde, marched past the city, demanded tribute, fed some of the schmucks to her dragons, and then continued on her way. I kept hoping that Selmy would just flat out ask her what the hell they were doing wasting their time out in the middle of bloody nowhere. At least he killed Quentyn. That idiot deserved to die. Hopefully Dany will die of dysentery and Aegon will get her dragons and marry Arianne instead of her. That's unfortunately too much to hope for, but honestly, I'm going to be pissed if Jon really is dead and yet she stays alive, filling the book with yet more dull chapters of her wandering aimlessly in the Far East.

I'm not quite sure what to make of the Arya plotline. Is there some point to her becoming a Death Priestess? At least I still find her interesting, but honestly I'd rather see her return to Westeros and kill Qyburn and the resurrected Mountain. But will she do that, or will she just stay in Braavos and eventually just really become "No One" and cease being Arya Stark? That would be an incredibly crappy way to "kill" her off.

Mort
07-19-2011, 05:20 AM
I agree on Arya. It would also take a long time for her to go beyond an Acolyte, if she is to finish her training. The next book has to jump a few years if we are to have her full trained and ready. I don't like it.

Dany was hard reading, more than usual. Aegon was better in that instance, they were at least invading now. But since doing things gets you killed in GRRMS books, I don't suspect they'll live long.

Kimon
07-19-2011, 06:19 PM
Any thoughts on Coldhands? Is he Benjen?

Cor Shan
07-20-2011, 12:13 AM
Also, does anyone take Aegon to be support for R+L=J, at least until Jon got knifed?

Heres what I'm thinking.

Aegon I took over Westeros with 3 dragons and his 2 sisters riding them.

Daenerys now has three dragons, and now two cousins/siblings/etc. One of these dragons is white, obviously Jon's colour. I'm not sure between Aegon VI and Dany who is green (Rhaegal) and who is black (Drogon), but probably that order due to Dany and Drogo's little campout on the Dothraki sea. Of course, ASOIAF nerds have probably already made the connection between Viserion and Ghost's colouring in relation to R+L=j

Isabel
07-20-2011, 12:47 AM
Any thoughts on Coldhands? Is he Benjen?

Yes, that would be logical ;)

WinespringBrother
07-20-2011, 10:40 AM
Also, does anyone take Aegon to be support for R+L=J, at least until Jon got knifed?

Heres what I'm thinking.

Aegon I took over Westeros with 3 dragons and his 2 sisters riding them.

Daenerys now has three dragons, and now two cousins/siblings/etc. One of these dragons is white, obviously Jon's colour. I'm not sure between Aegon VI and Dany who is green (Rhaegal) and who is black (Drogon), but probably that order due to Dany and Drogo's little campout on the Dothraki sea. Of course, ASOIAF nerds have probably already made the connection between Viserion and Ghost's colouring in relation to R+L=j

New to ASOIAF theorizing LOL ... this gives me an idea. Can wargs control dragons? Was there anything in the books to say that the Targaryens (SP) were wargs?

Mort
07-20-2011, 11:28 AM
New to ASOIAF theorizing LOL ... this gives me an idea. Can wargs control dragons? Was there anything in the books to say that the Targaryens (SP) were wargs?

Not that I recall. It will be interesting, if Jon survived that is, if/when he meets a dragon. Although he's so untrained being a warg that he'll probably not be able to do much to/with a dragon.

I was dead sure that Quentyn was gonna be one of the dragon riders. I got real surprised of that outcome.

I'm thinking you do not want to go invading a dragons mind if you're a warg. I'm thinking it'll be similar to Fitz in the Tawny Man Trilogy (sequal to Farseer trilogy).

StrangePackage
07-25-2011, 05:49 PM
Where do whores go?

Duh.

Through the Hodor.

Davian93
07-25-2011, 08:44 PM
Where do whores go?

Duh.

Through the Hodor.

LMAO!!! Just fantastic.

Davian93
07-25-2011, 10:11 PM
Those cliffhangers were not even resolved satisfactorily. Brienne shows up like Doc Brown and is like "Jaime, something has to be done about your kids". Ok not so much Back to the Future but its frustrating when you expect to deal with two books that are obviously a poorly edited single book and just feed "cliffhangers".

Too funny and so damn accurate.

A couple weeks have gone by and I'm still simply massively disappointed by this book. Way too long and nothing happened. Maybe instead of giving us the blow by blow by blow of Tyrion's, Quentyn's, and Aegon's travels, you fade to black and just have them arrive at their destinations? Boom, that's 400 pages off the top right there that can be used for actual events and interesting stuff. Dany is probably the most annoying and boring character in the the entire story and if I have to read any more dumbass chapters about her on the far side of the world, I'll probably just burn the book and move on. Get her to Westeros or kill her off...nobody gives a damn about Astaphor and Meereen and Qohor, etc etcc. I still think the Aegon/Jon Connington plotline is brutally unneccssary at this point. It would have been FANTASTIC if it occurred in Clash or Storm but waiting until Book 5 is just stupid.

As always, it was well written but nothing happened. It was marching and marching and sailing and sailing and then some more sailing with no real plot progression.

Mort
07-26-2011, 04:55 PM
As always, it was well written but nothing happened. It was marching and marching and sailing and sailing and then some more sailing with no real plot progression.

As someone said about the fellowship of the ring movie trilogy: "It's three movies about walking.". I think it was Kevin Smith who said it. It's so true, even though I enjoyed the movies, that's what they are.

Somehow, Fantasy usually ends up in this category. It seems to draw authors who write big ass stories and doesn't seem to know how to compress their writing, wittle out the dead weight and come to the center of the story.

maacaroni
07-27-2011, 09:56 AM
Is this GRRM's crossroads of twilight? The crappy feeder book for greater things to come?

I hope so.

I thought dance was brilliant in places but plodding and irrelevent in others. Tyrion's POV could be dismissed as a travelogue but that would not be fair in my opinion...he met Aegon/Connington, he was a plot device to return Mormont into the story and he is almost to Dany. He is also the most knowledgable man of dragonlore.

