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Old Dec 1 2009, 09:17 AM   #1
cwett
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Thumbs up A Song of Ice and Fire

So I have not seen George R.R. Martin mentioned yet. A Song of Ice and Fire is supposed to be one of the best series' in the history of Fantasy. Yes I am not kidding. I am a fan, however I do not quite agree with that statement. A Game of Thrones is the first book I enjoyed it and would put it up there in my top ten favorite books ... here is it's description:

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows . As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction. A Game of Thrones Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Old Dec 1 2009, 10:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

I read the first few in that series, but gave up after a while. I got tired of nothing good at all happening, and the long installments from various POVs in faraway locations which invariably led to cliffhangers which then took forever to get back to. (I remember one that ended "The axe took her in the back of the head." She was still alive many, many pages later.)

There is something to be said for an author who is not afraid to let Bad Things happen to their characters, but after enough Bad Things, I lose my motivation to keep reading. If it just keeps getting worse and worse, I don't want to find out how much worse it can get. For all I know, some people might like it for the same reasons I don't.


By the way, it has been five or six years since I read these, so my memories of the actual plot are fairly vague - but these are the impressions I remember having at the time.
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Old Dec 1 2009, 02:13 PM   #3
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I too gave up on Martin though I started "the wrong way", with beginning a trilogy with volume 2 It gave me enough information that I didn't like his style of writing though. Which doesn't say much about him and his books but more about my personal taste.
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Old Dec 2 2009, 01:40 AM   #4
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The books are great and I do like that he isn't afraid to kill off main characters. It does get old though that everytime you think something good is finally going to happen you get kicked in the nuts . The biggest problem with the books is that he is a fat lazy old man that takes forever to write anything. He is now saying its going to be a 7 book series and the 4th and last finished book came out in 05.
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Old Dec 2 2009, 06:18 AM   #5
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Wow. So, him being 'fat' is a problem with the books. And 'old', that's a problem for you too, is it?

As for lazy, well. George RR Martin is not your bitch.


Please try not to be so obnoxious in future, 'kay? We're all waiting impatiently for the next book, but entitlement attitudes like your do no-one any favours.
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Old Dec 2 2009, 07:40 AM   #6
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Yes I must agree with ya'll... instances with Ned Stark and "The Red Wedding" nearly made me fall out of my chair! However it still is facinating to me what he has done and I just want to know why he has! Like how on Earth are you going to finish up these books!? and I'm sorry Kath but I must side a little with Canker... why has it taken him so long to get out the next book? He's written other books in the mean time, why not push it out? Or has he lost site of the direction he wants to take the story?? I would hope with such integrated politics and twists he would have an idea of the path for this story. Who really knows I suppose?
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Old Dec 2 2009, 08:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: A Song of Ice and Fire

Did you read the link Kath posted? It stemmed specifically from someone complaining about the delay in Martin's next book, but is generalized to any reader awaiting the next book in a series.

Just because a number of readers have enjoyed a book series and are looking foward to the next installment, doesn't make the author obligated to write it in a timely manner -- or even at all. The only thing that would obligate the author to do so is a contract with a publisher. Authors are free to write whatever they want (within the bounds of publishing contracts already made), when they want, period. If they want to work on other projects, or stop writing altogether, that is their choice. Just because you bought one or books by an author, doesn't make them obligated to follow what you wish them to produce.
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Old Dec 2 2009, 10:50 AM   #8
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Just because a number of readers have enjoyed a book series and are looking foward to the next installment, doesn't make the author obligated to write it in a timely manner -- or even at all.
Would be a smart move though
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Old Dec 2 2009, 11:13 AM   #9
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Yes Cheryl, I did read the link Kath posted. Martin does have a contract for three more books in this series with his publisher. I did not say that I was eagerly waiting the next release... simply wondering why it has been years since he put out that when it first would be. If he had not blogged/posted that it was supposed to be out Feb 2007, then kept pushing it back, I don't think his readers would be so cross with his delay. If he put out that he wasn't finishing the story than great, or that the next book would be released in 2015 than fine... however he has been posting delays not answers. You are right, we don't need answers from him and I understand completely that he is not on my pay roll and therefore doesn't owe me anything. However he is an author and has a loyal fan base who would like to know... something.
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Old Dec 2 2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cwett View Post
simply wondering why it has been years since he put out that when it first would be. If he had not blogged/posted that it was supposed to be out Feb 2007, then kept pushing it back, I don't think his readers would be so cross with his delay. If he put out that he wasn't finishing the story than great, or that the next book would be released in 2015 than fine... however he has been posting delays not answers.
Now, this argument would be absolutely fine if it weren't for a few gaping chasms between it and reality. Readers always want to know what the status of a work in progress is - so, should GRRM have told them nothing, or given them an ETA based on his current progress and expectations at that time?

