Excerpts from The Winds of Winter.
June 2, 2016 12:42 PM   Subscribe

The Forsaken (Aeron I TWOW) is a new excerpt chapter from The Winds of Winter, told from the point of view of Aeron Greyjoy. It was transcribed by fans after George R.R. Martin read it to the audience at Balticon last weekend, and it may lend credence to an insane fan theory. This comes a few weeks after he released another chapter from TWOW, this time from the POV of Arianne Martell (a character who isn't on the show) which highlighted the growing divide between the show and the books. GRRM also revealed a new backstory for Brienne of Tarth.
posted by homunculus (109 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
MY BODY IS READY
posted by numaner at 12:45 PM on June 2, 2016


also: here's a list of all the chapters released so far.
posted by numaner at 12:50 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]




Here's the actual link to the insane fan theory.
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


GET HYPE
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would actually watch an episode of GoT if it was basically a remake of Clash of the Titans.

Of course no one already did a remake of Clash of the Titans, how dare you claim otherwise!
posted by zombieflanders at 1:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Cool, I should bust out my custom House Greyjoy jersey again.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:09 PM on June 2, 2016


Here's the actual link to the insane fan theory.

I kinda like the thought that the "bittersweet ending" might just be the emergence of the the Great Old Ones from the Sunset Sea, who devour the living and take the Iron Throne as a souvenir of when they had to free the world of human vermin.
posted by nubs at 1:15 PM on June 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


While I'm not into the books and vastly prefer the show, the latter certainly could have done a better job of dealing with the Iron Islanders.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:17 PM on June 2, 2016


This insane fan theory would be totally stupid. It reminds me of this Calvin and Hobbes strip. Game of Thrones started as a story about a political crisis overlaid upon a supernatural, cataclysmic war; if that war turns out to be yet another layer on top of something even crazier, the story will become utterly absurd and boring. Dragons fighting Cthulhu while White Walkers bathe the battlefield in ice-tipped arrows, sure, why not, who cares. It'll be like a kid bashing Voltron and He-Man action figures together, or like that developmentally-disabled relative that Tyrion talked about with Jaime. Boring, hyperbolic, cartoonish.
posted by clockzero at 1:32 PM on June 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


I gave up reading right around the beginning of Storm of Swords. Every once in a while I consider picking the books up again but it's been so long, I fear that I'd have to do a complete re-read and I'm not sure I have the patience for all of that. Also, having spent so much time with the HBO adaptations, I'm not sure I can go back to reading the books.

Ah well. I'm glad that the book people are happy.
posted by Fizz at 1:43 PM on June 2, 2016


Yeah, the insane fan theory is super dumb - I have read a lot of insane fan theories but that is the dumbest one. I am sure before this saga ends a lot of minor characters will rise to glory and major characters be undone - but the fact that GRRM kills characters and is a master of plot twists does not mean GRRM has no understanding of story and just introduces massive penis characters to fuck up all his work with unsatisfying Magic. Even if all the details inferred about greyhound boy are right - If there is one constant to magic and legend in GOT it is that it is never plan A and never works out quite as planned
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 1:49 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dragons fighting Cthulhu while White Walkers bathe the battlefield in ice-tipped arrows, sure, why not, who cares.

Can we have the books do the good literary thing and have the tv show do this just because it would look badass? It would certainly be better than watching another episode of Ramsay's Torture Playhouse (TM).
posted by tofu_crouton at 1:53 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't the whole underlying premise in ASoIaF that the gods are real because their magical powers are? Who's to say the ~cold war~ between them and their proxies, both human and Other, won't become a ~hot~ one? And then everything becomes overt.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:55 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


It would be a weird thing for A Song of Ice and Fire to reveal that fuck Ice and Fire it's Water you should be worried about.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:59 PM on June 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


What else do you get when you combine Ice and Fire?
posted by Apocryphon at 2:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


I guess you get Case Nightmare Green?
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 2:03 PM on June 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


Can we have the books do the good literary thing and have the tv show do this just because it would look badass? It would certainly be better than watching another episode of Ramsay's Torture Playhouse (TM).

