George R.R. Martin on his obligation to the fans, and involvement in Game of Thrones
By Lightbringer on in Books, Interview.

As a Santa Fe resident, George R.R. Martin is the latest feature on New Mexico In Focus. The author sat down for a lengthy interview inside his Jean Cocteau Cinema to talk about his work. Martin discusses many elements of his A Song of Ice and Fire series, including the ethical and moral questions it raises, the roots of fantasy in history, questionable leaders, and religion.

A hot topic of discussion recently has been the obligation that Martin has to his fans to finish his story. Martin answers whether he does feel that obligation, and if the pressure from all sides to finish the next book has any effect on his work.

The interview was filmed before we learned that he would not be writing an episode for Game of Thrones Season 5, but Martin admits that he does wish he could be much more involved in the show’s entire production process, and lends some insight into how much writing just one episode can derail him from working on the next book.

He also talks about how his life has changed since becoming a ‘celebrity’ writer because of the HBO series, and hopes that once his 15 minutes are up the show will be remembered as one of the greats in television history.

(2:04) Now you have millions of loyal fans who are clamouring for the next instalment, and by clamouring, I mean sometimes not so politely, they are begging, demanding. Do you feel an obligation to them?

Obligation is an odd word, I don’t know if I would go with that word. I certainly feel a desire to finish the book. And it must be said that while I do get a lot of emails and mail of the type you’re describing, there are also many, many that are supportive, and probably far more of people saying “take your time, I love your books, whenever you’re ready I’ll be here.” Of course which is an attitude that I find far more pleasant than the “when will it be done?” I’ve actually given up answering the question “when will it be done?” In the early days, especially after the third book, because the fourth book took a really long time, and I kept being wrong. People said when will it be done, and I’d give an answer and it would not be done by then, I would run into some problem, or decide to rewrite, or I would change course. And once you give a date and then you miss that date, there’s an element of the audience that thinks you’re doing it deliberately. There are even some strange conspiracy theorists out there who are convinced that I finished the whole thing years ago but I’m just hiding the books in my cellar and releasing them in order to maximize something or other. There’s a lot of craziness that goes on, but it’s pressure, and the obligation is to the work itself. I’m telling a story, however many books you divide it into, three books, four books, seven books, which is what I’m presently going for, it’s one story, as much as as Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings is one story. It has a beginning, it has a lot of middle, and eventually it will have an end.

(4:01) But does that pressure from all of those people, and from HBO, your publisher, does that get under your skin, does it rattle you, does it make it harder for you to sit down and write?

Yes, to some extent it does, but when the writing is going well it doesn’t matter. When I’m there and working, I just kind of fall through my computer screen and I forget the world, I forget deadlines, I forget the TV show, and the emails, and all of that stuff. It’s just me and the characters and the world that I’m describing, and I’m writing a page at a time, and a scene at a time, and a word at a time.

(19:18) You spent time as a screen writer and you’ve written several episodes for HBO. Do you wish that you could write them all?

I wish I could write more of them. We do ten episodes a season and I write one usually. But if I wasn’t writing the books I would be hopefully a bigger part of the show, and I could write two episodes, maybe three episodes a season, that would be fun. I can wish for it, but it’s not going to happen, I still have two enormous books to write. I have The Winds of Winter that I’m working on right now, and that’s going to be another monster, and then when i finish that I have the last book, A Dream of Spring, which is gonna be another 1500 page monster where I try to wrap this up. These books take me a long long time to do, so even just writing one episode per season is growing increasingly hard. You have to put the book aside, and sort of go back in time to things you wrote two or three or five or seven years ago and do new versions of them, it breaks the stride a little. I wish I could be more involved in the show, I wish I could be over there in Belfast on the set, I wish I could be taking part in all of the auditions and the casting sessions, seeing the dailies, and working on it the way I worked on TV shows like Beauty and the Beast and The Twilight Zone when I was more active in television, but the truth is I can’t.

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58 Comments

  1. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Renly was here

  2. Kevin VanNatter
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    We’re behind you 100 percent, Mr. Martin!

  3. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    This is the best interview with GRRM that I’ve seen in long time. Good questions, and good answers.

  4. EveryDayI'mHodoring
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    This should be another winning comment section. HODOOOOR.

  5. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    So what did King Aragorn do about those pesky orcs? Surely, he didn’t choose the genocide/xenocide option, or did he?

