George R.R. Martin on how his life has changed, the pressure to write, and a bittersweet ending
By Lightbringer on in Books, Interview.

George R.R. Martin continues to blaze the press trail before he takes some long awaited and well deserved time at home to work on the next book in his series.

While in Edinburgh for their International Book Festival he spoke at length with The Guardian about how his life has changed since the huge success of A Song of Ice and Fire, the pressure he feels to finish, and more.

On how his life has changed, and what he’d like to do to camera phones:

“It does seem unreal at moments. I’m constantly forgetting that my life has been transformed. I think Rowling was a different case because they were her first books. For me, I’d had 20 years of fantasy and science fiction books that had done well, but not like this. And there’s part of me that makes the unconscious assumption that I’m still that person and can live that kind of life. And then I’m reminded that I can’t because Game of Thrones has become such a phenomenon and I’ve become a celebrity. There are nice things about it and not so nice.

I can’t go out any more; I can’t walk the streets. And it’s great to have all these readers and fans who, for the most part, are very nice people, saying they love the books and the TV show. But there are so many of them and it just doesn’t end. Oh, and ‘selfies’! If I could clap my hands and burn out every camera phone in the world, I swear I’d do it!”

He won’t let the pressure to finish get in the way of writing a great book:

“My publishers want the [next] book, so do HBO, so do my readers. And nobody wants it more than I do. But, when I weigh that pressure, I have to be aware that the books are what I’ll finally be judged on. If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”

On the unused material he’s accumulated over the years:

“There are discarded chapters and paragraphs and everything in-between. Because I follow the characters and they sometimes lead me down dead ends. So, at the end of the sequence, I will probably have tens of thousands of words or even hundreds of thousands of words of unused material.”

And whether he would ever publish any of it:

“Mmm, no. Some of them are just earlier versions of scenes that appear. There’s at least one deleted chapter from book five – which left me in the wrong place – which I have been tempted to publish as a sort of short story.”

For the full interview visit The Guardian.

Martin went from the book festival straight to Loncon 3, where he sat down for an interview with Channel 4 News. He believes Game of Thrones has opened the door for sophisticated adult fantasy on television, and expands on his recent comments about the lack of gay sex scenes written in his books. He says that he hopes to give A Song of Ice and Fire a bittersweet ending along the lines of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, if he can bring it off the way he wants to. He explains the positive influence fans can have on his life and work, but of course, still feels the pressure.

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80 Comments

  1. 14ccKemiskt
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Stannis is coming!

  2. Patty Maner
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “My publishers want the [next] book, so do HBO, so do my readers. And nobody wants it more than I do. But, when I weigh that pressure, I have to be aware that the books are what I’ll finally be judged on. If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”

    Love this part..

  3. Rhaegar
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    It feels like in every single George RR Martin interview they ask him the same questions over and over about when will he finish the books and he always gives the exact same answer, it’s really becoming annoying… I’m not sure why interviewers don’t just leave the guy alone or start asking him other kind of questions to make these interviews more interesting

  4. Fancy word for a sellsword
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I just hope D&D don’t mess up the ending to ASOIAF like Jackson did with LOTR.

  5. EverydayI'mHodoring
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    If the novels are still being read in 50 years, no one is ever going to say: ‘What’s great about that sixth book is that he met his deadline!’ It will be about how the whole thing stands up.”

    He’s right about that.

  6. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Fancy word for a sellsword,

    You mean by being perfectly faithful to it?

    Whenever I hear people complain about how “Jackson” ended those movies, I say “Your argument is with Prof. Tolkien. Those “multiple endings” were his.”

    Unless you mean his leaving out the Scouring of the Shire. Sorry, but you had to know that wasn’t going to work on film. If he had adapted it as a ten-part BBC miniseries, okay, sure. But not on film.

  7. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I have said this before, and I’ll say it again. GRRM’s talk about how he’s taking a while to ensure quality of the book would hold a LOT more water…

    …if AFfC and ADwD weren’t widely considered the two worst books in the series. Seriously, the only disagreement is on which one is worse. Every fan opinion that I’ve heard is that the two books he took the longest to complete are also the two that are the least worth anyone’s time.

    If you have a differing opinion, please share, because I haven’t seen it yet.

