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A Song of Ice and Fire

Discussion in 'Reader's Corner' started by Literally Exaggerated, Apr 25, 2005.

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  1. Literally Exaggerated

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    Anyone else read this series (besides Arilou, who I know is a fan)? I really hope so, because it is, hands down, the best fantasy series being published today, and if it maintains its current brilliance, is a possible contender for best fantasy series of all time.

    Think of all those staples of fantasy: the destined hero, the princess who loves the peasant, the wise old magical mentor, powerful wizards, weak hordes of monstrous enemies, dark lords, foretold quests against impossible odds, good guys, bad guys. Okay, you have all that tolkein-esque D&D stuff in your head? Good. Throw it out the window. None of it applies to aSoIaF.

    Instead you just have people, the most varied, complex, well realized cast of characters assembled in a fantasy novel, ever. And they all have different things they want to accomplish, lands to conquer, battles to win, overarching schemes so complex they would make Shikamaru shit himself. And the story switches from character to character, varied points of view, so there is no "main character", just a bunch of points of view facing off against each other in bloody conflict.

    And what conflict! People die in this. Not in the Tolkein or Jordan type way, when main characters only ever die in moments of heroic sacrifice. Nope. "Good" guys, "bad" guys, all can die at any time, when you least expect it. And they stay dead. And because they're so brilliantly realized, you *care*.

    Nobody does political intrigue than George RR Martin, few do action this intense and realistic and exciting, no one does characterization or plotting like he does.

    Here are just a few of the characters in the story

    Tyrion Lannister - Stunted, ugly, twisted. Brilliant, priveledged. Such is the paradox of Tyrion Lannister. The youngest son of the ruthless, wealthy Noble House of Lannister, he is a dwarf. His misshapen appearance has earned him the scorn of the entire world save his brother Jaime, but his brilliant mind makes him too useful a tool to simply discard. Cynical, ruthless, distrustful, he has committed horrible crimes, but he has managed to maintain a scrap of morality in the face of it all. Of course, in the politics of King's Landing, a scrap of morality is the best way to end up dead, and even Tyrion may not be brilliant enough to think his way out of myriad plots surrounding him.

    Jaime Lannister - Tyrion's older brother, twin brother and lover (yes, i*c*st) to Queen Cersei. The youngest kinsguard of all time, one of the most brilliant fighters in the world. Handsome, arrogant, reckless. A killer of children, a savior of maidens, he is every bit as paradoxical and complex as his brother.

    Arya Stark - Youngest daughter of House Stark, she rejects the noble way for young girls of embroidery and pretty dresses and balls, instead preferring swordplay which she studies under the swordmaster Syrio Forel. She is thrust into the harsh realities of the world, and the slow transformation from good natured tomboy into cold-blooded killer begs the question: When its all over, will there be anything recognizably human about Arya?

    Sandor Clegane - the Hound of House Lannister. A towering, powerful warrior. A cynical killer who lives by the creed "only the strong survive", filled with self-loathing, failed morality and a lust for the next drink, he lives for one purpose: to kill his brother Gregor, who held his face in the fire when he was only 6 years old because he used one of his toys. But killing Gregor will be no easy task, as the 8 ft. tall Gregor is among the most feared men in Westeros.

    Daenarys Targaryen - Mother of Dragons, the lone surviving daughter of the former kings of Westeros, House Targaryen, she wanders plains with the nomadic, barbarian Dothraki, seeking to reclaim her throne.

    These are just a sampling, and in no way can I do them justice. Just trust me, if you like fantasy at all, you need to read this.
     
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  2. tygah

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    I love this series man. If only Martin would finish the next book before I die lol.
     
  3. tygah

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    By the way in my opinion I think Jon Snow is the main character.
     
  4. Literally Exaggerated

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    Jon Snow? Possibly. Certainly he seems to be the closest thing to a "hero" in the stories, with the possible exception of Dany. If I had to choose one main character though, I'd say its Ned in the first book, and after that, Dany.
     
  5. MrSnowman

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    I have the feeling Arya is going to be uber in the end. Any idea when the next book is going to be released?
    Also I dont think there is a "main character," If there is, its the collective embodiement of the Stark household.
     
  6. tygah

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    Stark house? That sounds good, although I wonder how it will turn out with the mother (i forgot her name it's been so long between books lol). I think Jon will confront her. Also I think Jon and Dany will meet also. He will leave the wall I think.
     