  6. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    He nailed them to mile posts.

  7. The Bastard
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    I feel bad for the guy. He either procrastinated or got a writers block on how to advance the story and now somebody else is going to finish it for him. Has to be a horrible feeling to know your life’s work will be remembered for not finishing it on time….

  8. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    So what did King Aragorn do about those pesky orcs? Surely, he didn’t choose the genocide/xenocide option, or did he?

    Good question!

    The interesting thing about this question (which GRRM has brought up before) is that Tolkien started writing a novel set in the 4th age, when the magic of the elves (and most magic) had gone out of the world (including the evil kind), and the story focused on the petty conflicts, and the realities of power and rivalry and everyday existence, that are characteristic of the real world. He abandoned the project, as he found it depressing.

    As GRRM says, Tolkien was “doing something different” than GRRM is with LOTR. Tolkien was writing a myth – one that some Dark Age peoples in northern Europe might have written, but was lost. And this myth is essentially of world that is similar to GRRM’s “Age of Heroes.” It was a time of magic and supernatural evil, but that contained the seeds of the more modern world in characters like the hobbits and the men of Gondor and Rohan. But in LOTR, starting from FOTR, Tolkien telegraphs that the magic was slowly seeping out of Middle Earth. First with the slow departure of the elves (sailing west) and then withe the destruction of the Rings of power (the elven ones were responsible for maintaining the realms of elvendom on Earth).

    ASOIAF, in that context, is essentially LOTR in reverse. He starts with the 4th Age – the age of the mundane and petty – and the magical elements slowly seep into the world, until we’re back to another Age of Heroes (which will be similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth in LOTR).

    In this way, I actually find the two authors, though different, to be highly complementary, and less at odds than some people think.

  9. Shock Me
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  10. Shock Me
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    He drove them all out of the Misty Mountains, Mordor, and Moria. He made them live in reservations and killed any who left on sight. Then the orcs all ate each other when food ran out.

  11. Alwyn Joseph
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    What a great interview. Hats off to the interviewer.

  12. Vagabond23
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    The way I will see it is the show is the show and the books are the books. There’s enough difference between both for me to be happy either way. I enjoy the books more and I’m sure the books will end in a better more developed fashion than the show but as someone who has a degree in film and writing I appreciate the show’s work and power of adaptation. So take your time George because I, like many fans will still be here.

  13. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Yes, I greatly enjoy the juxtaposition of seeing the elves (Elrond & Galadriel), Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf (with Narya) sailing into the sunset toward the Undying Lands vs the dragons being born unto their mother, Dany. What a cool difference. Thanks for the reminder.

    Although I do believe that the “issues” that King Aragorn and his administration had to deal with after the last great war were seriously under-reported….

  14. Cumsprite
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I came up with a scathing reaction for this interview. Lots of snark. Quite possibly the funniest thing you will read this year.

    But I am saving it for somewhere else.

  15. LittleFlower
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    That was an excellent read and good points. Thanks!

  16. jwal
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    Renly is DEAD

  17. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 1, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Yes, I greatly enjoy the juxtaposition of seeing the elves (Elrond & Galadriel), Frodo, Bilbo and Gandalf (with Narya) sailing into the sunset toward the Undying Lands vs the dragons being born unto their mother, Dany. What a cool difference. Thanks for the reminder.

    Although I do believe that the “issues” that King Aragorn and his administration had to deal with after the last great war were seriously under-reported….

    Perhaps, but the orcs (like the elves) were part of that “age of myth” that was passing. At the close of LOTR, the implication is that the destruction of Sauron also meant the passing of the orcs, who would “fade” just as the elves did. The “age of men” had arrived, and it would be a lot less heroic, and the monsters would be exclusively human.

    In that context, Tolkien actually DOES describe how King Aragorn dealt with the human enemies of Gondor, who had fought for Sauron in the War of the Ring. He essentially pardons them, and allows them to return to their lands (though there are a few follow-on skirmishes, IIRC). But the remaining details of governance, administration and conflict-resolution in Gondor are beyond the scope of the story. This was a story of the final days of the heroic 3rd age, and the 4th age is for other authors, like GRRM.