    Now, I’m still a fan, and I liked the fourth and fifth books to some degree. Even GRRM phoning it in is better than, say, Eddings. But still, when he talks about taking forever to ensure he’s written something great, it rings hollow to me.

  8. Joshua White
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Fancy word for a sellsword,

    How can they mess up an ending that won’t be written until years after the TV show finishes?

  9. Darjan
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Fancy word for a sellsword,

    How could they mess it up? The show and the books will end differently, like alternate endings to the same story. And why would anyone want the show to spoil the books by having it end the exact same way? GRRM would not allow that anyway because then what the hell is the point of toiling away and writing another 5000 pages

  10. Scott Fecher
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Josh M. Parker,

    that, and he can’t seem to resist going to every convention and doing every interview asked.

  11. K26dp
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Josh M. Parker,

    I have a differing opinion. I find the last two books to be a more nuanced and rewarding reading experience than the first three. This is especially true if the two are read apiece.

    The problem is neither book stands on its own particularly well, but that was a problem with how the material was published, not with the actual content.

  12. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    K26dp,

    I have often wondered how the two would be enhanced if read together, and have obtained an online “reading order” for the chapters, planning to do just that. But I might prefer to use ebooks when the time comes to read them that way.

  13. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Scott Fecher,

    I’m hoping his recent announcement that he has cancelled all appearances other than those his contract forces him into means that he’s buckling down and getting serious. I really, really hope that’s what it means.

  14. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The Scouring of the Shire is far and away my favourite thing about the LOTR, and it’s a terrible shame it just wasn’t doable as far as the film was concerned. But it’s obviously silly to pretend that including it was a live option, and to damn Jackson for failing to do so.

  15. Kevin Cleary
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Fancy word for a sellsword,

    You mean you hope GRRM doesn’t mess up D&D’s ending.

  16. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I have often wondered how the two would be enhanced if read together, and have obtained an online “reading order” for the chapters, planning to do just that. But I might prefer to use ebooks when the time comes to read them that way.

    Having hitherto been unsullied, I’m now doing precisely this (I assume you’re referring to the order on the Boiled Leather site). I’m at the stage where I’ve finished AFFC, and it’s now a simple matter of reading through the final third of ADWD. I’m not sure how much reading them in this fashion has had to do with it, but I’m finding the books a lot more enjoyable than I’d been led to expect.

  17. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov,

    Yes, the boiled leather one.

    I also wonder, considering that you had heard all the fan griping before reading them, if the law of Dynamic Effect wasn’t in place.

    The law of Dynamic Effect is about setting and then defying expectations. Say I scratched the paint on your car after you lent it to me. If I were to play with your expectations as to what happened so that it comes out in my favor, I might first tell you that I got into an accident with it and there’s a huge dent. After you got angry about that, I would say “actually, all I did was scratch the paint.”

    You didn’t read the last two books until after you’d heard much and sundry angry responses from readers about their lack of quality. I wonder if that didn’t play into how you are enjoying them. After all, there have been NUMEROUS movies that I didn’t see until after I’d heard from multiple sources how awful they were. I found myself almost enjoying them (Clash of the Titans is one such example).

    Then again, they could just be better if read together.

  18. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t the slightest doubt there’s a lot of truth in that, Josh. After holding off reading beyond the show until season four was over, I had an almost morbid curiosity as to what it was exactly that was so awful about AFFC and ADWD. Indeed, this held more interest for me than what the plot had in store — which, I kept hearing, was very little.

    However, my thinking has been that that this is only half the story. Most people went into AFFC especially in the hope and expectation of getting something as good as ASOS, and were inclined to exaggerate its failings when it undeniably fell quite a bit short of that. So in going in with expectations that were unrealistically low rather than unrealistically high, I’ve come to the books from a completely different angle from everybody else.

  19. Galex34
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Josh M. Parker,

    I think affc and adwd are great books. A couple of character’s Povs drag a little, but for the most part, I love the books. I think he may have set the bar so high with asos, that a lot of people were bound to be disappointed.

  20. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov:
    Most people went into AFFC especially in the hope and expectation of getting something as good as ASOS, and were inclined to exaggerate its failings when it undeniably fell quite a bit short of that. So in going in with expectations that were unrealistically low rather than unrealistically high, I’ve come to the books from a completely different angle from everybody else.

