A Song of Ice and Fire


after I read the first 2 books, I was totally happy, pacing, story, characters, really great read.

The next books did not go down so well… something changed, it was like he wanted to write a fictional and complete history of Westeros with details, lots of details. So the first two books took me maybe 2-3 months to read… the other books I was reading on and off for years. Finally I reached Dance of Dragons, I switched strategy. Now I read all character chapters at once, so I read all Cersei chapters, then I read all Aarya chapters. It’s more engaging that way (for me at least).

Now I read all Tyrion chapters and it feels like I climbed a chair to get to the cookie jar, but who will punish me? Nobody, haha, I will eat the whole cookies… I think it took me more time to read the books than for GRRM to write them…


I liked AFOC, yeah it was slower than the previous book, and by nature it was less ‘epic’, but it was normal given the situation. But ADWD, man, that was slow, slow, slow, secondary characters, secondary characters, setup, setup, setup.


I think I’m currently reading a different ADWD. This weekend, I ignored pretty much all else in favor of reading chapter after exciting chapter. I just love how everything’s being setup, how all these pieces are coming together in the North and in Mereen. All these various characters and their circumstances, all on a collision course, but all arriving at different times, some too early, some just in time, some too late. And the consequences are totally not what I was expecting.

The only decision-maker frustrating me right now is Jon Snow. For once I agree with the Queen. He’s already made a best effort to try to save the wildlings off the coast by sending seven ships. Now he’s added more and more bodies for the enemy to take over, and it’s time to know when it’s too late and wait at the Wall for the enemy to come to you. Instead he wants to add even more to the enemy ranks. Ugh.

The battle for Winterfell has just been so awesome in this book, just absolutely delicious in its twists and turns.

But the best part of this book from the beginning has been Mereen. For me, this has always been Daenyres’ true test. Can she rule in such a contentious place? The insurgency against her. Her own police force having to hide behind masks so their families won’t be targeted, and now that she’s gone, the masks obscuring both loyal soldiers and traitors alike. At this point, I don’t even care what happens to Westeros. I’m much more interested in what happens to Mereen.


I finished Dance with Dragons this morning.

For all the excitement near the end, a couple of events really took the wind out of me. That last chapter of Jon Snow was the first one where I felt he made bad decision after bad decision (and this after a book where he’d been a great Lord Commander of the Watch, and been making excellent decisions), and it culminated in his death in a way that was completely unexpected to me. I hadn’t been able to avoid the news that Jon Snow had died on the TV show, so I figured that was coming, but not like this. (Stupid TV show and its stupid spoilers).

The death of Quentin was expected and sad. But overall I wasn’t expecting Meereen to be left such a mess by the end of the book. I thought at least some of these conflicts would be resolved somehow. Maybe the war with the Yankai outside the city walls. Or the Sons of the Harpy inside the city. Instead, it was all left hanging, which makes this book feel like much more of a dangling cliff-hanger than the first three books. More than anything, I felt Meereen was the heart of this book, so to leave this particular story unresolved is the only thing that rankles me.

The return of Varis was triumphant and really well timed. I was sitting there going “Noooo, you’re undoing all of Cersei’s work”, when Varis came back and said pretty much the same thing. I actually did a fist pump while reading, I think.

I do love where they left the Battle of Winterfell though. It set things up for a future showdown, but it was still very satisfying, the way it all went down. Very exciting to read, and very eventful despite the snow basically smothering everything. That has got to be the most unique, best paced brilliant depiction of a non-battle battle ever. I loved it.

*Sigh. And now the Ice and Fire withdrawal begins. Should I wait for the next book, or should I start watching the TV show from Episode 1?


I broke down and watched the show. I recently came across a post of George RR Martin’s pitch of Song of Ice and Fire to his publisher which convinced me he’s never going to finish the books. Here it is: http://watchersonthewall.com/george-r-r-martins-original-plan-game-thrones/

Relevant bit,

As you know, I don’t outline my novels. I find that if I know exactly where a book is going, I lose all interest in writing it.

They’ve shown us where the story is going on the TV show, and he helped write it. So, based on this and his continuous complaining about having to work on the books instead of watching football, I think he’s lost all interest in finishing the novels. :(


Wow, that outline is pretty interesting. No wonder his books managed to surprise me so often. His original outline there sounds much closer to what I was expecting when I started reading the series. But something unexpected happens at every turn instead. So maybe that’s the secret to writing like that. Write like you want to go one way, then change your mind later and have something different happen instead.


New Alt Shift X youtube video discussing Dany’s House of Undying visions


And another one for the Faceless men

This video really shows how badly the show screwed this narrative up compared to the books.

Also, I have no idea when this sample chapter was compiled from apparently a public reading, but it’s a sweet, twisted read: https://angrygotfan.com/2016/05/29/the-winds-of-winter-the-forsaken/ Obviously if you want to come into book 6 with no knowledge at all, don’t read the chapter, but I found it to be pretty good stuff.


Did anyone buy the new enhanced edition eBook which is exclusively available in iBooks? It has custom art, annotations, interactive character maps, etc. The first book is $8.99.


That does sound cool. But there’s no way I’m buying an eBook I can’t remove the DRM from.

This is one of those areas of DRM where I’ve concretely had multiple instances where the storefronts migrated or shut-down or the formats changed & I would have been out of my investments if the DRM weren’t gone.



But then, it’s the same with Kindle, isn’t it? It’s DRM as well. Are you not buying any eBooks at all then? Personally, I dislike that they made it exclusive to Apple. I was hoping it will be a free updates to existing customers of GoT eBooks even in Kindle, I know it doesn’t make sense, but ugh, I am not sure I want to buy another GoT that I am not going to re-read again.


I’ve pre-ordered the illustrated edition of Game of Thrones coming out later this month. Yet another something to lug along with me to the book signing next year.


I don’t even want to know what this is. I am all for soft copies these days - it’s easier to locate them and they don’t get old, torn, etc.


Yeah, ever since I dug out some of my 20+ year old books and tried to read them I realized software is the way to go. While I still prefer paper, electronic means not having to store/locate, and no yellowed pages.


I had George R.R. Martin sign my Kindle screen, and now I’m kind of regretting it. It makes things hard to read.


I’m too much of a bibliophile to let go of my books. I’ve got paperbacks approaching 40yo, stuff I read in the late 70s as an early teenager. . .too much nostalgia wrapped up in them. Some I remember buying, looking them over, the thoughts that led to the decision to use a portion of whatever $$ I had on me to buy them. My great uncle stopped by my dad’s store one day in late 1978 and handed me a $10. I promptly walked over a mile to a local bookstore and picked up 4 books, each $2.50, written by some English professor big into philology. Thus was birthed my life as a geek. Those 4 books are sitting on the shelf behind me, bent, worn, torn, yellowed with age, but I’d still probably run through a small fire to save them.


You’re not even going to name them, but taunt us instead?!


Based on the [quote=“John_Reynolds, post:1996, topic:202”]
written by some English professor big into philology
[/quote] I’m going to guess it’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and either The Hobbit or The Silmarillion.


Ah. I misread and thought it said Philosophy. Well spotted :)

(ps, based on the time period, it’d have to be The Hobbit, as the Silmarillion as new in 1977, so would have cost more then the others?)


Yes, it was the Hobbit and trilogy. Read the Silmarillion the next year.