Isn’t it obvious? Martin’s not a close personal friend, so I haven’t had in depth conversations with him on the matter, but both he and Jordan said in early interviews that they planned for their series to run 4-5 books max, and the swift plotting in their first volume or two support that. Then buckets of cash rolled in and the pace slowed like crazy.
I am just gonna consider the HBO show cannon from now on. Fuck the books, he’s not going to finish and the series will never get back to being how good it was in 1-3.
Just seems uncharitable – a Tolkien fan should appreciate that some tales grow in the telling.
Criticism isn’t charitable, and I admit freely to being very critical of both Martin and Jordan. I do appreciate that tales can grow beyond their author’s initial imaginings (it certainly happened with LoTR), but Tolkien’s pace was constant even as his world expanded. Various members of the Fellowship are present in every chapter, and the story moves. By contrast, Jordan and Martin both shove their main characters offstage for long periods of time because they have to do things that matter when the spotlight is on them.
When I reread the books the last time, I just read the POV chapters that I liked. Still very enjoyable and much less filler. However, even Tyrion’s chapters started to drag in the last book. Even with all of the cliff hangers, the first three books are almost the perfect story, especially in terms of Tyrion’s arc. Ditch Dany and the fucking dragons and this story could be well over by now. Winter may be coming, but WTF is Martin going to do with it when it arrives?
The dragons are the thing though. Martin’s said (or at least implied) in the past that the King’s Landing intrigue, the “War of the Five Kings” stuff and all the political drama was supposed to be just window-dressing for the central story of Dany, Jon, the Dragons and the White Walkers. The fact that the Central Westros stuff was much more compelling than the fantasy stuff seemed to come as a surprise to him as well.
Wait a second, Martin limits the fantasy elements to almost nothing, gives us awesome human, political characters like Tyrion, Littlefinger, Cersei, Tywin, etc. and then he is surprised that is what people like about his books? Maybe he actually is as clueless as Jordan was.
No, what happened is that HE was surprised by how much more interesting HE found Tywin Lannister, the Queen of Thorns, Littlefinger, etc… and how much he enjoyed writing their (now expanded) stories. People who were going to be throw-away “NPC” types suddenly became minor characters in their own right, and minor characters were unexpectedly vaulted into much more prominent roles.
I think one of the big issues with Books 4 and Book 5 is that Martin was struggling to make the non-Westros world (Mereen, etc.) as interesting as he had made the Westerosi. To combat this, I think he struggled to introduce a bunch of new characters, perhaps expecting that they would be just as interesting as, say, Tywin.
Read some of those and see if you come away with a higher regard for book 5. I did, and I was pretty disappointed at how little apparent story was told in the last book.
re: Tin - Okay. That makes more sense.
Ah… huh. I actually thought Dance was amazing, though I only read it once. I’m saving a re-read for the 6th book being closer to out, but this blog is really neat. I better book mark it, it’s been long enough some of this is almost a “spoiler”, so to speak.
Wow…that’s awesome, and while I always liked Book 5, I like it even more now.
Book 5 was better than 4, but that is not a very high bar. Book 5 just has the more invested and interesting characters.
Yes, that blog is a great work of analysis. There were so many subtle plot threads going on in book 5 (Tyrion doing a lot with a little—no dwarf pun intended—for instance) that I didn’t even perceive them, and I thought I was a pretty good Song of Ice and Fire reader.
If there’s anything “wrong” with the latter aSoIaF books, it is that Martin is walking the line between the extremes of making each novel its own self-contained story and making each novel “here’s what happened this month in Westeros.” And in the course of every installment, he’s writing 4-8 novels that are kind of interacting with each other.
Yep. But i just have read one of this series, thats Game of Thrones. And now it was adapted into TV series, which makes me so happy. So i have almost each episode of this tv series.
Is this a great deal? $75 for all 3 seasons
Game of Thrones, Seasons 1-3 by Game of Thrones
The BluRay seasons go for about $30 per on Amazon right now, so it seems like a decent price to me. That said, season 4 should be out in a month or three and they might have some package deals at that time.
As an alternative for $75, you could subscribe to HBO for five months and watch them all though HBO Go along with a bunch of other stuff.
I much prefer a digital copy these days so as to save space. I went ahead with it, just surprise that not many are excited over the price. I’ve read the books twice but have not watched the HBO series, so this will be interesting… Just say the pilot episode. Great, great cast!
I envy you the experience – I’ve gotten to the point where I enjoy the shows more than I did the books. And I [U]love[/U] the books… I too have ready them a couple times each.
Without ever subscribing to HBO I have seen most the episodes through the free weekends they offer. They had a free weekend with the beginning of the last season and as part of that I was able to DVR most of season 2 and all of season three. I hope they do that again when the new season comes out.