    I’m positive that this is true. For myself, what I found most disappointing is just how little the plot moved forward. All three of the first books ended on a “wow!” note, while both AFfC and ADwD ended on a “meh” note. No earth-shattering reveals, betrayals, deaths, etc., with one exception, and I’m pretty sure I know exactly what’s going to come of that (it involves the North, for those who are wondering). A lot of POV’s don’t have a “next step” note that they end on; it just sorta feels like we’re checking in with them for a while, so we know they’re still there.

    But again, even this series at its worst is better than a lot of fantasy fiction out there. I want to stress that I still enjoyed reading these volumes, and I have little doubt I’ll get more out of them when I read them together as one book.

  21. Asfastasican
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    The first setence of this article just makes me depressed. he really never pushes himself to go home and start writing on the only medium he insists writing on.

  22. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    For myself, what I found most disappointing is just how little the plot moved forward. All three of the first books ended on a “wow!” note, while both AFfC and ADwD ended on a “meh” note.

    So I kept hearing. So it surprised me to find AFfC ending with Cersei in a dungeon and Jaime cutting her loose (personal milestone there – the first time I’ve ever had to use spoiler tags!). Maybe that’s not quite up to ASoS standards, but that just brings us back to the point about expectations. Furthermore, I found it characteristically satisfying how this came about – as the logical culmination of events set in train by the character’s fatal flaws.

    Ultimately I’m a fan of the TV show first and the books second, and it depressed me to think that the quality was going to fall off a cliff after season four, based on everything I was hearing about the source material. However, I’m really not thinking that anymore. Yes, the later books are sprawling, in places rather aimless, and desperately in need of editing. But in the midst of all that, there’s still a lot of good plot material for the show to work with. Despite the moaning of book purists, the show has been tremendously judicious in choosing what to keep and what to cut in the past, and from what we’re hearing of production on season five so far, it strikes me that that’s not about to change.

  23. Josh M. Parker
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov:
    Ultimately I’m a fan of the TV show first and the books second, and it depressed me to think that the quality was going to fall off a cliff after season four, based on everything I was hearing about the source material. However, I’m really not thinking that anymore.

    I’m gonna commit heresy here and say that I actually LIKE how the series has streamlined and focused the main narrative, and many of their decisions on what to change I think are actually BETTER than what GRRM wrote. Not all of them, but many.

    I’m not worried about the TV series getting worse. Not at all.

    (That said, could they bring in the Iron Islanders in season six, please?)

  24. Coco Lannister
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov,

    WRT your spoiler. Am I going senile or did that not actually happen?

  25. Kevin Cleary
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Darjan,

    What do you mean GRRM won’t allow that? He sold the rights. He couldn’t stop them even if he wanted to. D&D already know how the story ends, so their ending will be more or less the same.

  26. Lost Northern
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to tell you how to do your work but i think everyone can see the routine here and by that i mean the same questions asked over and over again. I mean at some point not every single interview he gives are news worthy.

  27. BobbyAtomic
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Coco Lannister,

    I think he was talking figuratively cut loose and not literally.

  28. King Stannis
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see how GRRM cannot get tired of these interviews and same questions. I’ll sacrafice my work, kid and life to be his personal chef and cook meals for Mr.Martin if thats what’s gonna take to keep his ass at home finishing the books. Meatloaf on Mondays George!

    All hail Stannis

  29. Elphias
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    K26dp,

    Do you think there is any chance those two could be edited and republished to have more “synergy”, I don’t know if that is the best word. But you understand what I mean? I haven’t read them, but have heard there are guides online that tell you which parts to read in order. That otherwise, they for some, are hard to read. Is this true also?

  30. Kabhal
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why he doesn’t just get more help (to finish the story) assuming he needs/or wants such assistance? I mean he’s got the influence and clout now to pretty much get any help he needs. I feel like he’s under assault or pressured too much at this point. Just hire a co-writer and let him take some of the load off (under Martin’s editing/supervision, of course).

  31. Markus
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Josh M. Parker:
    I have said this before, and I’ll say it again. GRRM’s talk about how he’s taking a while to ensure quality of the book would hold a LOT more water…

    …if AFfC and ADwD weren’t widely considered the two worst books in the series. Seriously, the only disagreement is on which one is worse. Every fan opinion that I’ve heard is that the two books he took the longest to complete are also the two that are the least worth anyone’s time.

    If you have a differing opinion, please share, because I haven’t seen it yet.

