Well, in that explanation, he finally solved things, untangled the Mereenese Knot, and we got what we got in the fifth book. It’s true, he did have a lot of events converging on Mereen at the same time. I felt that made it really thrilling to read. It’s interesting that he wrote three different versions of Quentyn’s arrival to see how events played out in all 3 versions. That’s quite the work-intensive way to work things out in the writing process though, I have to admit.
My recollection is that Martin himself used the term “Mereenese Knot” at some book signing/reading events. And the explanation above is a good illustration of how Martin tied himself into knots in the writing of books IV and V, by considering characters as important which the show was able to treat as extraneous. For example, Martin listed a series of 5 characters (plus an “etc.”) which he needed to juggle in the Mereen plotline. The show only treated one of these as important (Tyrion) and treated the other 4 as extraneous. The show never introduced Quentyn, Victarion, Aegon or Marwyn at all, and the Mereen plotline on the show was no worse than in the books. In my view I consider the show version superior, and also much much shorter.
But Martin’s inability to realize that characters like “Quentyn, Victarion, Aegon, Marwyn, etc.” cost more in terms of writing opportunity cost and reader attention cost than they add in plot or drama is the real weakness of Martin over the last 15 years or so. Sure, Victarion is a great character and the fact he will never appear on the show is a loss, but the corollary is that we got through Mereen much faster and back into the main plotlines.
The show has jettisoned some of this baggage but was still bloated by some baggage as well as some poor non-Martin-canon plotlines in seasons 5 and 6.
My biggest complaint about the show currently is that now that they are post Martin, they are actually trying too hard to make up for lost time and season 7 has a certain… abruptness and jumpiness. We can discuss further once Rock8man catches up.
I imagine if you have to write entire sections of a 1500 page book over (that would cascade and change the rest of the book, jeeeze), that could be a touch time consuming.
It seems more like he’s doing parameter sweeps and optimization on simulations with an abacus instead of writing.
His strength is also his weakness. Strength in introducing characters we want to see continue, more than the cookie cutter standard, that we’ll care about as more than just a means to moving the story from point A to B. Weakness when all we want is for the story to move forward already for fucks’ sake, it’s been years, the Night King might be immortal, but I’m not…
Interesting observations about magic. And very true.
Any opinion of the exclusive iBooks-only enhanced A Game of Thrones books? I already have Kindle versions but wonder how much more interactivity is available in these books. And whether they are the same content in subsequent books.
I can’t believe this thread was started 15 years ago. I was only 23 years old.
Sweet summer child. . . .
And I can’t believe I didn’t read about GoT (or this thread) until about 7 years ago! Maybe because of the title “A Song”… song? He he he :)
Is the next book EVER coming out? I’m on my third reading of the ten book Malazan series, which I first read right after finishing A Dance with Dragons in 2011. WTF, Martin, I thought you were a novelist.
He’s got a process… So he claims 😉
It takes him up to 4 weeks to write 1 line for Tyrion, so it’s gonna take a while to come up with those nuggets of ancient wisdom.
The next book is never coming out. He’s done with the series, he’s said it without saying it.
Those money hats aren’t gonna wear themselves! :)
I figure he’s done after Winds of Winter, but I have to believe he’s at least going to finish that. That’s why I’m holding off on reading all the various excerpts and readings out there from that book.
I saw this yesterday, and now I can’t get the image of a naked GRRM jumping on his backyard trampoline out of my mind.
Consider it my Christmas gift to you. :)
Is that really him or an impersonation of Martin, just for laughs?
its HL3 all over again …