He chose the latter. Is there anything wrong in that? I don't think so.

And then the situation changed, as situations do. Characters take on lives of their own, real life intervenes, other projects suddenly grab hold of your muse, you end up creating a TV pilot of the first part of the first book (and isn't that enough to be excited about?), and you find that that pesky plot point simply won't resolve itself. You re-write and re-write and re-write, and still it won't go away. Have none of you noticed GRRM's frequent mention of the 'Meerenese knot'?

Yes, the guy blogs about football. He's not a slave chained to a typewriter 24-7. But he alos lets us know when he DOES make progress. No-one's happy that this book wasn't out half a decade ago, least of all GRRM himself, but he still keeps his readers informed even when the only update is still 'sorry, no progress this quarter'.

He doesn't tell us to shove our entitlement issues up our collective arses either (well, okay, I guess he did do that once...), which he WOULD be perfectly entitled to do equally as often as people pester him. Muse on that, for a while.



So sayeth Kath, anyway, who has been patiently awaiting Rawn's The Captal's Tower for longer than ASOIAF has even been in existence...

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Old Dec 3 2009, 02:13 AM   #11
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Him being fat and old isn't a problem with the books. Him dying because he is fat and old before he finishes the books is the problem. Hopefully he lives to be a happy healthy 99 years old so he has plenty of time to finish them but the out look isn't good.
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Old Dec 3 2009, 04:56 AM   #12
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Him being fat and old isn't a problem with the books. Him dying because he is fat and old before he finishes the books is the problem. Hopefully he lives to be a happy healthy 99 years old so he has plenty of time to finish them but the out look isn't good.
You're just making this worse, you know. Him being fat and old and dying is a problem for YOU because YOU don't have the books YOU want?

Sheesh.


[And besides, don't you think the publishers will ensure the books keep on coming regardless? Look at the Wheel of Time... arguably, Sanderson could well be getting us to the end of the series faster than RJ ever would have...]
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Old Dec 3 2009, 08:57 AM   #13
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Why are you taking this so seriously, Kath?

It can be said 'tongue in cheek' too, can't it?
Would anybody take umbrage if I said I don't want Anne to die before she wrote that End of Ninth Pass short story?
I'd readily admit it would be my problem and not Anne's and in real life I actually don't have a problem with it, but I used it as an example.
Am I missing some essential subtlety here? Or do you need a peculiar sort of humour for these kind of remarks?

*admits he's curious*

And, is he really old and eating himself to death?
Or is he just a big and/or fat man?
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Old Dec 3 2009, 09:14 AM   #14
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I guess because I think it's a really nasty attitude being displayed, that's all. But you're right, it COULD have been meant in purely a tongue in cheek manner - but the time to point that out would perhaps be after I picked up on the insults the first time. Instead, they just got repeated. If they were meant purely as a joke, hey, that's fine. I just saw no sign that it was.