    Now, I’m still a fan, and I liked the fourth and fifth books to some degree. Even GRRM phoning it in is better than, say, Eddings. But still, when he talks about taking forever to ensure he’s written something great, it rings hollow to me.

    Even if we say the 4th and 5th was worse (which is not really true, they are better written than the 1st and 2nd book but worse plotwise) it does not necessarily imply a correlation between taking long to finish and the quality of the book.

    George after the first 10 years it took to complete the 1st 3 books came to the end of the 1st arc in Season 3 and had problems navigating through the 2nd arc. He could have released a halfbaked product and still sell alot of books since it had hit that level of popularity but he knew it was his Magnus Opus and the thing he would be remembered for, so he took his time to work through the narrative problems the 2nd arc faced.

    Look what happened when Stephen King rushed through the Dark Tower series, the last part was just horrible!

  32. Coco lannister
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    BobbyAtomic,

    Ah. Senile it is :-)

    Thanks

  33. Nicolai Hansen
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    50 year from now, we don’t have ending. Him and me will probably be dead by that time.

  34. gillist419
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Anyone that would like to read affc and adwd merged should do a search for ” a ball of beasts”

  35. Pedro
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I’m full of his excuses.

    If he’s so experienced, then he’s gotta handle the pressure.

  36. Joshua White
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Josh M. Parker,

    You aren’t committing hearsay, the TV series IS better in many ways. Breanne’s journey is already better than the travesty in Feast for Crows. Season 4 was the best yet, and I hope they can pull off a solid season five given the tremendously weak source material. Feast and Dance + the two battles in Winds barely comprise one full book worth of plot, and a good editor would have combined them into one solid book 4, so i hope they take this strategy with season 5.

  37. Dwarf-lover
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Fancy word for a sellsword,

    What are you talking about ???

  38. The Bastard
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Darjan:
    Fancy word for a sellsword,

    How could they mess it up? The show and the books will end differently, like alternate endings to the same story. And why would anyone want the show to spoil the books by having it end the exact same way? GRRM would not allow that anyway because then what the hell is the point of toiling away and writing another 5000 pages

    Not sure why some people think the show will end differently then the books. GRRM sold the rights of his story to HBO. It isn’t going to be changed.

  39. The Bastard
    Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White:
    Josh M. Parker,

    You aren’t committing hearsay, the TV series IS better in many ways.Breanne’s journey is already better than the travesty in Feast for Crows.Season 4 was the best yet, and I hope they can pull off a solid season five given the tremendously weak source material.Feast and Dance + the two battles in Winds barely comprise one full book worth of plot, and a good editor would have combined them into one solid book 4, so i hope they take this strategy with season 5.

    AFFC & ADWD should have been the length of AFFC combined. Way too much useless pages. I can’t see how the show can be any worse then the source material for season 5. It can only improve on it. Sometimes when the source material is so bad it makes sense for the show to improve on it.

  40. Red Comet
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Does anybody know which deleted chapter from ADWD we wanted to release as a short story??

  41. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Kevin Cleary,

    Is there anything more terrifying on this vast green earth than D&D fanboys? I can’t think of any..

  42. ArgonathofBraavos
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach:
    Kevin Cleary,

    Is there anything more terrifying on this vast green earth than D&D fanboys? I can’t think of any..

    I think I can. How about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or the possibility of the detonation of a thousand nuclear weapons, seeing your child run across a street without looking either way, and Carrot Top?

    I’m no D&D fanboy, but I do think they are sometimes better writers than GRRM.

  43. BlackTalon
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    What’s with all the bitching about the “useless” pages in AFFC and ADWD, I hugely enjoyed getting to learn more about the ASOIAF world. Some people need to have their ADHD medication tweaked methinks.

  44. Kevin Cleary
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    GRRM fanboys.

  45. Coco Lannister
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    BlackTalon:
    What’s with all the bitching about the “useless” pages in AFFC and ADWD, I hugely enjoyed getting to learn more about the ASOIAF world. Some people need to have their ADHD medication tweaked methinks.