It would look like a video game.
posted by clockzero at 2:04 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Isn't the whole underlying premise in ASoIaF that the gods are real because their magical powers are? Who's to say the ~cold war~ between them and their proxies, both human and Other, won't become a ~hot~ one? And then everything becomes overt.

well yeah, but with the world that he's already built, I think most of the fans are just waiting for the inevitable battle between Jon Snow warging the God of Light/Fire (with Daenarys' dragons helping, 'cause turns out they're half-siblings), the Drowned God propped up by the Iron Islanders, and whatever unseen god of cold the Others will control.
posted by numaner at 2:04 PM on June 2, 2016


and have the tv show do this just because it would look badass? It would certainly be better than watching another episode of Ramsay's Torture Playhouse (TM).

the showrunners have no intentions of writing a badass show, clearly they just want torture and genitals.
posted by numaner at 2:06 PM on June 2, 2016


I have a theory about why his name is Grr Martin.
posted by srboisvert at 2:08 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


This insane fan theory would be totally stupid.

It's certainly on the more nutso end of things. There's something about the books that keeps people generating them, it's kind of fascinating in a way. I think part of it has to do with the fact that there's been a certain number of details that initially seem unimportant that wind up being of massive importance later, or are tiny clues about what is happening with certain storylines. What it leads to, though, is that there are lots of details that have been tossed in as part of the world building that people are reading way, way too much into and trying to see how they tie into the story - which is about a series of political and institutional crises occurring at a time when there is a looming existential threat. That said, a certain dark part of me would laugh to see it happen. But I think the existence of these black stone artifacts points towards a different understanding in terms of the world of the story - there was once something powerful enough to build those, and now they are gone...i.e., this world has fallen once before and certainly could again.

Isn't the whole underlying premise in ASoIaF that the gods are real because their magical powers are?

The Seven have evinced no power whatsoever, and while we've seen magic from the Others and R'hllor, and whatever else, it isn't clear (at least from where I sit), what exactly that magic derives from and if it is coming from a god or some dimly understood method of accessing supernatural power that human agents have painted a theology over. We know that magic appears to be highly transactional (only death may pay for life) and quite frequently involves blood or sacrifice in some way.

The fact that the people raised via R'hllor don't seem to require the "only death may pay for life" price has me wondering if that isn't tied to what the show has given us in terms of the origin of the Walkers; that whatever magic was performed there has left a loophole for the raising of the dead.
posted by nubs at 2:08 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The fan theory won't actually come to pass, as it's too over-the-top. (That said, I do like how it sort of fit with the perennial "Varys is a merman" theory.) However, if magical fuckery in the Iron Islands area does lead to some sort of ancient incursion rising up, I don't think it'd be something that would overshadow the final Fire/Ice fight. It could just be like a giant kraken or oversized prehistoric sea creature that destroys a fleet, wrecks a few ports, and then goes back to sleep until the Endgame happens, in which the Faith Armada kills it with bombardment from holy wildfire and Children of the Forest grenades. The Drowned God avatar can be plenty formidable without being literally Cthulhu.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:10 PM on June 2, 2016


> if that war turns out to be yet another layer on top of something even crazier, the story will become utterly absurd and boring.

This phenomenon is otherwise known as Lost Syndrome.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:16 PM on June 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


I'm starting to get behind the "Gurm has no pages" fan theory.
posted by drezdn at 2:27 PM on June 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


clearly they just want torture and genitals.

They want to torture genitals. THERE IS A PALPABLE DIFFERENCE.
posted by srboisvert at 2:32 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just really like that GRRM has taken the time to scatter across Planetos a whole bunch of






Ragnarocks
posted by thecaddy at 2:48 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


They want to torture genitals. THERE IS A PALPABLE DIFFERENCE.

In fairness, Theon is kind of a dick.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2016


According to this Redditor, Martin’s plan for Hodor is even older than the books themselves. “He said he came up with the name idea in 1991 and seemed depressed that the show got to reveal it before he did.