Still. It's pretty clear opinions vary wildly on this score, and I've made my point, so I'll leave it here.
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Old Dec 12 2009, 11:56 PM   #15
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Bats remembers when the 3rd movie of The Lords of the Rings ,was released
I was standing in line to see it and there was a 85yrold Man who was so
thrilled to be still alive to see the last film ,,he was afraid he wouldn't make it
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Old Dec 13 2009, 03:54 AM   #16
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That's pretty special, bats.

One tends to forget that some of the great fantasy novels are pretty old that oldster was still a vigorous young man when LotR first came out!
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Old Dec 22 2009, 06:09 AM   #17
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Oh my gosh, Kath. Hilarious!
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Old Feb 23 2010, 06:22 PM   #18
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Now, this argument would be absolutely fine if it weren't for a few gaping chasms between it and reality. Readers always want to know what the status of a work in progress is - so, should GRRM have told them nothing, or given them an ETA based on his current progress and expectations at that time?

He chose the latter. Is there anything wrong in that? I don't think so.

And then the situation changed, as situations do. Characters take on lives of their own, real life intervenes, other projects suddenly grab hold of your muse, you end up creating a TV pilot of the first part of the first book (and isn't that enough to be excited about?), and you find that that pesky plot point simply won't resolve itself. You re-write and re-write and re-write, and still it won't go away. Have none of you noticed GRRM's frequent mention of the 'Meerenese knot'?

Yes, the guy blogs about football. He's not a slave chained to a typewriter 24-7. But he alos lets us know when he DOES make progress. No-one's happy that this book wasn't out half a decade ago, least of all GRRM himself, but he still keeps his readers informed even when the only update is still 'sorry, no progress this quarter'.

He doesn't tell us to shove our entitlement issues up our collective arses either (well, okay, I guess he did do that once...), which he WOULD be perfectly entitled to do equally as often as people pester him. Muse on that, for a while.



So sayeth Kath, anyway, who has been patiently awaiting Rawn's The Captal's Tower for longer than ASOIAF has even been in existence...



Oh, yes and I still haven't given up hope on that one. So I guess fans will stick around patiently or not so patiently waiting for George's next one. Hopefully, he will have solved, or already solved, the Meerneese knot soon.
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Old Feb 24 2010, 03:29 AM   #19
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He's posted a few updates recently on his not-a-blog - sounds like the writing has been going pretty well so far this year.
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Old Feb 24 2010, 11:11 AM   #20
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Or going well in the last few weeks at least. Before that, it was all about football. But then he has to spoil it by saying he might rewrite this week everything he did last week. "sigh"
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Old Feb 27 2010, 06:19 AM   #21
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So sayeth Kath, anyway, who has been patiently awaiting Rawn's The Captal's Tower for longer than ASOIAF has even been in existence...
I know this is hijacking the thread somewhat, but I'm in the same boat. I actually reread the first two not long ago and enjoyed them greatly but ended with a sigh knowing we might never know who Collan's parents really were, and more... It wont be the first time I've waited seemingly forever for a sequel (Jean M Auel's last book as an example, was at least 10 years gap).
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Old Jun 19 2011, 02:57 PM   #22
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Ok, I suppose this is jumping off thee topic, and I have no idea if this is a topic that should be discussed here (you're free to move it to a new thread or a folder), but has anyone seen the series made after the first book, The Game of Thrones? I have not read the books (am planing to), but have seen the series, and have a brother who has read it and loved it and is waiting for the next one. He says that the series are all right for themselves, but as an adaptation they suck. I'm not OK with the blood and the so many killings, I detest some characters but I still watch it.
So, if anybody is watching I would like to hear your opinion, especially from the ones that had read the books.
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Old Jun 19 2011, 05:41 PM   #23
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I thought it hilarious last year when several GRRM fans were selling wristbands with George RR Martin is not your bitch for $2 each at Aussiecon4 whilst we were all in line to have our respective books signed (figured I'd get some of my anthologies signed by him as they were in the same ones that AMC wrote in). Even more fun when we both tried to bowl each other over, on my way to a forum, GRRM on his way to where-ever. I thanked him for his patience as both child and I were participating in Masquerade that night and needed to go to rehearsals, in signing my books and we were just about to go when told that we were first in line for the next signing which was hold at the same time as rehearsals. We asked if he could sign our books so we could go. He didn't have to but he let us have our request so I will respect him for that. True story.
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Old Jun 23 2011, 11:12 PM   #24
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I find myself in the same camp as Hans, something of a compatible writing style, nice world and good character development, HOWEVER, killing off droves of "main" characters in each book, story going nearly nowhere, toss in how everyone left alive seems to be nearly as trustworthy as a scorpion.... I read the first three, hoping for any decent conflict resolution, but couldn't bring myself to get or even read the fourth one. I think I'll stay away from him any further, like I said, good writing style and character development, but too bloodthirsty for my tastes, and no real plot progression.
Personally I'm still casting around trying to find stuff to read that I haven't read countless times, while its nice to travel the older roads, its also good to check out some paths untrod.
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Old Mar 18 2012, 10:25 PM   #25
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I will say one thing for this series, which I have just started reading.... I LOVE how Dany's husband deals with her brother. "A crown for the cart king".....PERFECT!
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Old Sep 5 2012, 08:31 PM   #26
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so now that this topic has grown from the book discusion to the HBO series as well, I have a little to add.