  7. MrSnowman

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    Catlyn Stark? I think, its a C name. I dont think Jon is going to leave the wall, well...
    Spoiler: Book 3 Spoiler
    Jon might leave it, but he will probably remain its commander. He chose his honor over trying to claim the Stark household as his own when he was offered by whats his name (the king no one likes)
     
  8. Literally Exaggerated

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    Yeah, I can't see Jon forsaking the wall. What I'm really looking forward to is

    Spoiler:
    When Tyrion meets up with Dany. Tyrion's brains and knowledge of dragons combined with Dany's forces and charisma? pwnage
     
  9. tygah

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    Well I think the wall will be overrun and He will be forced south. And if all three would be united I would be happy. Also I don't think there will be any spoilers between us as I think the only ones coming here are ones that has read the books. We've had enough time to read all three many times over lol.
     
  10. Literally Exaggerated

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    GRRM has at various cons read sample chapters from the next book, if you check out the board of ice and fire it has summaries of all of them.
     
  11. tygah

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    So my assumptions are all wrong? I'd rather read the finished product. Could you give me a link to these summaries?
     
  12. Asherah

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    I've been a major fan of the books for a couple years now, and been tortured waiting for Feast >_<

    You're absolutely right, this is a contender for one of the best fantasy series out there. (Although nothing will ever exceed the brilliant of the Farseer trilogy to me!) The characters, the intricate politics, everything is done so well that these books are a great read. And of course, no-one as a reader of the series can help realising that GRRM has a trick for making the characters and their stories very powerful and emotive: they...well...die a lot :( It's done well. Like real life, with things cut off abruptly, half-finished...that's one of the reasons I love these books, anyway. Things don't work out all the time. There is no immortal hero, the love isn't cliched, the interactions between the characters are actually interesting and you get something out of them.

    Yes, I love these books and I wish there was more fantasy like them. If only more people were willing to see beyond the whole 'sword, dungeon and dragon' idea with fantasy, these books would certainly be up there with the greats of fiction.
     
  13. Aruarian

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    I'm somewhat interested in this series, can anyone PM or tell me some more about it in here?
     
  14. Literally Exaggerated

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    Link removed

    most of the top threads with stickies on them include summaries/discussion of spoiler chapters. there are about 20 of them
     
  15. tygah

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    Thanks. Wow I was reading some of the postings, has it really been 6 years between his last book and this one?
     
  16. Literally Exaggerated

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    yep. though he has finished writing this one and it shsould be out by the end of this year.
     
  17. Dr. Maturin

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    Umm go to his website and don't believe anything unless you get it from his website. I see no way A Feast For Crows will be out this year.
     
  18. tygah

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    Well i guess i'll read these three again.
     
  19. SDF1

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    This is a fantastic series... but I have one question.

    What ever happened to Ned Stark's youngest son? I don't remember the last book even mentioning him.
     
  20. jkingler

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    Read the May 29th update!!! :omg



    I am SO HAPPY!!!! :dance

    I posted somewhere else, several times, about my great love for this series, and I am supremely happy that I get my hands on more Martin sooner rather than later. And I am just fine with parallel narratives. I read LOTR, and there's a lot of that going on, so I'll live. And the title for book 5: Dances with Dragons!!! *squeals like a schoolgirl*

    @The poster above: Bran, the youngest Stark, was most definitely in the last book. Remember the frog eaters? The green dreams? How everyone thinks he is dead? He played a major role in setting up what is to come in the story. I have high hopes for Bran :occa
     
  21. SDF1

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    Nononononono... not Bran.

    Rickon.

    WTF ever happened to Rickon?
     
  22. jkingler

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    Oooooh yeah! Rickon! :slapsforehead
     
  23. SamuraiSoul

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    Just finished book 3 in this series. It's great. One of the best. You were right about when someone dies. You care.

    Just a couple things to throw in the air...

    Spoiler: About Jon Snow
    I don't think he will be able to hold onto the Lord Commander position for the Wall. I doubt Stannis will take it. He will make someone else be the Commander, and force Jon to marry Val, and rule Winterfell. Someone needs to do it, and since, everyone else in his family is "dead", he's the only one to do it.

    Spoiler: About Arya Stark
    Man, she's finally on the way to meet with J'haqen Hgar, or whatever his name is. I secretly believe he's Syrio Forel. Also, I remember reading what valar morghulis meant but I forgot. She is going to be very much kick ass when she learns to change her appearance.

    Spoiler: About Tyrion Lannister
    What's he going to do now? He's going to be hunted by Cersei's hired goons wherever he goes from now on? What do you think lies in store for him? Does Jaime really believe he killed Joffrey? Tons of questions.

    Spoiler: About Sansa Stark
    What will she do, now that Littlefinger has killed her Aunt? Doubtless, no one will believe a "bastard" to what Lord Baelish has to say. And I doubt she can convince the Eyrie guards that she is of House Stark. What exactly does Littlefinger think he's going to do with Sansa? Pretend she's a tiny Catelyn?