Dany's story arc was long and hard work. To some degree, so was Jonny Snow's. It was amazing how Selmy's two chapters were immensely better than pretty much all of Dany's lusting, worrying and dithering. Jon's saving the wildlings went on and on and on...I would have stabbed him too!

And talking of dragonriders...there's a long held theory that Joanna Lannister was raped by Mad Aerys and that Tyrion is a Targaryen.

Davian93
07-27-2011, 10:20 AM
And talking of dragonriders...there's a long held theory that Joanna Lannister was raped by Mad Aerys and that Tyrion is a Targaryen.

A theory that was significantly strengtened in this book as it was noted about the King taking liberties during Tywin & Joanna's Bedding Ceremony and probably lusting after her. Sounds pretty solid actually.

Kimon
07-27-2011, 11:14 AM
A theory that was significantly strengtened in this book as it was noted about the King taking liberties during Tywin & Joanna's Bedding Ceremony and probably lusting after her. Sounds pretty solid actually.

Before this book it made perfect sense to have both Tyrion and Jon be Targaryens, but the appearance of Aegon makes that rather messy. Shouldn't we assume that one of them, either Tyrion or Jon, has to be a red herring? GRRM seems to have added another possible allusion to Ashara being Jon's real mother with that mention by Selmy that her daughter had been stillborn before she committed suicide. That certainly seemed a convenient cover story. And, of course, there was also that random story that the Onion Knight heard about the fisherwoman. Something tells me that if he really is Ashara's or the fisherwoman's son that he's really toast. If he's Rhaegar's, then obviously either Ghost and/or Melisandre will swoop in to save him in the next book.

Davian93
07-27-2011, 11:27 AM
Yeah, its pretty obvious that GRRM felt that too many people were "guessing" his super secret hidden plot so he felt the need to drastically muddle the waters up with Aegon's appearance.

Uno
07-27-2011, 05:16 PM
Yeah, its pretty obvious that GRRM felt that too many people were "guessing" his super secret hidden plot so he felt the need to drastically muddle the waters up with Aegon's appearance.

I liked the book quite a lot, but the Daenrys chapters were somewhat slow. Jon is probably not toast, I'd say, but Aegon will be, if for no other reason than that he seems to decent to be spared. Martin kills the Ned Starks of his world and spares the Bastards of Bolton.

Davian93
07-27-2011, 06:29 PM
I liked the book quite a lot, but the Daenrys chapters were somewhat slow. Jon is probably not toast, I'd say, but Aegon will be, if for no other reason than that he seems to decent to be spared. Martin kills the Ned Starks of his world and spares the Bastards of Bolton.

Easily the most disturbing part of the entire series for me was the Bastard using Theon aka Reek to "get Jeyne ready" so to speak. Thankfully it at least faded to black before we got all the details of that wedding night.

GRRM really raised the bar on that one for disgustingness.

Uno
07-27-2011, 06:39 PM
Easily the most disturbing part of the entire series for me was the Bastard using Theon aka Reek to "get Jeyne ready" so to speak. Thankfully it at least faded to black before we got all the details of that wedding night.

GRRM really raised the bar on that one for disgustingness.

Yes, not too good. And at that point it was quite firmly established what the Bastard was like, so it's not like there was any point to it.

maacaroni
07-28-2011, 09:07 AM
Get this for a coincidence, I was reading Dance while on hols in Crete. And the day I started reading the Griff story....I visited Europe's last leper colony called Spinalonga. It closed in the 1950s.

It was 120degreesF...so it was a trial in itself.

One very useful point to note is that leprosy is not contagious. It is a disease of poverty, poor diet and poor drinking water. It is amazing how even now people get hysterical about the disease.

Davian93
07-28-2011, 10:25 AM
Get this for a coincidence, I was reading Dance while on hols in Crete. And the day I started reading the Griff story....I visited Europe's last leper colony called Spinalonga. It closed in the 1950s.

It was 120degreesF...so it was a trial in itself.

One very useful point to note is that leprosy is not contagious. It is a disease of poverty, poor diet and poor drinking water. It is amazing how even now people get hysterical about the disease.

Ahh, a leper colony...the only place on earth where the phrase "could you lend me a hand" can be taken literally.

Terez
07-28-2011, 09:50 PM
Jon isn't dead, probably; Melisandre would have seen that stabbing in her fires, and she probably waited until it was done to save him. She needs him, and she needs him to be indebted to her.

Before this book it made perfect sense to have both Tyrion and Jon be Targaryens, but the appearance of Aegon makes that rather messy. Shouldn't we assume that one of them, either Tyrion or Jon, has to be a red herring? GRRM seems to have added another possible allusion to Ashara being Jon's real mother with that mention by Selmy that her daughter had been stillborn before she committed suicide. That certainly seemed a convenient cover story. And, of course, there was also that random story that the Onion Knight heard about the fisherwoman. Something tells me that if he really is Ashara's or the fisherwoman's son that he's really toast. If he's Rhaegar's, then obviously either Ghost and/or Melisandre will swoop in to save him in the next book.
Selmy didn't mention which Stark impregnated Ashara Dayne, and my bets are on Brandon. It fits his personality better, and also, Selmy never even considered that Jon Snow was hers. It could be that Jon is the child of Brandon and Ashara Dayne, but it still seems unlikely.

I liked the book quite a lot, but the Daenrys chapters were somewhat slow. Jon is probably not toast, I'd say, but Aegon will be, if for no other reason than that he seems to decent to be spared. Martin kills the Ned Starks of his world and spares the Bastards of Bolton.
Aegon...it's too late for him to be developed as an interesting character, and that's what gives me the feeling that he's been set up to fail.

Oh, and the whole reason I came over here in the first place was to add my voice to those who are extremely disappointed with this book. I've been bitching about it on Google+.

Kimon
07-28-2011, 10:22 PM
Selmy didn't mention which Stark impregnated Ashara Dayne, and my bets are on Brandon. It fits his personality better, and also, Selmy never even considered that Jon Snow was hers. It could be that Jon is the child of Brandon and Ashara Dayne, but it still seems unlikely.



I'm trying to remember Jojen's story about the Tourney at Harrenhal - did Brandon dance with her too, or was it just Ned?