I had (simply by chance) picked up the first book on a used book shelf while deployed a couple of summers back. I was about halfway through the book when I heard people talking about the series. so i started watching what I could via the internet. I found that for me, the series was following the story line well enough that I was able to really enjoy it.

I have since fiished the book and will be starting book 2 this week in hopes of completing it so i can get into the third before season three of the show starts up later this month. I read slow so we'll see how far I get.

one charachter that I noticed was most definitely different was the Red Priest with the flaming sword. In the show (at least I think this is who this is) there is a red Priestess (dont get me wrong, she's cute!) but I was hoping to see this "monk-like" characheter with a thin sword ablaze whirling through the battlefield. But the cute redhead can stay.
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Old Sep 7 2012, 07:39 AM   #27
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''The cute readhead'' has to stay becaue she's one of the main characters in book two! There are actually two characters that fit your description (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong): Melisandre of Asshai, the Red Priestess who serves King Stanis, and Thoros of Myr, who starts off as a member of the court in King's Landing, but later joins the brotherhood called Brotherhood Without Banner. They are both priests of the Red God, but only Thoros wields a flaming sword (I guess it's him you meant), though Melisandre proclaims King Stanis the Red God's chosen by giving him a flaming sword.
As far as I know, Thoros wasn't mentioned in the TV series (though I could be wrong, as there are a lot of members in season one which I don't recognise).
I have finally read the books and watched both seasons and can say this: the books are getting too long and too complicated, especially the fifth one. He's bringing in characters you never even heard of (or have, but only in one sentece) and have no idea what the hell are they doing there now. Too many characters are dead and he's really getting overboard with the whole ''I killed him, but I resurected him as an undead'' thing. The people who made it this far in the series and are gonna be in book 6 should be given some reward!
Season two is terible, there are too many inconsistencies with the books (which is strange, as Martin himself is on the set, making sure ''they get everything right), and some of the characters are totaly wrong (e.g. Cercei: they're trying to make her a victim in the series, a poor soul tormented from youth and only wanting the best for the children, when she is actually a ruthless bitch wanting nothing less then the thone, power and revenge - though I will accept the part about the children).
Then again, they did get some of if right: I love the guy that plays Tyrion, totally as I imagined him. The kids are also great, Sansa was so-so in season one, but shows great potential in sesaon two. Joffrey is absolutely mad, as he should be, and Arya was great from the beginning and only get's better as the series goes on.
But for God's sake, must there be so much nudity?! Yes, Martin shows a lot of scenes of sex and rape in the series, but come on, there wasn't at least one episode where someone doesn't get naked!
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Old Sep 7 2012, 07:08 PM   #28
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It's HBO. They can have full-frontal nudity and they can use "bad" words. Ergo they will. One of the nice things about not being constrained by network funding.