What's really depressing is that this is gonna happen again. And again. And again.
posted by Broseph at 3:00 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, an Aeron chapter which followed an Arianne chapter. Thanks GRRM. You really came through for us. Really. I'm being totally serious and not at all feeling existential despair.
posted by Justinian at 3:07 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


>(This probably means that he was telling the truth about exploring the ruins of Valyria, where few have dared to step foot.)

Anybody else remember a time when people used to correctly say "set foot" instead of "step foot", the modern variant which makes no sense? Never mind, I'll let myself out.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 3:10 PM on June 2, 2016 [10 favorites]


There's something about the books that keeps people generating them

My theory as to why is that the series has been spinning its wheels for 16 years so all that's left is for fans to fanwank!
posted by Justinian at 3:14 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


GET HYPE.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:20 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Believe me, I am hyped. My body is ready.
posted by Justinian at 3:34 PM on June 2, 2016


while we've seen magic from the Others and R'hllor, and whatever else, it isn't clear (at least from where I sit), what exactly that magic derives from and if it is coming from a god or some dimly understood method of accessing supernatural power that human agents have painted a theology over.

This. One of the things that was never at all clear to me in the books (caveat: I quit halfway through book 4) is whether or not any of the gods are supposed to be real. To the point where I'm not even convinced GRRM himself has an answer to that question. I would actually be kinda ok with never knowing the answer to that, but this wild Cthulhu-esque fan theory would seem to tip the scale WAY farther in one direction than another, and I don't feel like that's what GRRM was after when he started this.

Also, if the whole thing is headed toward a world-ending apocalypse, I guess fine, I can see that as a possibility. But, for me, to have that come from the Greyjoys, who (I feel) have been B-list characters, is sloppy writing. It would feel like a copout to me. Like, "OMG, I have no idea how to wrap all this up, let's just have Damphair summon a monster that will just swallow everything and end it all."
posted by dnash at 3:37 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Martin to fans: I've been working out these intricate story details for twenty some odd years... I'm almost done!

Benioff and Weiss to fans: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE BECAUSE HERE COMES THE FANSERVICE EXPRESS! CHOO CHOO!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:52 PM on June 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


This insane fan theory would be totally stupid.

Why? GoT has every other stupid popcult/internet cliche: dragons, zombies, vampires, ninjas...
posted by ennui.bz at 4:04 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have nothing relevant to add, but I want to call attention to this article's brilliant use of a paragraph-breaking ad to serve dual purpose as a spoiler buffer.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:04 PM on June 2, 2016


Because Old God Apocalypse isn't a standard trope of high fantasy which he is attempting to subvert. Dragons and stuff are.
posted by Justinian at 4:05 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


MY BODY IS READY

I predict something terrible is going to happen to it within the next few chapters.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:06 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


If I were GRRM and had grown to hate my creation as much as it seems as though he might by now, I would announce that the last book will be a compilation of final chapters written by YOU, THE FANS! and then just pick a bunch at random from the avalanche. Also, every single one would be considered Canon.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:09 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


clearly they just want torture and genitals.

But only one tallywhacker on view every other season.
posted by Ber at 4:10 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Because Old God Apocalypse isn't a standard trope of high fantasy which he is attempting to subvert.

Neither are ninja assassins... unless Arya is actually a hobbit.
posted by ennui.bz at 4:15 PM on June 2, 2016


I don't keep up with fanwank, so am I the only person that sees everything attributable to the Old Gods is clearly the work of Greenseers?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:16 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


or the zombie white walker apocalypse...
posted by ennui.bz at 4:16 PM on June 2, 2016


GRRM is a hack writer who knows, what every genre write knows, which is that readers will pick up any book that hits their fetish trope sweet spot: romantic knights! ladies riding dragons! sword-porn! incest! etc. What he discovered is that you can write "mashup" fiction by shoehorning as many tropes as the writer can stomach into the same bloated paperback....

He even has a writing seminar in New Mexico to spread his technique. So, notice how the novels behind HBO's "The Expanse," team-written by James S. A. Corey AKA GRRM's assistant Dan Abraham and Ty Frank employ the exact same mashup technique to the same great success: space-marines! cyberpunk noir detectives! AI! seedy space stations! etc...
posted by ennui.bz at 4:29 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Why? GoT has every other stupid popcult/internet cliche: dragons, zombies, vampires, ninjas...