Certainly Jojen's anecdote strongly implied and reinforced the general assumption that Ned had loved Ashara, and married Catelyn for the sake of duty, and no doubt to ensure that Hoster Tully would aid them in their little rebellion. And, of course, there is also the fact that Ned said that Arthur Dayne would have killed him but for Howland Reed. I suppose Arthur Dayne's desire to kill him might only have been as a consequence of him being a rebel, but considering how much everyone revered Dayne's memory, it seems to make more sense to give him a better rationale for this bloodlust than simple anger at a rebel whose cause was just. If however Ned had knocked up, then abandoned his sister, that anger makes perfect sense.

Terez
07-28-2011, 10:29 PM
I'm trying to remember Jojen's story about the Tourney at Harrenhal - did Brandon dance with her too, or was it just Ned?
A lot of people danced with her. Edric Dayne said that Ned was in love with her, but Jojen didn't really add anything to that at all. Even if Ned did love her, it's hard to see him leaving her with a bastard. At that time, he would have been free to marry her, as he wasn't promised to anyone. Brandon is a different story - he was more like Robert. (EDIT) Here's a quote for you (I wish I had ebooks for this series):

The crannogman saw a maid with laughing purple eyes dance with a white sword, a red snake, and the lord of griffins, and lastly with the quiet wolf...but only after the wild wolf spoke to her on behalf of a brother too shy to leave his bench.
Doesn't sound like fertile ground for bastard-making, does it? Selmy says she was 'dishonored' at Harrenhall...so how is Ned to go from being too shy to speak to her, to knocking her up? It doesn't make sense.

And, of course, there is also the fact that Ned said that Arthur Dayne would have killed him but for Howland Reed. I suppose Arthur Dayne's desire to kill him might only have been as a consequence of him being a rebel, but considering how much everyone revered Dayne's memory, it seems to make more sense to give him a better rationale for this bloodlust than simple anger at a rebel whose cause was just. If however Ned had knocked up, then abandoned his sister, that anger makes perfect sense.If Ned's brother knocked her up, it still makes perfect sense.

Also, it seems that Ashara Dayne had a good bit of Targaryen blood herself.

Kimon
07-28-2011, 11:16 PM
At that time, he would have been free to marry her, as he wasn't promised to anyone.

Would he have had time to marry her though? Wasn't Lyanna "kidnapped" almost immediately after the tourney, while Brandon was riding to Riverrun to wed Catelyn? That wouldn't have left much time to arrange a marriage between Ned and Ashara, but enough time to perhaps leave both of them with the strong impression that they were destined to wed, which perhaps led to some preliminaries. That then produced some awkwardness when Ned soon needed to wed Catelyn instead so as to maintain an alliance needed for the war, then even more so when they found out that Ashara was already pregnant.

Doesn't sound like fertile ground for bastard-making, does it? Selmy says she was 'dishonored' at Harrenhall...so how is Ned to go from being too shy to speak to her, to knocking her up? It doesn't make sense.

I figured that he just meant dishonored in the sense that she was more deserving in his opinion than Lyanna of recognition as Queen of Beauty. I suppose he might have meant it more literally, but if it was Brandon that dishonored her, that would seem to imply more than just a wild nature, that would imply that he was an asshole who set his little brother up with a pretty girl, then turned around and nailed her himself. I'm guessing that that should have left considerable undertones of hatred in his memories of his brother, which Ned didn't seem to have displayed. I took his wild and hotblooded nature as more a reference to how he reacted when he learned of his sister's abduction, not that he, like Robert, was on his path to making the eight...

Terez
07-28-2011, 11:46 PM
Would he have had time to marry her though? Wasn't Lyanna "kidnapped" almost immediately after the tourney, while Brandon was riding to Riverrun to wed Catelyn?
I don't know, I've tried to find out how much time had passed. Some say it was just after, but some places in the Wiki say it was almost a year. A longer period of time makes more sense, I think.

That wouldn't have left much time to arrange a marriage between Ned and Ashara, but enough time to perhaps leave both of them with the strong impression that they were destined to wed, which perhaps led to some preliminaries.That's a stretch, don't you think? How can you get the impression you're going to be wed from a dance?

I figured that he just meant dishonored in the sense that she was more deserving in his opinion than Lyanna of recognition as Queen of Beauty. I suppose he might have meant it more literally, but if it was Brandon that dishonored her, that would seem to imply more than just a wild nature, that would imply that he was an asshole who set his little brother up with a pretty girl, then turned around and nailed her himself.There are hints of that, too.

I'm guessing that that should have left considerable undertones of hatred in his memories of his brother, which Ned didn't seem to have displayed.He might not have ever known the child was Brandon's. Why would he? But in any case, none of this explains how Selmy could still respect Ned even after he left Ashara with a bastard.

I just hopped over to Westeros to see what they think about it, and it seems most agree that Brandon makes much more sense...and some think that Septa Lemore (?) was Ashara in disguise...that she was rescued by Varys. And apparently Ashara's Targaryen blood is far from certain.

Kimon
07-29-2011, 12:21 AM
That's a stretch, don't you think? How can you get the impression you're going to be wed from a dance?



It seems like it would have been the type of marriage alliance that would have made sense for the second son of a major house, as it would have created an alliance with a prominent, but second tier house. So a useful marriage for a second son, but not for the first. That obviously changed when Ned became not only the heir, but the head of House Stark, as a marriage alliance with a lesser and Loyalist house at that point would have been not only problematic, but impractical as well.

I just hopped over to Westeros to see what they think about it, and it seems most agree that Brandon makes much more sense...and some think that Septa Lemore (?) was Ashara in disguise...that she was rescued by Varys. And apparently Ashara's Targaryen blood is far from certain.

Lemore's age is right, and she clearly had given birth, and GRRM certainly does have an annoying tendency of bringing people back from the dead. Certainly possible, if annoying.

papamama14
07-29-2011, 03:17 AM
Varys must be a long-term, deep-cover agent for the Targs, which would explain all his actions since the series' start. Everything is aimed at de-stabilizing the Seven Kingdoms to allow a Targ to regain the throne.