    ^^This

    I loved the world building. And as others have said, the combined reading order is greater than the sum of its parts

  46. Tyrion's Shrooms
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    BlackTalon,

    Exactly. A huge part of the fanbase thinks that they not only know The Plot and what events are/will be important, but that getting to these turning points all in rapid fashion is desirable.
    IMO to keep things at the fever pitch of SoS would have devolved into cheesy medieval war/assassination porn. And there are a lot of interesting things including the effects on the smallfolk of war, The Iron Born’s version of direct democracy, the breaking of a character vicserally, the increase of religious fundamentalism, elite resistance to occupation, army life in the field, a peace tragically undone, etc
    A lot of great stuff happens, just not on the “stabbed adequate numbers of characters I know to be all important for The Plot.”

  47. Wodja
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Patty Maner,

    Agree. This pretty much says it all. He is a very intelligent man GRRM.

  48. Yoosteen Bose
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    GRRM spoke way way back about a scene in Dance. This was when he would randomly pop up on his own blog with DANCE updates, and the occasional vague hint about what he was currently working through. In this case, I think, was a particular day he was especially frustrated. He even referenced Tolkien and his original plan to have a fifth Hobbit named Bingo In LOTR. To this reference he said his Tyrion chapters were edited so that Tyrion’s encounter with The Shrouded Lord was cut and went the way of Bingo the Hobbit. I can’t verify, but that’s my best theory as to a good short story being cooked up later. Check it out on Not A Blog- you can search all the old Dance entries.

  49. Red Comet
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    @Yoosteen Bose

    Much appreciated.

  50. The Bastard
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    BlackTalon:
    What’s with all the bitching about the “useless” pages in AFFC and ADWD, I hugely enjoyed getting to learn more about the ASOIAF world. Some people need to have their ADHD medication tweaked methinks.

    No need for medication. Even his best books in the series have pages sections that go on too long. It gets even worse for the last two books.

  51. Chad Brick
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov,

    “Despite the moaning of book purists, the show has been tremendously judicious in choosing what to keep and what to cut in the past”

    The past is no guide to the future. For S1-S4, D&D kept virtually every major element of the plot and all the major characters. For S5 to cover AFFC and ADWD, and based on what we have seen so far, D&D are going to jettison huge chunks of the plot, and not just minor characters but major POV characters. We are switching from a LOTR adaption to a Hobbit adaption. Let us pay that it works out this time.

  52. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Chad, The Hobbit – in which a thin book has been bloated out into fat movies – strikes me as precisely the wrong analogy.

  53. The Bastard
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Sergei Walankov:
    Chad, The Hobbit – in which a thin book has been bloated out into fat movies – strikes me as precisely the wrong analogy.

    Yeah bad analogy. They are condensing, not making a simple kids book into a trilogy. The Hobbit would have been better as one 3hour movie for the theaters and maybe a 4 hour extended cut for home release. While Season 5 is taking two boring and incomplete books that should have been one decent one.

  54. Markus
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The Bastard: AFFC & ADWD should have been the length of AFFC combined.Way too much useless pages.I can’t see how the show can be any worse then the source material for season 5. It can only improve on it.Sometimes when the source material is so bad it makes sense for the show to improve on it.

    Oh, there is nothing that D and D has invented so far that shows their imagination to be anywhere near George’s. Daenarys storyline in season 2, Theon tortur pornn in season 3, deadend missions like Craster’s Keep and Yara in season 4….

    Only good invented storyline so far was Tywin-Arya in Harrenhaal.

  55. Henrik Vendelbo
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I wish he would split the next two books into 4, they sound long enough to support it easily.

    After finishing book 5 my overwhelming thought was “Finally the characters I care about might finally come into play, and the whole fire and ice magic theme might show itself”

    I like the gritty super-real knights, blood and guts, but it is a bit boring as well. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading a history book not a fantasy novel. The best thing about Islandic Sagas is that they are mostly true, whereas GoT just mimics reality.

    I fear that there will be two more books and I will love those, and there will be two more seasons from them and they will be excellent, and then it will be all over.

  56. The Bastard
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Markus: Oh, there is nothing that D and D has invented so far that shows their imagination to be anywhere near George’s. Daenarys storyline in season 2, Theon tortur pornn in season 3, deadend missions like Craster’s Keep and Yara in season 4….

    Only good invented storyline so far was Tywin-Arya in Harrenhaal.

    The Hound vs. Brienne was great. The scene with Tywin and Jamie in season 1 was one of the Top 5 scenes of that entire season. The scene with Robert and Cersei talking about their marriage holding the kingdoms together. Fantastic stuff. They have fleshed out many characters far beyond what the books have. Littlefinger, Varys, Rob Stark, Tywin, Margery, and others were decent characters in the books who are great characters in the show.