...pirates, populist birds, cats, doges.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:35 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I still think that it's possible that Drowned God fuckery will unleash some sort of "natural legendary beast"- a giant kraken or even herd of kraken, that isn't literally a Lovecraftian Old God. Like dragons, but of Water. (Or an actual sea dragon.) It'd be an unprecedented event, but isn't a complete Westeros-ending cataclysm, just another step towards it.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:40 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


again with the rats
posted by thelonius at 4:59 PM on June 2, 2016


GRRM is a hack writer

Anyone can see from my comments on the last 16 years and 2 "books" my feelings on the direction the series has taken. So I'm no water-carrier for GRRM. But the idea that he's a hack is pretty ludicrous and contravenes all evidence. It's like... the opposite? A hack is definitionally who churns out page after page quickly and without much care about quality because they are looking to make money as fast as possible.

Let's leave aside all of Martin's other work, his multiple awards, and so on and only look at ASoIaF. He has turned out 2 books in 16 years despite the fact that every book he publishes would let him buy a small town. Maybe a medium sized town at this point. If he's a hack he's the worst hack in history since he's not doing the one thing a hack does; publish.
posted by Justinian at 5:10 PM on June 2, 2016 [30 favorites]


Euron will make the Iron Islands great again. He knows who the Drowned God really is.
posted by homunculus at 5:26 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty convinced that R'hillor is the only actual working god in Westeros, because he's literally the only one who delivers any results.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:31 PM on June 2, 2016


GRRM is a hack writer

I was at that reading in Baltimore, and what I haven't seen mentioned in print yet is that GRRM had the entire audience on the edge of their seats. He gave an excellent reading. Also, I don't know another writer (living) so many people would stand in lines so long to see.
posted by newdaddy at 5:44 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Why? GoT has every other stupid popcult/internet cliche: dragons, zombies, vampires, ninjas...

But we want to reduce stupidity proliferation
posted by clockzero at 5:56 PM on June 2, 2016


I'm sorry.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:00 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Does he think that if he releases enough chapter people are actually going to forget that they're waiting for a whole book? Because man. Readers are pumped and primed, there really is zero reason to titillate.
posted by lydhre at 6:08 PM on June 2, 2016


I completed NaNoWriMo twice, I don't know what Martin's problem is.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


The show is good.
The books are amazing.
This chapter is awesome.
posted by brevator at 6:43 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


GRRM is a hack writer who knows, what every genre write knows, which is that readers will pick up any book that hits their fetish trope sweet spot: romantic knights! ladies riding dragons! sword-porn! incest! etc. What he discovered is that you can write "mashup" fiction by shoehorning as many tropes as the writer can stomach into the same bloated paperback....

This is so inaccurate I almost think you're joking? Like, I pretty much dislike fantasy and I have a low tolerance for fantasy tropes, which I had to actively overcome to read the series, but did so because the first three books are so compelling from a human angle. And it's well-documented that his fandom goes far beyond fans of the genre.

I mean, have you even read the books? I'm really not sure how someone who has read them could write this with a straight face. There actually aren't any romantic knights, and there's one time a lady rides a dragon in like 5 million pages of text.

Say what you will about GRRM's ability to hold a plot together, but when his books work, it's on the strength of the characters he has created, which transcend genre.
posted by lunasol at 7:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


the people raised via R'hllor don't seem to require the "only death may pay for life" price

It may be that the price has been payed many times in advance since R'hllor's followers have been sacrificing/feeding people to him for centuries, if not millennia, so he probably has a huge store of blood-fueled magic that he can tap into for party tricks and resurrections.
posted by homunculus at 7:36 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Chapter 45: pissed off drowned God finishes what the children started, breaks the neck, saving the southern lands from zombie apocalypse.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:45 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Chapter 46: The long-feared return of Tronc.
posted by No-sword at 8:01 PM on June 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


what has tronc-ed may flurble pwee
posted by trunk muffins at 8:23 PM on June 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