    Spoiler: About Catelyn Stark
    This has to do with the epilogue from book three. Unless you have read it, you are warned not to read this.
    Spoiler: Catelyn Starks fate
    Now, apparently, Lord Beric Dondarrion is'nt the only person who can be ressurected from the Breath of R'Hollor. Catelyn was apparently revived from death as well, although she's lost the ability to speak. She obviously has a DEEP grudge for the Frey's, backstabbing bastards that they are. I bet she, and the other of Robert's Men are going to give the Frey's hell.

    Spoiler: About Jaime Lannister
    What's he going to do now? He let Tyrion go. He has no sword arm. He's useless. How is he going to continue being the Commander of the Kingsguard when he can't fight at all? With his father dead, and Tyrion gone, either Cersei or Jaime get the rights to Casterly Rock, and the entire Lannister household. Will Jaime give up his Kingsguard position?

    Spoiler: About Daenerys Targaryen
    So. She's going to play Queen in Meereen. She now has Barristan the Bold as one of her Queensguard. Who could have thought Barristan Selmy would go to Daenarys Targeryen? But it makes sense, since Joffrey, in his "wisdom" deemed Barristan to old to continue on with the Kingsguard, who else would Barristan go to? But what about poor Jorah Mormont, who came to love our poor Dany? She had to banish him, because he presumed to tell her what to do, instead of beg her to forgive him like he should have. I feel sorry for Mormont. I hope he gets back in Dany's good graces.


    And there you have it.
     
  24. Uchiha^Sasuke

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    Heavens, I really love this book!!!
    My favourite characters are Loras Tyrell and of course Jaime Lannister. The romance between Jaime and the ugly woman is one of the best love stories I've ever read and Loras is the ideal knight I've always craved for!!! I'll answer to the last post when I come back home and have enough time :)
     
  25. FitzChivalry

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    Didn't read your description because it would've spoiled the shit outta me. Recently, I've purchased A Game of Thrones but I've decided to read Eldest first(since I read Eragon). I keep hearing great things about this book and series. One person here said that after reading A Song of Fire and Ice series, all other fantasy books just seemed boring to him.
     
  26. Vikrat

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    I borrowed the two first books from the library and loved them, so now i have to try and find the rest of them.
     
  27. Sho

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    The only series that actually compares to Song of Ice and Fire is Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, and the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erickson. Out of the three however, The Malazan Book of the Fallen is most complex, with Song of Ice and Fire in second, and Wheel of Time in third. But Robert Jordan and Steven Erickson have way better updating speeds than George R.R Martin, who's pissed off everyone with all his delays on the fourth book.

    But I don't believe any other series are on the same level as these three. They're truly something else, and way better than Tolkien ever was (even though he was the first successful "pioneer" like that in fantasy).
     
  28. Dionysus

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    Yes. 'Tis a good series, so far.

    I'll briefly share my thoughts on the underlying idea of the book, and how it relates to characters and the story. The name of the story is a Song of Ice and Fire. From what we now know, there appears to actually be a fire god, R'hllor, and an ice god, the Other. Or, at least, these two gods have a lot of power; that's not to say there are no old gods.

    Now, so far, we're lead to believe that R'hllor is good, and the Other is bad. I don't like to assume that, Martin being as he is. Like the seasons, the power of each waxes and wanes. Too much ice and you freeze; too much fire and you burn. So what I reason is that a balance is what humans need.

    There are sinister characteristics of both gods' followers. The Others look quite out for the death of humans, and they raise the dead. Melisandre doesn't seem to give off an aura of goodness, what with her sucking the lfe out of Stannis to kill people with shadows. The dead has been raised by the fire god too.

    Martin is all about grey characterisations, but something feels off with both gods.

    That's not to say that R'hllor will emerge as another villain after the Other is beaten back. It's just that I think that the solution to the problems will happen when Starks and Targaryen work together. A song of Ice and Fire. If Melisandre looks to be trying to kill the Other, I'd be suspicious.

    Then there is Jon, who I think represents both fire and ice. I'm in the camp what thinks he's the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Jon could also represent the song of Ice and Fire. This sort of lends to him being one of the more important characters (along with Dany and Tyrion; each could represent a head of a dragon, imagery used in the books) in terms of leadership for the entire series, till the end.

    Of course, I could be completely off, and R'hllor is a good god, humans are the fire equivalent to the Others, and so on. It just seems too simple for the story.

    Hm... I'm sure I have more to say... It's just been so LONG since I've really read or thought about all this. :amuse
     
  29. Antenox

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    Robert Jordan is in NO WAY anywhere near Martin or Erikson. He is one of the worst writers of fantasy of the last fifteen years, whereas Martin and Erikson are two of the best. No other author writes characters as ANNOYING as his female protagonists.

    If anyone deserves to be in that "trinity" of modern fantasy authors, it's either R. Scott Bakker ("The Prince of Nothing") or Guy Gavriel Kay ("Tigana").
     
  30. Dionysus

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    Bakker for the win.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
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