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A Song of Ice and Fire
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Laurelluin



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: A Song of Ice and Fire Reply with quote

The Game of Thrones books are pretty good, very long and very gritty and kind of depressing.

The thing you have to realize is that one of the core themes of the book is "everybody dies."

I got a hint of that in the prologue of book one, where there is a handful of people way up north in the ice and snow, and all but one of them is dead within the first couple pages. I'm trying to remember whether the last one dies at the end of the prologue, or whether it's one of those "I alone escaped alive to tell thee" scenarios. I forget, though, I only read the series once and that was nearly two years ago.

It took me until the actual interpretation of the phrase "valar morghulis" (am I spelling that right?) as meaning "all men must die" before it really sank in, though, that it's a core theme. Slow I am with literary interpretation; for me reading is mostly for entertainment and learning is a secondary benefit.

I'm pretty sure the HBO miniseries is different though I can't say how different because I don't watch TV anymore, and even when I did it was never HBO. But there is a massive cast of characters, and the books are written from the POV of one person at a time, a chapter at at time. So many characters that it could be four chapters, twenty chapters or half a book or even wait-until-the-next-book before you learn the outcome of a cliffhanger. I found it frustrating as well as depressing sometimes. These books are not written for impatient people who over-identify with fictional characters!
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Lyanna



Joined: 12 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:40 pm    Post subject: A Song of Ice and Fire Reply with quote

Laurelluin wrote:
The Game of Thrones books are pretty good, very long and very gritty and kind of depressing.

The thing you have to realize is that one of the core themes of the book is "everybody dies."

I thought of the all-important "Valar Morghulis" right away when I read the above sentence, before I saw that you too had made the obvious connection.

The thing is, though, even if "All men must die", some of them do come back to life - Those blue-eyed zombies in the North, and those that Melisandre brings back to life (5 times in the case of one of them). Even Catelyn Stark comes back to sort of life after having her throat cut at the Red Wedding. That's in the books, though, not in the TV series.

Reading GRRM, you have to realize that nobody is "bullet-proof". In fact I stopped reading the series somewhere in the middle of the third book, "A Storm of Swords". I confess that I peeked at the ending and saw that GRRM had killed off Robb, whom I rather liked. And by that time, the cast of characters had already grown to unmanageable lengths, even the author couldn't keep them quite straight. I myself gave up.

I had read the first book, "A Game of Thrones" (for the TV series they kept that title for the whole series, when in fact it's supposed to be "A Song of Ice and Fire") when it first came out, must be about 15 years ago. It was supposed to be a trilogy at the time, but GRRM kept writing and writing. We're now at the 5th book, "A Dance with Dragons", that I didn't even bother buying. I bought the previous one, "A Feast for Crows" and never got into it. But I do enjoy watching the TV series, and I read the books' summaries online, a couple of pages instead of 700+!

The TV adaptation is extremely good, though. I watched the first season several times, and the last one (the fourth) twice. I'm thinking of re-watching all four when I have the time.

Julie, if you get into the reading, well, Bon courage as we say in French. It's quite an endeavour! super grin
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Mr. Write



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: A Song of Ice and Fire Reply with quote

Lyanna wrote:
Laurelluin wrote:
The Game of Thrones books are pretty good, very long and very gritty and kind of depressing.

The thing you have to realize is that one of the core themes of the book is "everybody dies."

Julie, if you get into the reading, well, Bon courage as we say in French. It's quite an endeavour! super grin

Well, don't get attached to any character. Chances are they'll be killed off sooner or later, sooner rather than later.

I found the books heavy going. The first two were OK, but from Storm of Swords on, it got too complicated, sometimes gory, and verged quite a bit on horror. Which we actually had a taste of already in the first book's prologue. That thing of the dead not always staying dead, you know. Even with the list of Houses and their alliances at the end of the book, it's hard to keep track of who's from which House, who married who, who killed who, who did what to who when... It's easier to watch the TV series.
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Laurelluin



Joined: 04 Nov 2011
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Location: Puget Sound

PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: A Song of Ice and Fire Reply with quote

Lyanna wrote:

...
The thing is, though, even if "All men must die", some of them do come back to life - Those blue-eyed zombies in the North, and those that Melisanddre brings back to life (5 times in the case of one of them). Even Catelyn Stark comes back to sort of life after having her throat cut at the Red Wedding. That's in the books, though, not in the TV series.


Yeah, about that--when the characters you liked come back from the dead, and they are so not the same, it's not really a good thing. Sort of like Stephen King's Pet Semetary if you know what I mean. No thank you.

I'm with what Mr.Write said about it being a bit gory and horror-ific. But, as I said in the end of my prior post on ASoIaF, I over-identify with characters. I need to know what happens to Arya, Sansa, Jon, Tyrion, Dany, and the three dragons etc. A few other characters, too, I guess, but these stand out. Plus I'm hoping to see Jaime and Cersei die deaths even more horrible than Joffrey's someday soon. Twisted Evil

Quote:
Reading GRRM, you have to realize that nobody is "bullet-proof". In fact I stopped reading the series somewhere in the middle of the third book, "A Storm of Swords". I confess that I peeked at the ending and saw that GRRM had killed off Robb, whom I rather liked. And by that time, the cast of characters had already grown to unmanageable lengths, even the author couldn't keep them quite straight. I myself gave up.