    David and Dan have a great understanding of the books. Having read books 4 & 5 and now having watched four seasons of the show, I think they get the main theme of the saga better then GRRM does. He is getting lost in his own story while David and Dan are keeping what is important out in front.

  57. The Bastard
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Henrik Vendelbo:
    I wish he would split the next two books into 4, they sound long enough to support it easily.

    After finishing book 5 my overwhelming thought was “Finally the characters I care about might finally come into play, and the whole fire and ice magic theme might show itself”

    I like the gritty super-real knights, blood and guts, but it is a bit boring as well. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading a history book not a fantasy novel. The best thing about Islandic Sagas is that they are mostly true, whereas GoT just mimics reality.

    I fear that there will be two more books and I will love those, and there will be two more seasons from them and they will be excellent, and then it will be all over.

    If they only do 7 seasons with nothing additional, the show is over in a little over 1,000 days.

  58. Renlyisnotright
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    No rush, I hope he takes his time.

  59. Person
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    GoT won some Emmys. No coverage about that?

  60. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    ArgonathofBraavos,

    I’ll take nuclear war over these annoying, pompous D&D apologists that are popping up like weeds.

  61. markus
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard: The Hound vs. Brienne was great.The scene with Tywin and Jamie in season 1 was one of the Top 5 scenes of that entire season.The scene with Robert and Cersei talking about their marriage holding the kingdoms together.Fantastic stuff. They have fleshed out many characters far beyond what the books have.Littlefinger, Varys, Rob Stark, Tywin, Margery, and others were decent characters in the books who are great characters in the show.

    David and Dan have a great understanding of the books. Having read books 4 & 5 and now having watched four seasons of the show, I think they get the main theme of the saga better then GRRM does.He is getting lost in his own story while David and Dan are keeping what is important out in front.

    I am not talking about individual scenes, I am talking of D and D sitting down to invent a new storyline. Oh, I forgot also about Robb+Talisa in season 2 which did not hit any heights.

    You could also say that Talisa and Shae are the only big character D and D invented or reinvented from scratch and it is quite lackluster.

    I fear quite a bit what they will do with Sandsnakes-Jaime in season 5.

  62. The Bastard
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    markus: I am not talking about individual scenes, I am talking of D and D sitting down to invent a new storyline. Oh, I forgot also about Robb+Talisa in season 2 which did not hit any heights.

    You could also say that Talisa and Shae are the only big character D and D invented or reinvented from scratch and it is quite lackluster.

    I fear quite a bit what they will do with Sandsnakes-Jaime in season 5.

    And then people would complain they went too far from the original story. They just can’t win with some fans.

    When D&D have had chances to create better characters or improve scenes they have mostly hit home runs. Talisa and Shae were very good characters. In the books Shae is basically nonexistent and then we are supposed to care when he kills her. The show does it right by building her up more into a believable character.

  63. markus
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard: And then people would complain they went too far from the original story. They just can’t win with some fans.

    When D&D have had chances to create better characters or improve scenes they have mostly hit home runs.Talisa and Shae were very good characters.In the books Shae is basically nonexistent and then we are supposed to care when he kills her.The show does it right by building her up more into a believable character.

    ABC in writing is to not make a character turn 180 degrees to fit the plot, if they now felt they needed to change Shae from a shallow whre to a whre with heart of gold, they needed to fit the plot to that character arc and not suddenly book Shae turn up from nowhere exactly in episode 6.

    That is ludicrous writing mistake, one many people who had not even read the book had a hard time to swallow.

    Talisa the sassy girl who speaks like a modern ideological college girl to the king of the north? Cmon now, that is D and D simply taking me out of this world to modern times.

    D and D are great producers but so so writers, they should have remained humble like in season 1 with their writing, Bryan Cogman should write 4 episodes every season so they can concentrate on production.

  64. Tomás
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    So, apparently i’m the only one who actually likes AFFC and ADwD just as much i like the previous books.

  65. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 17, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Tomás:
    So, apparently i’m the only one who actually likes AFFC and ADwD just as much i like the previous books.

