A Song of Ice and Fire

Discussion in 'The Living Room' started by Robert, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. #1
    Robert

    Robert You are not alone Über Member

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    There has been an ongoing discussion on Reddit (and I assume various message boards all over the internet) on the future of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series, especially in relation to its TV adaptation Game of Thrones, after writer George R. R. Martin posted on his blog two days ago, announcing that The Winds of Winter, the sixth of the seven planned books in the series, would not be published before season 6 of Game of Thrones, which is supposed to be based on it. That is to say, for the first time, the adaptation will arrive before the source material does.

    Looking at the Reddit comments, most fans had assumed this would happen. This is how they explain the rather "pleasant" reactions of users on Live Journal to his blog post: people have come beyond the point of caring, because of the long waits (they have come not to expect the books to come out before supposed dates), but also because they don't believe George can any longer do what he has wanted to do with his plot. Some people even assume that HBO will do a better job of it (a particularly funny comment on this that I read was "Now all he has to do is watch the show and write down what happens.").

    So, does it matter that season 6 will come before The Winds of Winter? Should we care? But perhaps more importantly, and regardless of deadlines, how bad has George strayed with his two most recent books in the series? Can he tie the loose ends? Can he write a worthy ending to the series? And the age old question, what if he dies before this can happen? :lol:

    Hopefully there is enough of you here to talk. So, post away.

    EDIT: Here's also a cool chart a Redditor posted which gives a good perspective on the whole thing.

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    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  2. #2
    Will

    Will bread crumbs & white stones LPA Addicted VIP

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    There's zero chance HBO does a better job telling Martin's story than Martin himself. For all intents and purposes, the best by-the-book adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire was season one, which adapted A Game of Thrones. Since season two, the writers have strayed further and further from Martin's overall story, even going so far as to remove major characters and story arcs because they didn't think they were that important to the overall story. (Meanwhile, they've added a lot of bullshit that wasn't necessary, and I fucking hate when writers do that shit [see: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince], but that's neither here nor there.) Anyway...

    I'd be completely and utterly shocked if Martin doesn't have Song mapped out and outlined until the very end. All he's got to do now's the actual writing, which can't be easy. He's got to be able to reconcile hundreds of smaller story arcs, as well as all the major story arcs, not to mention the literally hundreds of characters. That can't possible be easy, and it's absurd to me that people are so pissed off that he's taking so long to write the books. Yes, the books have taken on (ostensibly) a life of their own, considering that the series was originally planned to only be a trilogy, but that's a byproduct of writing such a detailed and unique world around the story you're trying to tell.

    The only reason it's taking him so long to get these last couple of books released is because he's a thousand years old, and because of the bullshit he pulled with A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. He'd written an absolutely enormous book and needed to either cut the book down, or split it in half. This is what caused the huge delay between books three (Storm) and four (Feast). Rather than split it in half like a normal writer would've done, he decided to split it in half geographically, which hurt the series overall. Feast is widely considered to be the best book in the series, whereas Dance is considered to be the weakest. That goes hand-in-hand with how he decided to split them, which was a huge mistake on his part. Then, rather than simply finishing up Dance and releasing it, say, a year or two later, he decided to add onto the story even more, by bringing the two separate story arcs together (essentially) at the end of Dance, causing the book to be further delayed. If he'd have split them in half normally, rather than geographically as he'd done, Dance would've been out (possibly) two years sooner. That would've allowed him to start working on The Winds of Winter, and by extension, A Dream of Spring, much sooner than he'd done. However, if Winds is released later this year (which might actually happen), the wait between books five (Dance) and six (Winds) will be almost identical to the wait between books four (Feast) and five (Dance). I'd rather him take the extra time to get the book written the way he wants it written, in order to tell the proper story he wants to tell, than rushing a book that could end up being garbage. I'm also wagering on Dream to come out less than two years after Winds, because he won't make the same mistakes twice.

    Another reason for the delays that has to be taken into account is his massive popularity following the premiere of Game of Thrones. He has book signings and convention appearances multiple times throughout the year now, whereas in the past, he'd have one or two, tops. He's practically required by his publisher and HBO to attend the majority of them, eating into his writing schedule. That can't be ignored.

    One thing people tend to ignore (or conveniently forget) is that Martin's never promised a release date for any of his books. He's consistently stated they'll be done when they're done. So where or how people come up with these supposed deadlines and shit makes zero sense to me.

    I don't give a shit that the show may or may not spoil the books. At this point, following season two of the show, I consider them to be practically two separate universes. The book universe is the main canon and the show universe is secondary canon. I've viewed the show that way since somewhere around season three or four, given all the changes that have been made. The only thing that'll really be spoiled for me is Jon's true parentage, but there's a good chance the only thing that's going to happen is that the most popular theory (R + L = J) is going to be proven correct, and that's fine; I'd just have rather read it in the books first, because I guarantee the way Martin writes it will be thousands of times better than how the show portrays it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  3. #3
    Robert

    Robert You are not alone Über Member

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    This part caught me completely off guard. Isn't Feast considered to be the weakest?!


    He did have deadlines. I don't know if that was clear before this blog post, but his first deadline had been Halloween. He says in the post how he realized in August that he wouldn't meet the deadline. He admitted this to his editors and publishers, who then told him (to his joy) that they'd still be able to publish the book before April if he managed to finish it by the end of the year. That was the second deadline, and he didn't manage to meet that one either.

    No one's pissed, anyway. It's just that people, especially those who've followed the series for a decade or longer, are tired of constantly having to wait.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  4. #4
    Will

    Will bread crumbs & white stones LPA Addicted VIP

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    I frequent r/asoiaf and the general consensus seems to point in the direction of Clash and Feast being the strongest books, because of their tight story arcs, whereas Dance is considered to be the weakest because, arguably, nothing happens until the two books "merge" toward the end of Dance. I mean, unless I've completely missed something, that's the general feeling I get from r/asoiaf. Now, the Westeros.org forum might be a completely different story, but I can't see the overall opinion being too different.

    That's true, but as far as I know, which I admit could be fueled by false information, those were "soft" deadlines, if that makes any sense. Like, he wasn't going to get in "trouble" for missing those deadlines, and that's basically what happened. Like I said, the books have taken on a life of their own. I'm glad the books are taking longer than expected because it's allowing him to tell the story he wants to tell, and I'm fine with that. As long as he tells it before he dies, lol.
     

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