joyo: (blankies)
[personal profile] joyo
Um...chose that icon because, uh...Winter is Coming?

Anyway, I finished book 5.  I'm caught up now!  The internet and its rampant spoilers in unexpected places can't hurt me anymore.

Speaking of spoilers, here is a cut:

Okay, before anything else I just need to get this run-on sentence out of my system:  Oh God people who have only seen the show love Theon so much and I feel so bad for them and I want to *WARN THEM* but I can't.  Granted he'll be "gorey and a little bit rapey" by the time he gets turned into Reek but they've already toned him down and made him more sympathetic in the series so who knows what's going to happen. 

Also?  I tore through these books way fast, and at lot of stuff blurs together in my head.  That is what we call a "New Fan Problem".  Happily, I can now go and use the wiki as a reference.  I was scared to look anything up beforehand, because I got spoiled for Jon's death just from the results previews of a Google search for something NOT EVEN RELATED TO JON.

Anyway, here are some general thoughts about Dance With Dragons and the series so far:

1.  This is the first book that I caught myself skimming heavily.  It started with Feast for Crows, but this is where I thought "yeah, don't actually care if I miss these details, just tell me what fucking happens already".  Things didn't pick up until the last quarter of the book, and by then I was really fed up with the pacing and thinking "JESUS GOD JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS TO STANNIS/DANI/JON/CERSEI YOU PREVARICATING GIT".  I can't imagine it was much better for people who have been waiting 6 years to find out.  That said, I'm still impressed how interested I've stayed in new characters.

I think that's a consequence not only of GRRM's really excellent world building, but also his "Kill Them All, Let Gods Sort Out" style.  Of the people he sets up on the sidelines,  you can never tell who's going to end up becoming a POV character.  And I've grown kind of fond of that.  Except in this book it seemed that for every POV character death TWO would sprout up in their place, like some sort of narrative-convolution hydra.

2. Speaking of which, it's amazing is how I've managed to stay interested in basically all of the threads he puts up.  In the past when I've read individual novels or series, I've had one or two characters/main plots I've been really interested in, and then everyone else would be boring and it would feel like i'd have to slog through their chapters to get back to the "good stuff".  But that doesn't happen here; partially because everyone's sub-story has a clear contribution to or influence on the main threads, and partially because I just find it easy to get invested in them.  I think the two arcs I was least interested in were Rhaegar and Prince Quentyn, but even then I was interested enough to want to see how their chapters panned out.

But I get really easily invested in the characters, and that's kinda long as I remind myself that they are basically all gonna die horribly, with few exceptions.

3.  Weirdly?  I now find the "no character safe from death" thing kind of liberating.  It makes everybody potentially important, it makes you put characters you love in context, and pay attention to their families and even their "smallfolk".  I caught myself thinking "wow, if Doran Martell/Lord Manderley/Kevan Lannister goes, Dorne/White Harbor/Casterly Rock are fucked" and speculating what would happen, and even *getting sad* about the idea of the war coming to Dorne or White Harbor.  I am properly invested in this world.  1st time that's been happened with a fantasy series.

I've also gotten to where I've started predicting how long a character is gonna live from their first introduction.  I'm not great at it, but I can get the really easy ones.  The most obvious one was Quentyn.  Kid, you were fucked from the beginning.

And though getting spoiled for Jon was REALLY ANNOYING, to be fair I had him pegged as Dead Man Walking by the end of Feast for Crows.  It was a matter of how long they were going to drag it out.  Also, now that "crazy magic and shit" has been introduced he may not even be properly dead.  At the very least he's a Warg, which I assume is what that intro chapter with Sixskins was meant to tell us, but since we've already got Lady What-The-Actual-Fuck and we're strapping Bran into King of the Magic Trees, I'd really prefer a Beric Dondarrion kind of arrangement for at least *one* dead Stark.  

ANYWAY, it still made me angry that the Watch betrayed him.  Not as angry as the Red Wedding, but I think it may be impossible to shock me like that again.  Partially because of the scale of the events, but also because that was when Martin made it absolutely clear that not only is no character safe from death, but that you can't an "honorable death" and you really can't expect justice.  Possibly ever.  Not even for obscene motherfuckers fuck you Houses Frey and Bolton.


Anyway.  More specific things about the events of book 5:

1.  Jon's death mostly made me sad for the Watch.   How is it going to do anything other than fall to pieces now?   Like, I'm emotionally invested in the noble history of The Night's Watch, and want it to return to its former glory, but now all of its best people are dead.  Samwell should just stay away.  :( :( :(

2. I'm kind of annoyed with how Dani's arc has evolved.  I'm basically sick of Mereen, and to be honest by the end of book 5 it doesn't feel like a "fertile" plot twist so much as a prevarication.  I hope I'm wrong and was just in a mood.  I was kind of distracted from the important details, such as, "what was causing her to be ill", "what was that bleeding all about" (berries, plague, miscarriage, something else?).  Thankfully I'm now spoilerproof and can read A Wiki of Ice and Fire with total safety and they are all about quoting passages. I guess I'm on Team Miscarriage.

3.  Arya, sweetheart, you're an emotional kid and everybody knows it and *that is okay*.  You should stop denying who you are, and run with that.  Hook up with Varys.  Varys LOVES kids...almost as much as he loves killing.  And you're a kid who's great at killing!  GO TEAM VARYA!

4. OH DAVOS, I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE SAFE NOT DEAD YET.  I thought I saw what Manderly Was Doing There, and I'm glad I was right.

5.  I get so sad when they fuck with the weirwood trees, you guys.  It's kind of unreasonable.  LEAVE THEM ALONE, RED GOD.

6.  Thanks to Ramsay Bolton, I can't really get my heckles up about Joff anymore.  I've been keeping up with the show, and even though they're doing some embellishments that are, imo, kind of annoying to make him WAY TOTALLY AWFUL he does not hold a candle to Ramsay Bolton.  Sorry.  No contest.  I don't even care how Ramsay dies, I don't care if it's glorious or mortifying or he's brave or he cries, I just want him *put down* so he can stop being around, doing the things he does.  ASAP.

7.  Oh, Theon. 

An aside, about the show:

Seriously, though, with Ep 3 they are careening into "HITLER PEED ON HIS COUSIN!!!" territory.  And much like the aforementioned piece of "what?" it's just unecessary.  Joff's a shitty enough dude, we don't need to labor the point.  I'm starting to suspect they are going to either soften recurring characters for sympathy, or make them nastier to soften the blow of their fate.  I mean, Joff's a shit, but he's still a kid and he does die while, you know, clawing his throat into bloody ribbons.

I'm a little bit cagey about S2, I'm not gonna lie.  Cersei seems a bit too outwardly melodramatic.  In fact everyone seems a bit more outwardly emotive, and while some of that is certainly because we don't get to know their internal state like in the books, it's...I dunno.  I'm probably being harsh.  It was weird going from having *no* preconceptions in S1 to anticipating EVERYTHING.  How are other book-fans feeling about it?

Here is a thought about fans of ASOIAF:




Ehem.  That is all.

p.s. Dorne has got some really good ideas about how to run shit.  Just sayin.


joyo: One panel from the comic "Love and Rockets".   Has maggie standing holding a giant wrench. (Default)

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