The Boltons may have Mance Rydar but I don't think they've destroyed Stannis' army. The banker's arrival at Stannis' camp will frustrate the planned Karstark betrayal.

Although I think Jon is really dead, if Melisandre can get to him in time, we may have an un-Jon to go with our un-Cat.

The Unreasoner
07-29-2011, 03:46 AM
Varys must be a long-term, deep-cover agent for the Targs, which would explain all his actions since the series' start. Everything is aimed at de-stabilizing the Seven Kingdoms to allow a Targ to regain the throne.

The Boltons may have Mance Rydar but I don't think they've destroyed Stannis' army. The banker's arrival at Stannis' camp will frustrate the planned Karstark betrayal.

Although I think Jon is really dead, if Melisandre can get to him in time, we may have an un-Jon to go with our un-Cat.
Does this make sense? I was convinced this guy was a spambot.

If he's not...

Never read ADwD

Terez
07-29-2011, 09:11 AM
It seems like it would have been the type of marriage alliance that would have made sense for the second son of a major house, as it would have created an alliance with a prominent, but second tier house. So a useful marriage for a second son, but not for the first. That obviously changed when Ned became not only the heir, but the head of House Stark, as a marriage alliance with a lesser and Loyalist house at that point would have been not only problematic, but impractical as well.
You're not saying anything that isn't obvious. What I want to know is why we're supposed to believe that Ned thought the marriage was a done deal because he danced with the girl.

Kimon
07-29-2011, 11:19 AM
You're not saying anything that isn't obvious. What I want to know is why we're supposed to believe that Ned thought the marriage was a done deal because he danced with the girl.

Perhaps this merely is my subconscious urging that there is a limit to how many things should be allowed to have come out of left field in a book, and that GRRM had already exceeded that quota in this book.

Terez
07-29-2011, 09:46 PM
Perhaps this merely is my subconscious urging that there is a limit to how many things should be allowed to have come out of left field in a book, and that GRRM had already exceeded that quota in this book.
It's not out of left field at all. We had cause to doubt that Ned had fathered a bastard on anyone before this book - good cause - and now we've got a better explanation as to what actually happened.

sandoz12
07-30-2011, 12:40 AM
Well I finally finished this book last night. And I completely agree with most others that it was a disappointment.

I am now very worried that GRRM has simply lost the way. All I can hope is that he gets it back.

The first three books are some of the finest books I have ever read where I couldn't put the books down as I had to find out what was going to happen next. In ADWD Dany and Tyrion (who I previously loved reading about) were mind-numbingly dreary. Managing to make Tyrion so boring after previously being so interesting was quite an achievement on GRRM's part.

What did surprise me was how much I enjoyed Theon's chapter - the fact that I could sympathise and empathise with a child murderer just shows how bad the Bastard is. What doesn't surprise me is how Roose Bolton is supposed to be so cold, calculating and cunning and yet he lets the Bastard live when surely he must realise that the Bastard could well undo all he has acquired.

Kimon
07-30-2011, 12:54 AM
Well I finally finished this book last night. And I completely agree with most others that it was a disappointment.

I am now very worried that GRRM has simply lost the way. All I can hope is that he gets it back.

The first three books are some of the finest books I have ever read where I couldn't put the books down as I had to find out what was going to happen next. In ADWD Dany and Tyrion (who I previously loved reading about) were mind-numbingly dreary. Managing to make Tyrion so boring after previously being so interesting was quite an achievement on GRRM's part.

What did surprise me was how much I enjoyed Theon's chapter - the fact that I could sympathise and empathise with a child murderer just shows how bad the Bastard is. What doesn't surprise me is how Roose Bolton is supposed to be so cold, calculating and cunning and yet he lets the Bastard live when surely he must realise that the Bastard could well undo all he has acquired.

Not to mention the fact that Roose seems to have been quite a bit more fond of his true-born son, and to know that Ramsay murdered him. Frankly, I'm not sure what was the more disturbing accomplishment there - that Ramsay was so sickening that, like you, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Theon, or that what Ramsay did to Jeyne was so horrific that I couldn't help but feel that it would have been more merciful just to have had her die anonymously (as I had previously assumed the case) during the fracas in GoT. For an author that enjoys killing people so much, all I can say is that I am going to be royally pissed if the series doesn't end with the Boltons and Freys extinct.

Sukoto
08-04-2011, 05:59 PM
I'm glad I'm done with this book.

I really don't know what think of it, though. The series could easily be wrapped up in two books. All GRRM has to do is end it. Dany finally decides she's had enough, goes and roasts the red keep and everyone inside it, then she turns around and flies up beyond the wall, slaps Bran a high five and roasts the Others. End of story. Not a satisfying ending, but I think that train left long ago.

Davian93
08-04-2011, 07:15 PM
I'm glad I'm done with this book.

I really don't know what think of it, though. The series could easily be wrapped up in two books. All GRRM has to do is end it. Dany finally decides she's had enough, goes and roasts the red keep and everyone inside it, then she turns around and flies up beyond the wall, slaps Bran a high five and roasts the Others. End of story. Not a satisfying ending, but I think that train left long ago.

I pretty much agree. At this point, I've come to the realization that GRRM has no idea where he's going with the story and he is pretty much just telling random tales and playing with the universe he created rather than pushing a story arc towards an actual conclusion. He could probably meander through this universe for 50 books if he wanted to...especially since it suddenly turned into LotR style walking, walking and more walking. Hey, dont get me wrong, I like the characters and world too but I was kinda hoping for a point to it all. As fun as it is to read about Medieval Britain (NOW WITH DRAGONS) for 5 books, I still was hoping for a coherent overall plot.

As soon as Aegon came back from the dead I realized that GRRM has basically jumped the shark and wont really kill off anyone who we dont see physically die on-screen without a Red Priest present. Otherwise, they will come back and they will have their own 300 pages of stories.

I thought the Brienne sub-plot was bad enough..now we have Aegon & Connington (which would have been fantastic in Clash and Storm instead of Brienne) Theon, etc etc.

Its sad because I do really love the books but the overall knowledge that they will never go anywhere and that he'll likely die before any satisfying conclusion really pisses me off.