    Furthermore, Tolkien deals very much with the mundane fallout of the war in the Shire. The “Scouring of the Shire,” which comes after the Ring’s destruction, depicts a very local conflict that is incredibly true to life. Yes, the Big Bads were destroyed. But that doesn’t mean that everything turns into a Disney theme park. The hobbits find this out the hard way, and are forced to fight a battle at their doorsteps.

    I actually wish that Tolkien had written his story of the “mundane” 4th age, as it would have blunted some of this criticism. But ultimately, Tolkien was more interested in legend and language than he was is governance and politics.

    And that’s why GRRM is an important author in this genre. He doesn’t imitate Tolkien. Instead, he takes the baton from Tolkien, and writes the subsequent chapters of the “Age of Man.”

    IMO, if GRRM’s prose style was better, his stories could have been just as timeless. Alas, it’s very hard to beat Tolkien on that front.

  18. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    jwal,

    Renly is the prince that was promised. Shut up.

  19. loco73
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Hopefully this interview and the answers that George RR Martin provides gives people a little bit on an insight into what it means to be a writer, the creative process and what all that entails.

    Each writer, painter, musician and artistic person in general, has their own individual creative process, tailored to their personality, habits etc. Trying to upend that creative process for the sake of “obligation” and to assuage and please everyone who is constantly shouting in your ear, yelling, bitching and moaning about this and that aspect, would be akin to creative suicide and compromising your artistic integrity.

    All the twats and numbskulls who fart their outrage on a continuous basis should perhaps reflect on the fact that all that bile and trolling might actually acomplish the complete opossite and end up causing the books they profess to love so much to suffer in quality, clarity, cohesion etc.

    Constantly harassing and irritating the one guy who really holds the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, is not very smart…because he might just throw his hands up, tell you all to go fuck yourselves and just give up. And you know what? He would be completely within his rights to do so!

  20. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Great interview. However, GRRM is quite wrong if he thinks conventional TV serials like Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue are reference points for how Game of Thrones is going to be remembered in five year’s time, or even much later. GoT’s proper place in pop culture is alongside the original Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings films, which is to say it will be watched and argued over obsessively for generations to come. When was the last time anyone watched an episode of Hill Street Blues? As great a show as it may have been, it existed in its moment and means nothing now.

  21. Wilson Wilson
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov:
    Great interview. However, GRRM is quite wrong if he thinks conventional TV serials like Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue are reference points for how Game of Thrones is going to be remembered in five year’s time, or even much later. GoT’s proper place in pop culture is alongside the original Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings films, which is to say it will be watched and argued over obsessively for generations to come. When was the last time anyone watched an episode of Hill Street Blues? As great a show as it may have been, it existed in its moment and means nothing now.

    Perhaps what he means is that a show like Hill Street Blues proved that you don’t have to have 10 or 20 episodes that are standalone with a beginning/middle and end but story arcs that continue over many episodes or even a series or complete run.

    GoT clearly isn’t innovative in that respect, but it does follow Twin Peaks in having that structure and taking a “standard” genre and completely turning it inside out to confound viewers’ expectations. Let’s hope that GoT succeeds where Twin Peaks failed in having a complete run and allow the story to be finished in due course without pressures of cancellation!

    GoT will also be remembered because it attracted so many to a genre which they wouldn’t otherwise be, as you say like the LOTR movies, showing that fantasy can have a broader appeal and challenge more conventional drama when being judged for writing and acting awards recognition.

  22. the Dorf
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    What does Renly have to do with the interview? There is no need to get all huffy about it.

  23. Hodoringhodor
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov,

    That’s not really true. Both of those shows were groundbreaking at the time and are re-run on constant basis.

  24. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Perhaps I exaggerate. Still, the proliferation of cable channels is such that pretty much everything is “re-run on a constant basis”.

  25. The Bastard
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I agree that GoT is going to be on the level of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. It will be a right of passage for parents to suggest these sagas to their children.

    Of course they might want to stary with Star Wars as kids. Go to LOTR as early teenagers. And wait until theu can drive before GoT.

  26. Davieboy
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Some excellent and original points made, good to hear, thanks!

  27. Ser Osis of Liver
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue were game changers in their own time. TV drama to that point was 100% driven by a relatively small cast and ‘issue of the week’ storytelling. Nothing could change. You could not kill off a regular character and the clock always reset next week. You could never dare show a dark underbelly of society, have a large cast with interwoven storylines or morally grey ‘good’ guys. The closest they came to reality was Adam-12 and Emergency. Blue and Blues turned TV Drama on its ear.