When it comes to Gods in this world I kinda think a Pratchett-y "belief is the food of the gods" iidea is happening, that as magic begins to flow back into the world the people who believe the MOST (The red priestesses, Danny, ) get like, exclusive early access to making thier gods real but now that magic is spilling over and sloshing around, lots of gods may get turned suddently and actually real, like drowned gods. And the only reason the seven aren't suddenly manifesting and intervening is because it's a hollow state religion no one believes in in the first place (but if they did , different story)
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Stephen King arises from the ocean in the last book.
posted by benzenedream at 8:33 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


And the only reason the seven aren't suddenly manifesting and intervening is because it's a hollow state religion no one believes in in the first place

The High Sparrow and Faith Militant beg to differ.

Also, who says they haven't manifested? There's no shortage of mothers, strangers, etc.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:25 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also, who says they haven't manifested? There's no shortage of mothers, strangers, etc.

Davos experiences visions of the Seven after the Battle of the Blackwater. They tell him to kill Melisandre. And there are legends of the Seven performing miracles after revealing themselves to Hugor of the Hill.

The Seven may be simply slower to reveal themselves, or weaker, or simply function differently than the other "gods" we've seen. But I'd hardly call a faith whose most forceful representatives (the High Sparrow et al) are in the process of overthrowing the government a "hollow state religion".
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:32 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The best thing about the show (which is now the cannon, because no one can realistically expect to ever read another GRRM book), is the ruthless culling of useless plots. All of Dorn? Completely irrelevant, Sand Snakes take over, no one else matters, the end. 10,009 Greyjoys no one can keep track of?, who cares, only Euron matters. Rickon Stark?, lol He Gonn'die. The show is the editor GRRM needed this entire time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:32 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Love the books, love the show. Martin doesn't owe me anything.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:48 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know a lot of people who havent read the books worry about spoilers in pieces like these, but I find that it's not too bad because a couple of paragraphs into dedicated ASoIaF nerd speculation, the average person blacks out anyway, so NBD.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:32 AM on June 3, 2016


And the only reason the seven aren't suddenly manifesting and intervening is because it's a hollow state religion no one believes in in the first place.

Oh man, how cool would it be if [silly fan theory time continues here on MetaFilter] if having converted Tommen/Margaery the Faith Militant really do have the Iron Throne, and they start consolidating their power and using the full force of the Crown to expand the Faith of the Seven UNTIL the Ice/Fire apocalypse draws closer and all these other Gods are doing stuff, R'hllor's reanimating people left and right, White Walkers at the door, shadow babies everywhere, dragons x 3, heck maybe a Cthulhu or two, and all the citizens of Westeros under the state religion are looking around like, um, Seven? The Seven? Little help? And the High Sparrow makes this face.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:48 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


The best thing about the show (which is now the cannon, because no one can realistically expect to ever read another GRRM book)

Jesus H. Christ, when did it become ok to talk about people like this? I'm sorry, but I find this to be astonishingly callous and rude!

Either you are suggesting that he's lying when he says he's working, or that he's going to die soon.

I was in Baltimore last weekend, and I saw George R.R. Martin. He was very much alive. He read from his novel in progress. It was new material. It sounded great. People cheered.

I often think that when people suggest that someone famous is going to drop dead, it's because they're perhaps jealous of that famous person, justly or unjustly. I don't understand it. If I said the same thing about you or someone you were close to, you'd be offended.
posted by newdaddy at 7:11 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


He's in his late sixties. Statistically, he doesn't have long left, particularly in light of how long it's taken him to write this book. Barring a big surprise, the books are not going to be finished by him or in his lifetime.

Also I'm super duper incredibly hugely sick of "GRRM isn't your bitch."

Imagine going to a movie. 75% of the way through it just stops. You can come back in ten years to see the rest, maybe, if it ever gets done. GRRM made a promise that he is unable to keep. That's why he sold the rights to HBO, so he can see (some version of) the story finished while he's alive.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:22 AM on June 3, 2016


You know, he's an actual person, not some corporate marketing ploy. I'm just imagining people in a room with him - would you have the same callous, privileged attitude if you met him face-to-face, as you have online?