    You’re not. Feast and Dance are great books in their own ways.
    People just love to rag on them because “nothing happens” — which is dumbass code for: “I have no idea what’s to come, how this affects it as a whole or what a good narrative needs, but I know better than the author because I say so.”

  66. Red Comet
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Tomás:
    So, apparently i’m the only one who actually likes AFFC and ADwD just as much i like the previous books.

    Are you kidding? Feast and Dance have a 4.03 and 4.25 out of 5 respectively on Goodreads based on nearly 300,000 ratings and over 15,000 reviews. The majority of fans love those books, it’s just that the naysayers are much louder and more obnoxious. You’re very far from being alone. Plenty of folks list Feast or Dance as their favorite in the series.

  67. Joshua White
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Red Comet,

    I haven’t met a single person who ranks them anything but the bottom of the series, and I know a fair amount of readers. People complain that “nothing happens” because, hold your breath, nothing happens. Obviously that’s a rhetorical point, but the pacing in Dance and Feast is terrible. In Game of Thrones, Caitlyn takes perhaps a chapter or two to get from Winterfell to King’s Landing. In Dance, several characters spend entire arcs doing travelogues filled with lazy info dumping (rather than actually woven into the narrative), landscape descriptions, pointless descriptions of every minor character encountered, and a rant about turtles in a river. And lets not forget the inventory chapters in Dance.

    The other novels had some of these same flaws, but to a lesser extent, and the multitude of interesting events naturally made up for some of Martin’s tangents. Neither book stands on its own, or even together, where the first three volumes have well thought out arcs. If you took Feast and Dance and combined two big upcoming events from Winds, and cut out 70% of the fat, you’d probably get a decent novel.

  68. Joshua White
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Red Comet,

    Dude, those aren’t necessarily “outstanding” scores on Goodreads, for popular fiction with a fanbase who feel vested or duty bound to inflate the score. I mean, the last two twilight books have 3.7s, and and some of Terry Goodkinds books actually beat the ranking for Feast!

    Also, by your Goodreads measure, Dance and Feast are the two worst of the series.

  69. Red Comet
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Joshua White:
    Red Comet,

    I haven’t met a single person who ranks them anything but the bottom of the series, and I know a fair amount of readers.People complain that “nothing happens” because, hold your breath, nothing happens.Obviously that’s a rhetorical point, but the pacing in Dance and Feast is terrible.In Game of Thrones, Caitlyn takes perhaps a chapter or two to get from Winterfell to King’s Landing.In Dance, several characters spend entire arcs doing travelogues filled with lazy info dumping (rather than actually woven into the narrative), landscape descriptions, pointless descriptions of every minor character encountered, and a rant about turtles in a river.And lets not forget the inventory chapters in Dance.

    The other novels had some of these same flaws, but to a lesser extent, and the multitude of interesting events naturally made up for some of Martin’s tangents.Neither book stands on its own, or even together, where the first three volumes have well thought out arcs.If you took Feast and Dance and combined two big upcoming events from Winds, and cut out 70% of the fat, you’d probably get a decent novel.

    I’ve talked to tons of people over the past 2 years who come out and admit Feast or Dance is their favorite book (usually it’s behind Storm admittedly), and that’s not mentioning the numerous ASoIaF podcasts that go into depth about why they love those 2 books. I’m well aware of all the criticisms leveled at Feast/Dance, I was just saying the people who hate them vehemently are in the minority. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s actually closer to being divided right down the middle, but still statements like “everyone hates Feast/Dance” are ludicrous. They’re flawed books to be sure but MOST people still find a whole lot to dig into and appreciate.

    Joshua White:
    Red Comet,

    Dude, those aren’t necessarily “outstanding” scores on Goodreads, for popular fiction with a fanbase who feel vested or duty bound to inflate the score.I mean, the last two twilight books have 3.7s, and and some of Terry Goodkinds books actually beat the ranking for Feast!

    Also, by your Goodreads measure, Dance and Feast are the two worst of the series.

    I wouldn’t know anything about Twilight but Feast/Dance scored just over 4/5 (which would be my personal rating), and that’s including the pages of negative scores and poor reviews. I don’t take that much stock in average scores myself but in my opinion that’s as good a sample of opinions as any. And the point wasn’t even that they are the best in the series, just that not everyone hates them. Which was the impression Tomás was under. Which is just overblown and wrong.