This is part of my problem too. There's so many characters, and I tend to overidentify with characters, so when the die horrible deaths--it affects me too much. It shouldn't, I know, but it does.

Still reading about Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Still think I probably am autistic.
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Lyanna



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: A Song of Ice and Fire Reply with quote

Laurelluin wrote:
Plus I'm hoping to see Jaime and Cersei die deaths even more horrible than Joffrey's someday soon. Twisted Evil

I was so glad when Joffrey died, and can't wait until Cersei follows him in as horrible a way as possible, but Jaime now. He has redeeming features, and I must say he grew on me. He's not all bad. In fact, by the third or fourth book/season, he's not bad at all. He saves Brienne, he saves Tyrion, he's trying to look out for Sansa and Arya.

Not to mention, played by Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, I want to be able to feast my eyes on him as long as possible. luv at sight

I hope he survives and succeeds his father as Lord of CastleRock. And goes on to serve whoever becomes sovereign of the Seven Kingdoms - probably a threesome, since the prophecy mention that "The Dragon has three heads". Danearys is obviously one, she's pure Targaryen. But Jon may be part Targaryen too. The jury's still out as to who the third dragon head is going to be.

Also, what will happen with Bran? He'll "never walk again but he'll fly". So what role will a crow play among the dragons?
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Laurelluin



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Jaime Lannister needs to die in a fire at least Reply with quote

Bran, that's the Stark kid who's name I couldn't remember; then there's the youngest Stark boy, and Arya's wolf Nymeria. I want to know what happens to them and to Hodor, too.

Reading the story from Jaime's pov and having stuff happen to him that sort of makes you feel sorry for him just made me mad at GRRM for trying to make such a d**bag into a sympathetic character. I don't care how good of eye-candy he is, I want him to suffer. The twincest is part of it, so is throwing Bran out the window. But I think the worst Jaime scene is in the chapel--raping his twin sister in front of the altar during her period? Squick. Just Squick. Irredeemable squick.
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 6:00 pm    Post subject: Song of Ice and Fire Reply with quote

I didn't split the thread for Pern, but there are now half a dozen posts devoted exclusively to SoIaF - and I can't merge it into the Game of Thrones thread so here goes... Discrimination, I know. bleh

All you say is true, Laure dear, but I can't help it, I like Jaime Lannister. I agree that the twincest is baaaad, as is his raping his sister (who's usually willing enough, and more), and his pushing Bran out the window (he actually didn't have a choice, evil as that act was) Not to mention when he attacked Ned Stark in the streets of King's Landing - But IMO he did do things to redeem himself. He was already badly punished in losing his sword hand. The name "Kingslayer" will always follow him (not that he didn't have good reason to kill the Mad Targaryen King). I guess it's the kind of bad boy that some women like. I didn't think I was among them, but there you are. His saving Tyrion in itself is a good thing, as is his attempt to save the Stark girls, giving up his Valyrian steel sword to Brienne when he sent her on that mission.

And you know what, for some reason, I don't care terribly about Bran and Dickon, though Jojen's death affected me quite a bit.

One person I hope will die and be put out of his misery is Theon Greyjoy/Reek. I didn't like him from the start, and I like him less and less as the story progresses. Or his captor, the bastard son, now legitimized of - aargh, the name escapes me at this moment, you know who I mean (Bolton, I think, his name is? Not sure now). That one, I hope, will die a very painful death, a very slow painful death, for what he did to Theon and to the others who surrendered to him. I don't like Theon, but he didn't dserve what he got at the hands of that bastard (in every sense of the word).

Julie, I hope we didn't give out too many spoilers here. Or that, like me, you don't mind spoilers. super grin
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inkling7
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:29 am    Post subject: Spoilers Reply with quote

No spoilers there as we did watch a couple of the episodes of the 4th series but plan on watching all the 4th series again from scratch to refresh our memories but like you I don't mind spoilers as I too am sometimes guilty of looking at the end of a book to find out what happens.. I did with Harry Potter....LOL super grin
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Girl_on_Fire



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:57 am    Post subject: Re: Spoilers Reply with quote

inkling7 wrote:
No spoilers there as we did watch a couple of the episodes of the 4th series but plan on watching all the 4th series again from scratch to refresh our memories but like you I don't mind spoilers as I too am sometimes guilty of looking at the end of a book to find out what happens.. I did with Harry Potter....LOL super grin

I'm glad to see that I'm far from alone in peeking at the end of books, LOL! very happy
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Do Quy



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:03 pm    Post subject: The Song of Ice and Fire series Reply with quote

I tried to read them. Got through the first two books then gave up at the start of the third. Too long, too complicated, too grim, too many characters to keep track of. I'm watching the TV series, though. super grin
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