"Hi George, nice to meet you. I really like your books. I've been telling everybody that you're going to die soon."

He's a pretty nice person, and about like a canonical grandfather. How would you feel if someone were to approach your grandfather, or parent, or even yourself, and say that? Now multiply that by however many million people claim to be fans but have a similar lack of decency.

Also, he came out to Baltimore to a con, and, whatever else you might think about Baltimore or Balticon, I can name any number of authors and creators who've never made that trip.
posted by newdaddy at 8:10 AM on June 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also I'm super duper incredibly hugely sick of "GRRM isn't your bitch."

That doesn't change the fact that he, in fact, isn't your bitch.

GRRM made a promise that he is unable to keep.

I must have missed the memo.

That's why he sold the rights to HBO, so he can see (some version of) the story finished while he's alive.

The version in his head is all he needs, and will almost certainly be superior in his opinion to what gets produced for TV. If he has the time to put his vision onto paper, and you choose to read it, then lucky you. If not, I hope you find a way to be at peace with the fact that your priorities are not his.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:24 AM on June 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


The promise he made was when he said how many books there would be. Ok, so he's unable to keep it. That doesn't change, at all, the fact that he did make such a promise. If you go to a movie there's an implied promise that it ends, if you listen to a song there's an implied promise that it ends, etc.

It is perfectly valid for fans to be annoyed that he can't fulfil said promise.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:29 AM on June 3, 2016


Imagine going to a movie. 75% of the way through it just stops. You can come back in ten years to see the rest, maybe, if it ever gets done.

If you're going to adjust your expectations for this series by comparing it to another medium, I think you'd be better served to think of it as a ongoing comic book or soap opera or something else without a specific endpoint. Just a bunch a great stories about fantastic characters.
posted by brevator at 8:29 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


...except he said there was a specific endpoint. If you want to use your comic book example, okay, it's like announcing there will be twelve issues and releasing only seven.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:31 AM on June 3, 2016


The promise he made was when he said how many books there would be.

That's not what the word "promise" means, sorry.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 8:35 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


FFFM- This isn't a kickstarter campaign. You haven't pre-funded TWoW. And even if it was and you had-- he's been delayed. He's working on it. It's not like he's given up. Deal. There are other things you can do with your time.
posted by brevator at 8:40 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


It is true that George R. R. Martin doesn't technically owe his readers anything. He could chose to say that he's done with the series and spend the rest of his days relaxing under a fig tree and no one could stop him.

But it is reasonable to be annoyed that the story is not finished and is unlikely to be finished. I'm really glad that the HBO series exists so that we can get a (hopefully!) satisfying resolution to the series in a reasonable time frame.
posted by JDHarper at 9:08 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that the way publishing works, some authors don't really have a choice over how many books are in a series. Once the first one sells well, the publisher is already buying several more books to add to the "trilogy". I don't think that's the case here; I think the length has been driven by GRRM. But the idea that authors are in a contract with the readers instead of the publishers misrepresents how the industry really works.
posted by tofu_crouton at 9:15 AM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Annoyed is one thing. Annoyed is fine. After the Red Wedding, I was annoyed with George R. R. Martin. It's perfectly reasonable to want him to finish his next book.

But annoyed is different from what 'fans' have been saying, stipulating his imminent death. That's classless and unthinking and morbid. You know, everybody's going to die. We're all going to die. I'm pretty sure George R.R. Martin is going to die, someday. But I'll bet he doesn't want to hear about it from dozens (thousands?) of his own 'fans', every time he goes out in public or looks himself up.
posted by newdaddy at 9:19 AM on June 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


If anything it'll make him want to finish it less, in order to satiate an excessively entitled fanbase.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:20 AM on June 3, 2016


Jesus H. Christ, when did it become ok to talk about people like this? I'm sorry, but I find this to be astonishingly callous and rude!