I suspect that changes made (beyond the ones to just make things easier to film or limit how many characters viewers have to track) are things that serve those purposes and where when questioned GRRM said "Sure", meaning whatever it is isn't that important to the plot.
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Old Sep 8 2012, 04:26 AM   #29
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I suspect that changes made (beyond the ones to just make things easier to film or limit how many characters viewers have to track) are things that serve those purposes and where when questioned GRRM said "Sure", meaning whatever it is isn't that important to the plot.
I agree that, in some cases, thta's OK, as there's just too many characters and places, so they're making it easier for those who haven't read the book (and, sometimes, also for those of us that have). But, there's a problem with that as well, as they're bringing some characters in in later seasons, but they are either changed or serve a different purpose. For example:
[SPOILER]In season two, Robb is supposed to ruin the deal with the Freys by marrying Jeyne Westerling. But in the series, Jeyne is never mentioned, and Robb falls in love with some girl who tends to the wounded. What role she plays is unknown, but this part is very important to the plot as it changes the course of war.[SPOILER]
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Old Sep 10 2012, 09:48 PM   #30
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Considering he could ruin that deal by marrying ANYONE who isn't a Frey, they may have decided it was more interesting this way and Martin said "Sure, why not." As long as Robb ends up with his head missing and the Freys are shown to be jerkasses, it works out. I figure that Martin knows what they can tweak and what they can't.
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Old Sep 11 2012, 10:32 AM   #31
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OK, true enough, but still... it was quite depressing to watch
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Old Sep 25 2012, 07:34 AM   #32
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I started with the series and it impressed me so much so I decided to read the book. Undoubtedly, the book is better
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Old Sep 26 2012, 01:25 PM   #33
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From my experiance, much much better. I watched the first season before reading the books, and was like "ok, that's cool, but who the hell is that guy" and then read the first book and watched the series again and all made sense. Though you sometimes get disappointed when you see the changes they made, but... all in do time
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Old Oct 9 2012, 01:57 AM   #34
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See, I tried to get into the series. It's been popular for forever in the genre, since I was in High School 10 years ago. Never could get into it though, even though I read a bunch of other Big Fat Fantasy books and loved them.

But I do love the TV show on HBO now.

Just couldn't ever get into the books.
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Old Oct 9 2012, 12:47 PM   #35
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Hello, Yes, my nephew told me about this series.. on the 4th book now.. I must say Books 1 & 2 were the best. Held my interest & I loved the fact he focused each chapter around a different character & their surroundings. Book 3 was hard to get into, though after several chapters became very interesting. Book 4 is a whole different thing.. What has me stumped though are the "new, unknown peeps" that are showing up as chapters.. I don't even know where some of them came from. I believe that's called "grasping at straws".

With an epic & humans there will always be bloodshed & we as readers must deal with it as we see fit.

I have currently placed book on shelf & gone off to do other things while I wonder if I'll ever finish it. I have never seen the TV shows.

Well, I think that about sums it up.
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Old Oct 12 2012, 09:41 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R'tal View Post
Book 4 is a whole different thing.. What has me stumped though are the "new, unknown peeps" that are showing up as chapters.. I don't even know where some of them came from.
Just wait till you reach book 5.
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Dragonman avoid excess
Greed will bring the Weyr distress;
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Old Dec 16 2012, 04:32 AM   #37
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I tend to agree that the series is confusing. I started reading them as they came out and stopped at book 3. Never got to 4 or 5 as the killing of all the people he started the stories about took all the interest I had away. I have the first 2 seasons of the series on dvd and have not watched them yet. A book by GRRM that I really recommend is a book he did with Lisa Tuttle called Windhaven. Very imaginative and quite a good story.
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