I'm still annoyed by it.

Great Lord of the Dark
08-11-2011, 09:48 PM
I'm disappointed too, that there was no kablooie. Where was the Earth-shattering kablooie?

But, I was still largely satisfied.

I had a WTF moment at the Wall, and now I don't know what's going to happen.

GRRM continues to amaze me with how he plays with sympathies, turning favourites into most-hated, and vice-versa. If there are chapters or storylines that are frustrating or annoying, GRRM just might be setting you up to like or dislike the people they interact with. Every character's likeability has affected how we perceive them and the people around them at that point in the story. I'm not so sure that Dany and Jon are going to be the heroes we've come to believe. No one is off limits for being twisted in GRRM's able hands. He could be setting up Aegon and Asha to be the heroes in the end, who friggin' knows?

The Aegon bit was surprising and unforseen, but he provides a third Targrayen, thus cementing our belief that Jon, Dany and aegon will ride together. So of course he says "uh-uh, no-no" and kills one of them off. Books in the cellar with clues to victory? No-No. Tyrion lending his knowledge to dany? No-no. GRRM continued to frustrate my expectations even when i thought I knew what to look for. This may be epic fantasy, but it is not heroic fantasy. There will be no clean victories, no true heroes, just flawed people trying their best, or not. For that reason this book is still great.


The book was enjoyable the whole way through, in the way that books with really nasty characters are 'enjoyable'. The Tyrion and Bran bits especially fun, just missing the climax I hoped for.


I wanted to see Ser Robert fight!

Given the original intent was to skip 5 years and see them in the spring, then he found he had to fill in more details and wrote the last two books, I am curious whether he will fast-forward a bit for Winds of Winter. He's reading a passage from that one at Worldcon in 2 weeks, so we may get a clue.

Anyway, there was no kablooie, but I find I can't wait for the next installment. Ye of little faith should remember Wheel of Time and how it's turning out. I have confidence GRRM will do just as well.

GL

Terez
08-12-2011, 12:02 AM
One reason I doubt that Jon is dead is because when Melisandre was looking into the fires and she asked for a glimpse of Azor Ahai (whom she believes is Stannis), the fire would only show her Jon. Also, Azor Ahai is supposed to fight the Others with Lightbringer, and Jon is commander of the Wall and just discovered that Valyrian steel works against them like obsidian. It's a stretch at this point that he's not Azor Ahai, especially after Melisandre and the fires. I understand that it seems like Dany has to be a part of it, but I still have a feeling that Melisandre is going to save Jon. She needs him.

Davian93
08-12-2011, 05:26 PM
One reason I doubt that Jon is dead is because when Melisandre was looking into the fires and she asked for a glimpse of Azor Ahai (whom she believes is Stannis), the fire would only show her Jon. Also, Azor Ahai is supposed to fight the Others with Lightbringer, and Jon is commander of the Wall and just discovered that Valyrian steel works against them like obsidian. It's a stretch at this point that he's not Azor Ahai, especially after Melisandre and the fires. I understand that it seems like Dany has to be a part of it, but I still have a feeling that Melisandre is going to save Jon. She needs him.

There is zero chance that Jon is dead for good or that Stannis is dead too. That's why its annoying. Its a pointless cliffhanger that is just a waste of time.

Sarevok
08-14-2011, 01:24 PM
Just finished the book. Took a while because it was sold out the day it came out, and I had to wait a week 'till they got a new batch. Next, I went hiking for a week, which was fun, but doesn't really allow for much reading.

Anyway.
I don't think the Dany storyline was all that bad as you all are making it out to bed. The Jon plot was much more boring, IMO. It was all talk and wildlings marching in and then more talk.

I think that GRRM actually does know where he's going: my theory is that by the end of the series, the entire North will be overrun by wights and Others, and Dany will be able to restore order just in time to save whatever's left of the South of Westeros.

Uno
08-17-2011, 11:09 AM
Anyway.
I don't think the Dany storyline was all that bad as you all are making it out to bed. The Jon plot was much more boring, IMO. It was all talk and wildlings marching in and then more talk.

I think that GRRM actually does know where he's going: my theory is that by the end of the series, the entire North will be overrun by wights and Others, and Dany will be able to restore order just in time to save whatever's left of the South of Westeros.

I liked the book, overall, but it's all-too obvious that the only throne Aegon will sit on is the Red Herring Throne, and I find that a bit unsatisfying at this point.

Davian93
08-17-2011, 11:14 AM
I liked the book, overall, but it's all-too obvious that the only throne Aegon will sit on is the Red Herring Throne, and I find that a bit unsatisfying at this point.

Which is a huge waste of half of a book when you're at Book 5 of a supposed 7 book series. Why introduce a completely new character at this point...especially if he's 99% likely to be a throw-away? The only possible positive I could see is that its a possible device to split the Lannister/Tyrell alliance and get rid of Cersei & Co from King's Landing in favor of Stannis.

Sarevok
08-17-2011, 11:21 AM
Something I just realized: With Kevan dead and Cersei, Jaime and Lancel disgraced, Tyrion's chances of ever inheriting Casterly Rock etc. are looking a lot better. If he shows up at Dany's side when she invades, a bunch of Lannister bannerman may well join because of that. :)

Davian93
08-17-2011, 11:25 AM
Something I just realized: With Kevan dead and Cersei, Jaime and Lancel disgraced, Tyrion's chances of ever inheriting Casterly Rock etc. are looking a lot better. If he shows up at Dany's side when she invades, a bunch of Lannister bannerman may well join because of that. :)

Would the Lannister bannerman follow the guy they think killed their King and killed their former liege lord?

Cersei will still be in charge...hell, killing of Kevan thrusts her right back into power. Unless of course Mace Tyrell grows a pair (or is told by Lady Olenna) and seizes power himself through Maegery

Uno
08-17-2011, 11:39 AM
Would the Lannister bannerman follow the guy they think killed their King and killed their former liege lord?