It's not callous to state a fact, he's an incredibly slow writer, who has a long track record of setting and missing countless deadlines, and the show is finishing the story. If there's a book 6, I will be thrilled and I will buy it. But as a person who read the first book in 1998 and has been around this block with him before, I won't hold my breath, and I'll rejoice on the day I have the book in my hand, not before. I'm not saying he owes me anything, he can finish his books in his own time or not at all. What I am saying is I've stopped believing anything he says about a forthcoming book until it's a reality, and I won't buy into anything he's doing to promote a book that does not currently exist.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:23 AM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Hi George, nice to meet you. I really like your books. I've been telling everybody that you're going to die soon."

I do not at all agree with this sentiment or suggest doing this, but if you did, you could just simplify it down to "Valar Morgulis, George."

And for what its worth, people aged sixty-five and older are now a full thirteen percent of the population. Someone that age has a life expectancy of almost twenty more years. I feel like most people still see people in their sixties through a historical lens that's decades now out of date. It's not "you could drop over at any moment." It's "doctor checkups become a more regular thing."

As for his writing speed and style - y'know, they're his books. He moves at his own pace. And he seems to be enjoying the work, which is great, since a few years ago he seemed to be kind of exhausted by the whole thing (fan entitlement certainly didn't help!).
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:47 AM on June 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


the ruthless culling of useless plots. All of Dorn? Completely irrelevant, Sand Snakes take over, no one else matters, the end.

If only they had ruthlessly culled all of Dorne it would have been a big improvement. The showrunners had originally planned on leaving it out entirely, but apparently they decided that Jaime needed a lobotomy and Bronn needed some bad pussy. I have no doubt that if the Sand Snakes in the books had been dudes with no tits to flash then they would have been cut from the show after all. The showrunners need a better editor as badly as Martin does.
posted by homunculus at 1:03 PM on June 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


I won't buy into anything he's doing to promote a book that does not currently exist.

You are certainly well within your rights to not buy a book that isn't for sale yet.
posted by tobascodagama at 4:04 PM on June 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Beautiful Death: The Dead Don't Rest
posted by homunculus at 4:11 PM on June 3, 2016




Now that it's official that Brienne is a descendant of Duncan the Tall, and since apparently Benjen is not Coldhands in the books (unless GRRM changes his mind) I'm kind of hoping the fan theory that Dunk is Coldhands is actually true. If Brienne ever finds herself north of the Wall, that would be an interesting family reunion. But that would probably be too cheesy for GRRM's tastes, so I won't hold my breath.
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on June 3, 2016


Reddit: Let's discuss Euron's New Clothes...
posted by homunculus at 6:36 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Analyzing Religion in the New TWOW Chapter, 'The Forsaken'

The Reddit discussion on this article is fun too: bringing up further religious allusions in the book series and cross-referencing with Tolkien.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:00 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's not callous to state a fact, he's an incredibly slow writer, who has a long track record of setting and missing countless deadlines, and the show is finishing the story. If there's a book 6, I will be thrilled and I will buy it. But as a person who read the first book in 1998 and has been around this block with him before, I won't hold my breath, and I'll rejoice on the day I have the book in my hand, not before. I'm not saying he owes me anything, he can finish his books in his own time or not at all. What I am saying is I've stopped believing anything he says about a forthcoming book until it's a reality, and I won't buy into anything he's doing to promote a book that does not currently exist.

This.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:09 PM on June 3, 2016




the horrendously heartbreaking “The Door.”

Ugh. That was pretty much the last straw for the show for me (though I've said it before ... it's hard, b/c my wife wants to watch it.)

But c'mon. That was CHEE. Z. with multiple capital Zs. Hodor is named Hodor his whole life (post-seizure) because he holds a door in the future, and the three-eyed raven goes back in time the white walkers can see Bran in his warg moments and what now? No sense whatsoever. I laughed when Hodor died, as in "oh my glob, did they really do that?" That's not poignancy.