    GoT is following in those footsteps, forever eradicating the “let’s return to the status quo at the end of the episode” trope. Even today, there is nothing that comes close to GoT in terms of how fast paced a story can be told and how so much can change in 60 minutes of screen time.

  28. Wilson Wilson
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Ser Osis of Liver: …
    You could not kill off a regular character and the clock always reset next week.

    Like the Star Trek Franchise Red Shirt Syndrome where if a new character was given a prominent role you knew they’d be killed off, but never one of the leading cast of course :D

  29. doug
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    There are people legit convinced he has all the books done and is just trolling people for maximizing profit and time. I’m actually surprised and glad he addressed this and dismissed it. Maybe people will take a bit more reality in what the situation actually is. It simply is a case of a guy trying to finish on time, with quality over quantity.

  30. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Thanks Davieboy, LittleFlower, ShockMe and Hodor’s Bastard! Was feeling a little inspired yesterday, that’s all…

  31. bgap
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    As a Santa Fe resident, I greatly appreciate his support of the wolf sanctuary and the Food Depot, and I’m excited by his screenwriting grant. Maybe it’s time to finally develop that script idea I’ve been toying with for years.

  32. The Bastard
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    doug:
    There are people legit convinced he has all the books done and is just trolling people for maximizing profit and time. I’m actually surprised and glad he addressed this and dismissed it. Maybe people will take a bit more reality in what the situation actually is. It simply is a case of a guy trying to finish on time, with quality over quantity.

    Glad he dispelled those rumors too. The next one I would like to see addressed is people who think he is not writing an episode for season 5 because he isn’t getting along with the show runners and because the show is too different. Personally I think it is hogwash…

  33. The Onion Knight
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    No Victarion Greyjoy? Why do I even bother :(

  34. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Has it been confirmed that the Greyjoy brothers have been cut?

  35. Hollyoak
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    This was a really good interview, even though I don’t think the host has read the books. It’s nice to see Martin given the time to really talk, as opposed to a late-night show looking for funny quips and the most basic of conversations.

    I just want to say that most of the people who vociferously state their displeasure with Martin’s work output are surely not writers. What nerve to criticize a human being for having a life outside of work. Yes, it is work, to him. It’s his job. He has to do other things and work on other projects, because that is the life of anyone in the creative arts.

    I am so glad he said F you to the complainers. They’re not writers. It’s not like he’s down in his basement making shoes or widgets. Writing takes time and patience and revision after revision after revision. It’s incredibly time-consuming.

    So I’m one of those who say, take all the time you need, Sir.

  36. Hollyoak
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    loco73:
    Hopefully this interview and the answers that George RR Martin provides gives people a little bit on an insight into what it means to be a writer, the creative process and what all that entails.

    Each writer, painter, musician and artistic person in general, has their own individual creative process, tailored to their personality, habits etc. Trying to upend that creative process for the sake of “obligation” and to assuage and please everyone who is constantly shouting in your ear, yelling, bitching and moaning about this and that aspect, would be akin to creative suicide and compromising your artistic integrity.

    All the twats and numbskulls who fart their outrage on a continuous basis should perhaps reflect on the fact that all that bile and trolling might actually acomplish the complete opossite and end up causing the books they profess to love so much to suffer in quality, clarity, cohesion etc.

    Constantly harassing and irritating the one guy who really holds the keys to the kingdom, so to speak, is not very smart…because he might just throw his hands up, tell you all to go fuck yourselves and just give up. And you know what? He would be completely within his rights to do so!

    What he said.

  37. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    the Dorf,

    What does Hodor? Or Stannis?

    Jesus christ you people

  38. King Stannis
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    The Onion Knight:
    No Victarion Greyjoy? Why do I even bother :(

    You should change your name to The Crying Knight. Too much onions for you :)

  39. Valyrian Eyes
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Can’t remember the last time I read trough this comment section without wincing, and without ANY backlash from anyone *_________* favorite post of 2014 T.T

    And,
    ArgonathofBraavos, I love, love, LOVE everything you wrote. I even printed it to use against people who keep the annoying battle between GRRM and Tolkien :D

  40. Carol Lang
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    loco73,

    Bravo!!!!! Well stated.

  41. Carol Lang
    Posted August 2, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Eyes,

    Totally agree!