Cersei will still be in charge...hell, killing of Kevan thrusts her right back into power. Unless of course Mace Tyrell grows a pair (or is told by Lady Olenna) and seizes power himself through Maegery

Can the heir inherit if he kills his predecessor? It's treason, after all. Probably not, at least not if there aren't other potential heirs, and there seems to be Lannisters running around all over the place, including Cersei and her children. Of course, if he's propped up by an external force, then yes.

maacaroni
08-17-2011, 12:03 PM
Cersei will paint herself as the wronged woman and begin her fightback. Expect dead Tyrells.

Agree that this book was weak. It is the CoT, hopefully.

1Powerslave
08-17-2011, 04:19 PM
I'm disappointed too. Plenty of waste of pages where nothing interesting happened. Tyrion I felt had a lot of filler chapters, though those that weren't were pretty good. Dany's chapters just couldn't move on, they went on and on about the same thing basically. The annoying Yunkish and the annoying Ghis and that Dany had it in her head she needed them, accepted the murders, was annoying as well. Overall the plot advanced not much at all, and there was no climax in this book. It was too long since I read the other books so I couldn't remember a lot of things. Also I can't remember if the other books also lacked climaxes and if they all ended in cliffhangers. Martin certainly wrote this book with a tv-series season in mind. Lots of parts (characters, chapters) that can be cut in the tv-series, lots of cliff hangers, and an almost Lost-like plotadvancement.

During the last quarter of the book, every character seemed to speak with the same voice. Well, maybe not completely, but everyone used the phrase "He was not wrong." and that stood out too much.

Jon. All chapters well written and good reading. I was very worried when I read the final one. I felt like it was a slap in the face of all fans of the books, especially those who have criticised him for taking too long. That is if Jon dies and stays dead. When I got here and read the ways in which Jon can live. If he has Targaryen blood (I will be very disappointed if he doesn't, he needs to ride that white Dragon. And Dany too), then I can buy him being healed instead of burned in Melissandre's fire. And yes, he needs to be free of those vows somehow, they are in the way of further developing Jon's character.

Bran is totally boring. I really don't care about the trees and the child folk. Bla bla bla, those characters need to grow or interact or do something or I wont care about them.

Arya isn't very good right now either. It seems he had the right of it the first time, he needed to jump ahead five years so all characters can grow up and come into their own power.

Barristan and Asha was great though, just Great. Theon, naw, many boring chapters, a few good ones. A lot of shock value writing, GRRM needs to ease up on it before it starts sound too cheap.

I really don't want Tyrion to end up a Dragon rider by the end. He is playing his part good as it is. As the whiney, ugly, evil and disgusting dwarf that I do not love :), but that is funny from time to time.

Davian93
08-17-2011, 04:24 PM
A lot of shock value writing, GRRM needs to ease up on it before it starts sound too cheap.

I agree. He went way overboard in this book. Its crossed the line into smut.

Uno
08-17-2011, 04:52 PM
I agree. He went way overboard in this book. Its crossed the line into smut.

That's right. RJ just provided us with some tasteful soft porn, really.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-07-2011, 10:19 AM
pffffft

I haven't read all your posts because I AM ONLY 12 FRICKING PAGES IN and already annoyed. Gee, Jon is a shapeshifter and doesn't know it?

Sorry, this stinks this far along in the game. I find it irritating, in part because the WHOLE chapter seems to be pointless other than to advance the Jon is a wolf concept. ONE SENTENCE. BLAH.

I am so aggravated I put the book down and wrinkle my nose as I walk past it now. I have spent time over at Malazan and think I may just reread those books rather than even picking up GRRM again. I have 6 years before I need to refresh anyway right?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRG H

Sukoto
09-09-2011, 06:41 PM
pffffft

I haven't read all your posts because I AM ONLY 12 FRICKING PAGES IN and already annoyed. Gee, Jon is a shapeshifter and doesn't know it?

Sorry, this stinks this far along in the game. I find it irritating, in part because the WHOLE chapter seems to be pointless other than to advance the Jon is a wolf concept. ONE SENTENCE. BLAH.

I am so aggravated I put the book down and wrinkle my nose as I walk past it now. I have spent time over at Malazan and think I may just reread those books rather than even picking up GRRM again. I have 6 years before I need to refresh anyway right?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRG H

Sorry, I know you must know this already, but just a small clarification for the masses: Jon (and all his siblings it seems) is a skin changer, not a shape shifter. Jon's body doesn't change shape. He can sort of take control of animals with his mind and see through their eyes. That was one thing I enjoyed about this book, that GRRM is finally fleshing out the link between the Stark children and their wolves. It would be cool if they all got together again with an army of ferocious beasts under their control. Oooh, I'd also like to see one of them try to control a dragon. That would be cool. I wonder if it would be as hard as controlling an intelligent human.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-10-2011, 02:06 PM
Jon (and all his siblings it seems) is a skin changer, not a shape shifter. Jon's body doesn't change shape. He can sort of take control of animals with his mind and see through their eyes.


You are right, skin changer is a more exact name.

Doesn't change the fact that this far into the story, which is supposed to be more than half over by GRRMs original plan, suddenly we are told, oh, by the way...Jon is suppressing this. Whatever. Also, your comment "all his siblings" cracks me up, as from other spoilers (remember, I haven't read farther than 12 pages into the first chapter) it appears that Jon MIGHT not be Rhaeghar and Lyanna's son as most of us have been led to believe. So now these are his SIBLINGS? Not, as we have believed, his cousins? Convenient.

This far a long in the story (remember by GRRM's original estimates we should be MORE THAN HALFWAY complete in the story) suddenly Jon is a skin changer? Sorry, this stinks of an unplanned storyline change. GRRM annoyed me with his delays and excuses rather than owning up to being involved in other projects that interested him more...or even a better bet, as someone else stated, a writer's block that he couldn't get around. The way this book starts just riles me. Deus ex machina indeed.

Davian93
09-10-2011, 06:55 PM
You are right, skin changer is a more exact name.

Doesn't change the fact that this far into the story, which is supposed to be more than half over by GRRMs original plan, suddenly we are told, oh, by the way...Jon is suppressing this. Whatever. Also, your comment "all his siblings" cracks me up, as from other spoilers (remember, I haven't read farther than 12 pages into the first chapter) it appears that Jon MIGHT not be Rhaeghar and Lyanna's son as most of us have been led to believe. So now these are his SIBLINGS? Not, as we have believed, his cousins? Convenient.