I am still looking forward to the book endings (though it's pretty clear now how it's gonna go.)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:48 PM on June 3, 2016 [1 favorite]




At least Hodor didn't crawl under a dumpster.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:05 AM on June 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Mrgrimm, I admire your critical sensibilities and would like to subscribe to your newsletter. The Door had me laughing with tears while everyone else was sniffling. SO DUMB. SODUM! SODUM!
posted by benzenedream at 1:27 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes, the origin of Hodor's name is classic narm (WARNING: TVTropes). I sort of envy anyone whose disbelief is sufficiently suspended that they can tolerate the ridiculousness of the moment long enough to feel some kind of sorrow for Hodor himself.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:08 PM on June 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


The writing was ham-handed, but the thing that really sucked the poignancy out of Hodor's (and Summer's) final scene for me was how completely ridiculous the yakety zombies looked, chasing them through the tunnels and clambering along the ceiling and walls like Moria orcs on speed. The scene might have worked better if instead of using wights they had introduced ice spiders; it would have still been silly, but it would have fit better and been a more interesting visual.

I am curious to see how GRRM handles it in the books, though, and I'm looking forward to getting more details on Bloodraven and the COTF since the show did so little with them (what a waste of Max von Sydow.) Overall this season is making me more anxious to read TWOW because the show is taking so many shortcuts in its perpetual rush to get to the next big plot moment. The showrunners are clearly getting burnt out, which is only natural after the crazy schedule they've kept up for years now, but I wish they would take a season off to recuperate rather than cutting it down even more.
posted by homunculus at 2:43 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Couldn't disagree more, really. IMO the showrunners are doing their best to bring the sprawling mess we've ended up with at the end of ADwD to some sort of reasonably tight conclusion. Which will necessarily involve shortcuts. The problem isn't theirs, it's Martin's inability to keep his story in focus.
posted by Justinian at 4:05 PM on June 4, 2016 [1 favorite]




The 'insane fan theory' (the Mythos in Westeros) is just an enjoyable elaboration of stuff that's all over the World of Ice and Fire gazetteer/history book released a couple years ago -- there's a lot of Lovecraftian stuff doodled in the margins (Carcosa on the map, etc.) and the 'oily black stone'/Deep Ones stuff isn't even hidden or encoded. There's nothing 'insane' about the theory. It won't happen, but it's pretty groovy, eh?

Lovecraft spoke of 'adventurous expectancy' and that's why the Mythos stuff is there at the margins of the books. Martin isn't cynically laying in material for future episodes JJ Abrams-style, he's filling every corner of his imagined world with possibility. Until he finishes the story, that sense of endlessness, of Deep Time and vast cosmic forces, is one of the main pleasures on offer. It's the reason I show up. And it's the main reason the books have always been greater than the show -- with the quality/significance gap widening during the current hamfisted TV season.
posted by waxbanks at 4:00 PM on June 5, 2016 [4 favorites]








That Vox link about Arya is uninformed fluff. "By ending the Arya plot so abruptly, Benioff and Weiss have all but confirmed that it’s insignificant enough in Martin’s overall scheme that he didn’t tell them much about it." I'm not sure what he was expected to tell them about it? Her season 5&6 plotline was already published, and it's reasonable to speculate that Martin told them who her ultimate, important killing assignment in the book actually is. The real problem is that D&D invested themselves very heavily in the Waif, to the exclusion of Arya's development. In the process they compounded two of their biggest problems: having too many characters and having the important characters too far apart. In the books, Arya interacts with more of the central characters in Braavos, not just the Waif, and (spoiler for Winds of Winter) she goes back to Westeros to rejoin the rest of the cast before most of her actions from this season. This is one instance in which the books are actually more streamlined than the show! Usually when they make changes, like granting characters the power of teleportation, D&D say it's to move things along faster or to make things less complex for a visual narrative. The changes they make to Arya's plotline do the exact opposite, while making Arya look like an idiot despite a season and a half of assassin training.
posted by tofu_crouton at 5:28 AM on June 18, 2016


As the show continues what is, for me, a very disappointing slide into incoherence (I remind myself weekly at this point that one of D&D said "themes are for eighth grade books reports" in an interview), is that the Faceless Men will eventually be revealed to be a set of Terminator robots with some malfunctions/deviations from their original programming that have lead to the rise of their cult. Eventually, it will be revealed that they are their to kill Jon, whose true name is John Connor.

The Termi-waif from the last episode went a long ways towards making me feel that this theory might be vindicated one day.
posted by nubs at 8:29 AM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


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