  70. Pierre
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I rereread Feast early this year and not only do I find it very satisfying as a stand alone book, but I actually think all the digressions in Brienne’s travel and Jaime’s are highly enjoyable.
    Martin is an honest writer I think, meaning he delivers what he thinks is best (hence the long years). So I try to understand what he is aiming at, knowing that he is telling exactly what he means to. Brienne’s arch in the show this last season was disappointing for me, she hardly meets anybody at all and does pretty much nothing in ten episodes and I didn’t like the fact that she meets the Hound, it suddenly makes Westeros a tiny island where everyone bumps into one another. The fight scene was good though.
    Paradoxically, I like that Brienne’s travel is pointless in the novel and akin to dramatic comedy, it’s very much like Don Quixote’s fight against windmills. She is a stubborn and a little thoughtless young girl who is searching for a needle in a haystack and we are aware of that. I love it. That and all the “useless” characters that she meets who make Westeros a great world of fantasy. Nimble dick, Septon Meriton, Sir Hyle etc…
    If you read these novels without enjoying the “useless” parts, as far as the plot is concerned, I think you miss half the fun.
    To finish on Feast, Sansa’s arch as well as the Ironborns’ story lines is what Martin wrote best in my opinion in the entire series.
    Dance is the least enjoyable book I agree, but Feast may be my favourite. And when I think that Tyrion, Arya and Dany aren’t even in it…it is saying something.

  71. Pierre
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    err Arya is in Feast of course

  72. thegovnor
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    I think it’s fair to say the “vast majority” of fans believe the last two books are the weakest in the series. Not everyone will agree, naturally, but it’s pretty clear where the fans are on this now.

    That doesn’t mean they are shite, it just means they are the weakest.

  73. Sergei Walankov
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I’ll take nuclear war over these annoying, pompous D&D apologists that are popping up like weeds.

    It is an objective fact that D&D have created one of the great popular culture phenomena of our age. Few would argue that they’ve done everything right, but you will never hear it argued by anyone who amounts to anything at all that they haven’t done an outstanding job, all things considered. However, no matter how they had gone about it, it was always a literal impossibility that they would be spared the pathetic whining of inconsequential fanboy saddos on the internet. Which is where you come in.

  74. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    D&D didn’t create a cultural phenomenon.

    They just adapted it to a tv format.

  75. Joshua White
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    “just adapted”, as if writing and producing a fantasy television show with one of the largests casts i’ve ever seen is inconsequential. I work in the game industry, and for every “good” adaptation, there are a dozen epic failures.

    The same seems true of film and TV. There are a million ways this adaptation could have gone wrong. Like World Without End wrong. Like Earthsea wrong. Legend of the Seeker. Dune. Riverworld. The Golden Compass.

    Then you have rare adaptations like Dexter (Seasons 1,2,4, anyway) which improve on the bizarre source material. Game of Thrones is an interesting combination. It’s a faithful adaptation in many respects, but many of the changes, for me, have been improvements over the books. The two glaring exceptions to this are the mishandling of the Halfhand arc, which was my favorite part of book 2, and the WTF Theon rescue debacle from season 4. Oh, and the sexposition scenes from season 1 and 2 in particular. So a few flaws, but I’d still give the show an overall 8 out of 10.

    Season 1: 8
    Season 2: 7
    Season 3: 8
    Season 4: 9

  76. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 18, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White,

    Okay. That still doesn’t change the fact they’re only adapting the “cultural phenomenon” for tv.

  77. Joshua White
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    Game of Thrones is a cultural phenomenon. Ice and Fire is a popular incomplete fantasy series that now uses the cover stamp “HBO’s Game of Thrones” at every turn to sell more novels.

  78. Renly's Peach
    Posted August 19, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Joshua White,

    Now now, no need to be bitter about it. That’s an old marketing trick to get the idiots to recognize it and buy it faster.

    Still an adaptation. :3

  79. Joshua White
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Renly’s Peach,

    lol, I’m anything but bitter. I find what’s unfolding with the show surpassing the novels very amusing. I really hope D&D are as good as some of the fanboys say, because they are going to be finishing the cultural phenomenon. Martin doesn’t take detailed notes, so season 6 and 7 in particular are going to be there’s to own, for good or for bad. Pull up a chair and pass the popcorn and watch the internet explode.

  80. cheap games for ps3 online
    Posted August 20, 2014 at 6:32 am | Permalink

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