This far a long in the story (remember by GRRM's original estimates we should be MORE THAN HALFWAY complete in the story) suddenly Jon is a skin changer? Sorry, this stinks of an unplanned storyline change. GRRM annoyed me with his delays and excuses rather than owning up to being involved in other projects that interested him more...or even a better bet, as someone else stated, a writer's block that he couldn't get around. The way this book starts just riles me. Deus ex machina indeed.

Yeah um...it gets worse.

Davian93
09-11-2011, 10:19 PM
My brother just finished reading all 5 aSoIaF books and asked me for some input on them as he's never discussed them with anyone. I think I just blew his mind when I mentioned the Rheager/Lyanna=Jon possibility and mentioned a couple other theories concerning them.

Sukoto
09-14-2011, 10:31 PM
You are right, skin changer is a more exact name.

Doesn't change the fact that this far into the story, which is supposed to be more than half over by GRRMs original plan, suddenly we are told, oh, by the way...Jon is suppressing this. Whatever. Also, your comment "all his siblings" cracks me up, as from other spoilers (remember, I haven't read farther than 12 pages into the first chapter) it appears that Jon MIGHT not be Rhaeghar and Lyanna's son as most of us have been led to believe. So now these are his SIBLINGS? Not, as we have believed, his cousins? Convenient.

This far a long in the story (remember by GRRM's original estimates we should be MORE THAN HALFWAY complete in the story) suddenly Jon is a skin changer? Sorry, this stinks of an unplanned storyline change. GRRM annoyed me with his delays and excuses rather than owning up to being involved in other projects that interested him more...or even a better bet, as someone else stated, a writer's block that he couldn't get around. The way this book starts just riles me. Deus ex machina indeed.
I haven't ever gotten into any GRRM theory forums or discussions, so the idea that Jon would be anything other than Ned Stark's bastard is something I haven't entertained. It really shouldn't be a spoiler that the Stark children are also skin changers. Bran has been seeing through Summer's eyes for a while now, hasn't he? It didn't feel unplanned to me.

Terez
09-17-2011, 10:50 PM
I haven't ever gotten into any GRRM theory forums or discussions, so the idea that Jon would be anything other than Ned Stark's bastard is something I haven't entertained.
I don't go to Westeros either, but this one was pretty obvious. After it occurred to me, it did occur to me to check at Westeros, though.

Davian93
09-21-2011, 01:14 PM
Crazy thought on GoT: What if the whole Azor Ahai prophecy was and is a giant fat Red Herring by GRRM? What if its just a BS fake prophecy being spouted throughout the books to take notice away from Bran becoming a greenseer and Bran is the one who will really save Westeros from the Others?

Basel Gill
10-23-2011, 08:59 AM
About 1/3 done now. While obviously not as good as previous books, I'm not finding it to be horrible as the previous reviews mostly led me to believe. I hate to say that although GRRM completely pissed me off with his 6 year delays, I'm too vested in the story now not to see how it turns out.

I see a good bit of plot movement in what I've read so far. It seems that all sides are thinking to align with Daenerys and there is likely to be a throw down when they all get back to her. So far I've seen Tyrion, Aegon, Mormont, Quentyn, (someone else..??) trying to win favor. Oh yeah the pit fighting dude. Anyway...there are certainly annoying things. I'd have left Aegon dead...unless he really does a good job tying it together in WoW.

Zombie Sammael
10-28-2011, 09:53 AM
I finished it the other day. I certainly didn't think it was bad - it was at least better than Feast since it actually told stories about characters I liked and cared about. I'm starting to see the flaws in GRRM's writing style with this series though: every chapter starts with a character's POV, gives us some introspection, and nothing important happens until a cliffhanger at the end. That kinda started to bug me midway through. I kinda wish that he'd stuck to the original plan and made this a companion to Feast, rather than going beyond the end of it, but I guess I can see why he did. I also think the story would move forward a lot more if people went places and did things rather than just hanging around navel-gazing until they inevitably get stabbed to death.

All that said, though, it certainly kept me reading. I really enjoyed Tyrion as I usually do. I'm starting to find Jon less than sympathetic. Daenerys has evidently learned the lesson that she needs to and is now off to destroy. And Melisandre is awful at interpreting prophecy. With Varys now properly out of the closet to us as a double-agent, it'll be interesting to see where the next book goes. If it ever does.

Davian93
10-28-2011, 10:09 AM
The fact that NOTHING really happened is what got me. The writing was fine and the characters solid but the book was one giant massive cliffhanger. After 5+ years, we deserved better. Especially as it will probably be 2017 before we see Winds of Winter.

Basel Gill
10-28-2011, 05:38 PM
The fact that NOTHING really happened is what got me. The writing was fine and the characters solid but the book was one giant massive cliffhanger. After 5+ years, we deserved better. Especially as it will probably be 2017 before we see Winds of Winter.

I guess I see plot movement in that all these groups are now changing their tactic from killing Danaerys, to bedding her and marrying. The introduction of Aegon (alive) was kinda cheeseball, but the rest has seemed more about political intrigue than physical movement. Which even I agree can be tedious. I guess I was just expecting ti to blow donkey nuts after hearing all the reviews.

Wunderwaffe
10-29-2011, 08:43 AM
It wouldn't surprise me if GRRM died before finishing the series. He's extremely unhealthy-looking. He's fat, old, and looks like he's about to be dancing a jig with Jak o' the Shadows.

Brandon will undoubtedly finish ASoIaF as well, which kinda sucks because it will inevitably delay his SLA series. (which is promising)

Don't get me wrong, I love GRRM. But, I don't like his method of writing one bit, and I don't approve of his lifestyle choices. Six years in between books is laughingly long. He better have an idea how it ends and not just freewrite the end or we are going to be in for a LOOOOOOONG haul, which probably ends with the series unfinished due to the author's untimely demise.