  42. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Valyrian Eyes:
    Can’t remember the last time I read trough this comment section without wincing, and without ANY backlash from anyone *_________* favorite post of 2014 T.T

    And,
    ArgonathofBraavos, I love, love, LOVE everything you wrote. I even printed it to use against people who keep the annoying battle between GRRM and Tolkien :D

    You’re too kind! I am very glad to be of service in puncturing that debate. Though I am not aware of an instance where GRRM articulated his work in the context of Tolkien in this way, piecing together his comments over the years seems to validate this perspective.

    Under this framework, I see no problem with appreciating both Tolkien and GRRM (though Tolkien will always remain my personal preference). They serve different yet complementary functions.

  43. Wilson Wilson
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    You know if I were GRRM or one of his diehard fans I’d be a lot more concerned if the general reaction was one of not caring whether he finished the books or not.

    Sure some people are overreacting badly about the length of time it take to write the last and next books, but isn’t this impatience (which I fully understand) just a backhanded complement about how great these books are, and how much the next ones are anticipated?

    If no-one gave a Targaryen toss if he gave up writing them tomorrow THEN he and his disciples should be worried ;)

  44. Maarten Sebastiaan de Groot
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Wow nice to know that my so much anticipated The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are called ‘monsters’ by Martin himself. Does he even like writing? Why does he know a Dream of Spring is around 1500 pages? Anyone?

  45. somuchforoldtown
    Posted August 3, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Wouldn’t we all be surprised if GRRM made a huge leap in chronology for last books in the series, in a manner reminiscent of Frank Herbert?

  46. Frosty
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    What it means to be a writer? I hardly think so. There are so many writers out there that write because they like to, and that is why they are so prolific. Stephen King writes like a machine, as does Sanderson. This is Martin’s process, not the process of all writers. It doesn’t seem to be doing him very well either as his last two novels which took the longest were the least well received out of the five so far (by popular opinion, no opinion is universal.)

    As for the people shouting in his ear, that probably happens at the interviews he goes to or conventions he attends. He has assistants to keep himself well insulated from the public through his blog and his email though. I highly doubt much criticism gets through ty.

    At this point it doesn’t matter if he gives up or not, the story is getting told through HBO no matter what he decides. I’m okay with that as it’s likely to be the only ending we receive at all. He phoned in the last two, couldn’t even be bothered to put the climaxes into dance. His books are a mess and the severe overuse of tropes in them is just tiring. He should give up at this point. At least it wouldn’t be stringing us along any more.

    Wow, look at that. No yelling, bitching, or moaning. Yet I bet you still feel personally affronted by what was said. I also suggest before you attempt to take what you consider to be the moral high ground again, you do a thorough inspection of your spell check. It’s hard to take someone seriously when they can’t even spell opposite.

  47. house_tully
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Frosty, if you ever do a reread, try doing the Boiled Leather suggested FeastDance reading order combining the AFFC & ADwD. It fixes a lot of the issues, and it is closer to the original intended book before the split.

  48. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I’m in the process of reading AFFC and ADwD for the first time using the Boiled Leather chapter order, having hitherto watched GoT unsullied. Having repeatedly been warned that the story would henceforth become a plotless sprawl, I decided there was no longer any percentage in me waiting to enjoy the plot twists through my favoured medium of the TV series. I’m not sure how much the chapter ordering has to do with this, but I am very pleasantly surprised to find myself greatly enjoying the books, coming after all I had heard about them from the likes of Frosty. I guess this is because I’m in the opposite position to most people who read the books, who did so with dizzyingly high expectations coming after ASoS – whereas my own perspective going in was curiosity to discover precisely what it was that was so bad about them.

  49. Fienix
    Posted August 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Wilson Wilson: Like the Star Trek Franchise Red Shirt Syndrome where if a new character was given a prominent role you knew they’d be killed off, but never one of the leading cast of course :D

    And is it just me, or ever since the Red Wedding premiered, it seems like a bunch of other TV shows are jumping on the “Let’s kill off a main character for shock value” bandwagon? Like it’s become the new “cool” thing to do. Killing off main characters used to be sacrilege, but now they’re dropping like flies. Anyone else notice this? (and way to go Martin and GoT for trend setting!)