And then we'll have to wait for another huge interim between books before they decide when (or if) they are going to contract another author to finish it. (which they will)

Davian93
10-29-2011, 05:46 PM
I guess I see plot movement in that all these groups are now changing their tactic from killing Danaerys, to bedding her and marrying. The introduction of Aegon (alive) was kinda cheeseball, but the rest has seemed more about political intrigue than physical movement. Which even I agree can be tedious. I guess I was just expecting ti to blow donkey nuts after hearing all the reviews.

If I knew Book 6 would be out next year, it would be fine. If it hadnt taken 5+ years to get this book, it would be fine. But we both know we'll be lucky to see Winds of Winter by 2017...thus, I really wanted SOMETHING major to actually happen.


And then we'll have to wait for another huge interim between books before they decide when (or if) they are going to contract another author to finish it. (which they will)

I dont see it as possible with his writing style and his lack of copious notes (from all accounts, he is the anti-Jordan in this respect). If he kicks the bucket, we might get some hints from his estate but we're most likely just out in the cold on an ending.

Basel Gill
10-29-2011, 06:05 PM
Agreed. If it takes another 5 years, I can see the problem.

maacaroni
11-03-2011, 09:51 AM
But, to be fair, he hit a major plot dead-end and resolved it in the last book. In this book he had his Meereenese knot. Hopefully, that means he has all his aces lined up?

Actually, I am not convincing myself.

Having met the old coot, I get the impression of a very creative mind. But like an awful lot of creatives, they tend to be a little disordered.

Basel Gill
11-27-2011, 10:44 PM
OK...last 1/4 is SLOWWWWWW as hell. Unfortunately this looks to end rather sh*ttily.

Terez
11-27-2011, 11:02 PM
You can't say you weren't warned! There are some good tidbits in the final 1/4, but opinions differ on whether those tidbits were enough to save the book from being a total failure.

Basel Gill
11-29-2011, 10:54 PM
True enough.

I assume "Robert Strong" to be Brienne of Tarth?
I didn't see Pycelle and Ser Kevan's assassinations coming.

Davian93
11-30-2011, 12:20 PM
True enough.

I assume "Robert Strong" to be Brienne of Tarth?
I didn't see Pycelle and Ser Kevan's assassinations coming.

Nope..."Robert Strong" is most likely Zombie Ser Gregor

Davian93
11-30-2011, 12:21 PM
You can't say you weren't warned! There are some good tidbits in the final 1/4, but opinions differ on whether those tidbits were enough to save the book from being a total failure.

Yeah...they weren't.

Maybe, just maybe had Feast and Dance been one book and we could actually expect another book in the near future but this was 5+ years after Feast and there is zero light at the end of the tunnel for Winds to come out. Thus, this cliffhanger ending was terribly brutal.

Res_Ipsa
12-03-2011, 09:09 AM
Yeah...they weren't.

Maybe, just maybe had Feast and Dance been one book and we could actually expect another book in the near future but this was 5+ years after Feast and there is zero light at the end of the tunnel for Winds to come out. Thus, this cliffhanger ending was terribly brutal.

Well said. I would add, dude is not getting any younger and dude is not exactly in shape. I do not see this series ending.

Basel Gill
12-03-2011, 12:39 PM
Maybe Brandon can finish this too and make it better?

I mean RJ dies and he gets 3 books out of WoT in the span of time it took GRRM to do this one book. (3 soon anyway).

Terez
12-03-2011, 02:41 PM
Brandon and most of GRRM's fans don't think Brandon would be a good match for GRRM. He hasn't even read past GOT because it was too 'gritty' for him (read: too much violence and sex).

Sarevok
12-03-2011, 03:48 PM
Brandon has also said somewhere he wouldn't be comfortable with writing a book that he couldn't give to his nieces. (I think it was nieces, not sure)

Basel Gill
12-03-2011, 05:20 PM
Well, it was sort of a bad attempt at sarcasm as much as anything, but I have no doubt that would be his attitude on it.

Davian93
12-03-2011, 09:48 PM
There isn't another writer that could finish GRRM's work. For one, he doesnt have a huge compendium of notes like RJ and two, nobody has his style/ability to write this type of very specific sub-genre.

If GRRM dies, his world dies with him.

Like Res, I dont see it being finished...which is sad as its such a fascinating world.

Kimon
12-04-2011, 12:50 AM
There isn't another writer that could finish GRRM's work. For one, he doesnt have a huge compendium of notes like RJ and two, nobody has his style/ability to write this type of very specific sub-genre.

If GRRM dies, his world dies with him.

Like Res, I dont see it being finished...which is sad as its such a fascinating world.

GGK? He did help Christopher Tolkien make sense of the notes left by JRR Tolkien to compile the Silmarillion. And honestly, not having sufficient, and specific notes might be a good thing considering the woeful state of the last few books.

Terez
12-04-2011, 02:49 AM
I have wondered before if GGK was on the shortlist for WoT.

Davian93
12-04-2011, 11:19 AM
I have wondered before if GGK was on the shortlist for WoT.

While GGK is a great author...one of my favorites actually and I even like some of his books maybe more than WoT because they are self-contained fantastic stories (Tigana, Lions), I just dont see it. His style is so completely unique to him, I dont see it sounding even close to right.

SauceyBlueConfetti
12-04-2011, 08:45 PM
His style is so completely unique to him, I dont see it sounding even close to right.

Totally agree. GGK, to me, is almost musical in his writing. Vastly different from RJ and cannot even IMAGINE him doing GRRM. It is making me laugh just thinking about it. Not to mention, GGK likes a happy ending when he can give it...a sliver, a glimmer of a happy ending in a sad and fricking melancholy way, but not twisted the way GRRM is.

Davian93
12-04-2011, 09:45 PM
Totally agree. GGK, to me, is almost musical in his writing. Vastly different from RJ and cannot even IMAGINE him doing GRRM. It is making me laugh just thinking about it. Not to mention, GGK likes a happy ending when he can give it...a sliver, a glimmer of a happy ending in a sad and fricking melancholy way, but not twisted the way GRRM is.

The upside to him finishing either series: Both would be completely wrapped up in 300 pages max with lots of unknowns for us to just think about within the larger meaning of the story.