  50. Frosty
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov,

    I’ve been a fan of the series since clash of kings was released in the early 2000′s. I understand where you’re coming from from only getting into it since the show started airing, but try this exercise. Wait five years, then read Feast (worth the wait by itself right?) then wait six more years and read Dance. You have to be able to see where some of the bitterness to Martin comes from, his pacing ground to a screeching halt after ASOS. He had fans waiting 11 years for both sides of a book, yet even then couldn’t get the battles in that the books were building to. We’re looking at least a 15 year wait for a complete book. God knows if/when the series will end in book form. I know you’re relatively new to reading of the actual books, but do realize they have been out way longer than the series. Let’s see how you feel if you have to wait 11 years for two halves of a season. And even then there’s no ending, just some weak cliffhangers.

  51. Frosty
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Fienix,

    Perhaps you’re just more aware of it now, as it’s always been done. Even Lost had everyone dead by the end

  52. Biter the Gallant
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    Very interesting thoughts.
    Concerning the whole “if the orcs were exterminated”-topic (though personally I think GRRM rather meant it as a joke than some serious question) there is an interesting part in the Appendix of the LOTR, which, though not directly, probably shows a bit light on what Tolkien’s opinion might have been about a genocide of the Orcs.
    Walda, King of Rohan was murdered by an orc. His son, Folca, the Hunter, swore an oath to hunt no animal while an orc was left within the borders of Rohan. The project took thirteen years to finish – and yes, it had to be some kind of (local) genocide. After it Folca went to hunt down the great Everholt boar, and both the boar and the king died from the wounds they received during the hunt.
    Although Tolkien never made any particular comment about this briefly mentioned story, I think the symbolism of it (hunting of Orcs vs. hunting of animals; the king, who had even the “Hunter” nickname, dies during his first hunt after the genocide), and especially that the cause of the genocide is personal vengeance (which is not a clear and good intention in Tolkien’s morality) shows that Tolkien did not think that exterminating (even evil) races is something a really great king should do.

  53. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Maarten Sebastiaan de Groot:
    Wow nice to know that my so much anticipated The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are called ‘monsters’ by Martin himself. Does he even like writing? Why does he know a Dream of Spring is around 1500 pages? Anyone?

    I wish he would refer to the next books as “difficult friends” rather than “monsters.” One implies a positive challenge while the other implies fear. Oh well….may R’hllor help him shoulder those mental monsters.

  54. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted August 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov,

    Naysayers be damned! From my vantage point, after the carnage of ASoS, a fresh perspective within AS0I&F was quite welcome. The new PoVs were often jarring and challenging, but they expanded Westeros & Essos uniquely.

    In his first approach to the next phase of ASoI&F, GRRM jumped forward 5 years, assuming that the main characters still standing needed time to recover and rebuild from the events of ASoS. But that did a disservice to the vastness and rich cultures of Westeros, imho. He really needed to flesh out activities within other kingdoms, with no time jump, which he did.

    Many argue that he took too long to accomplish this, that his writing veered off his established pace, focus and direction, but that is another debate. I’m glad you chose the “Boiled Leather” chronological ordering to read AFfC & ADwD. That is a good read…even though it took GRRM 11 years to enable it, and another year for others to excellently reorder the telling.

    Enjoy! May Penny and Varamyr Sixskins have their day! :)

  55. Adam Whitehead
    Posted August 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Wow nice to know that my so much anticipated The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are called ‘monsters’ by Martin himself. Does he even like writing? Why does he know a Dream of Spring is around 1500 pages? Anyone?

    In writing/publishing parlance, a ‘monster’ is simply a really, really big book. So LORD OF THE RINGS, A STORM OF SWORDS, THE WISE MAN’S FEAR, WORDS OF RADIANCE etc are all ‘monsters’ regardless of if you like them or not.

  56. A Man Grown
    Posted August 8, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    I recently finished The Wise Man’s Fear, such a good book. I wonder when the third volume in *that* series will be published. I’ve started naming my main characters in games Tempi.

  57. Adam Whitehead
    Posted August 9, 2014 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    2016, apparently.

  58. Dheep'
    Posted August 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes ,after the Bloat set in by the 3 – 4th book ,it really started to lose it’s appeal. At least at the end of Dragons he brought it all back around a bit. Otherwise I doubt I would be getting the upcoming book. As it is, I am not holding any breathe or anxiously awaiting the next Book. When It finally shows up ,I suppose I will read it ,but by then the Show will have traveled well beyond. It is already outpacing the Books


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