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Old June 24 2013, 10:38 PM   #1
Lapis Exilis
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A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Yes, I know there was an extended Song of Ice and Fire Thread earlier, but I couldn't take part since I hadn't caught up on the books. Now that I have I wonder if there's any energy left around here for discussion. We'll see...

For all the criticism I've seen for A Feast for Crows, I thought it was very enjoyable whereas A Dance with Dragons felt very unfocused and wandering to me. I understand after poking around the forum at Westeros.org that there is a good deal of Danaerys hate about at this point in the story. While I thought her story went a bit off the rails in ADwD, I was surprised she is so intensely disliked by large swaths of the fanbase. I was also somewhat shocked to discover that Stannis gets a lot of love.

So I guess my post is to find out - who do you love, who do you hate, who do you love to hate?

And maybe, given GRRM's reputation and skill at pulling off major shockers - what plot points were the biggest shocks to you? Do you love them or hate them?
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Old June 25 2013, 12:16 AM   #2
Shurik
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Yes, I know there was an extended Song of Ice and Fire Thread earlier, but I couldn't take part since I hadn't caught up on the books. Now that I have I wonder if there's any energy left around here for discussion. We'll see...

For all the criticism I've seen for A Feast for Crows, I thought it was very enjoyable whereas A Dance with Dragons felt very unfocused and wandering to me. I understand after poking around the forum at Westeros.org that there is a good deal of Danaerys hate about at this point in the story. While I thought her story went a bit off the rails in ADwD, I was surprised she is so intensely disliked by large swaths of the fanbase. I was also somewhat shocked to discover that Stannis gets a lot of love.

So I guess my post is to find out - who do you love, who do you hate, who do you love to hate?

And maybe, given GRRM's reputation and skill at pulling off major shockers - what plot points were the biggest shocks to you? Do you love them or hate them?
At this point, I strongly dislike almost everyone in the story. I like Stannis, I like Ironborn and I liked Jon in ADWD. Westeros is FUBAR and that's before the Others' invasion, if it ever happens. All the major houses still play the increasingly irrelevant game of thrones, ignoring the real threat from beyond the Wall, and all of them deserve to go extinct.

As to major shockers - Varys reappearing at the end of ADWD and murdering Kevan and Pycelle was very surprising, Red Wedding was also pretty shocking the first tine I've read the books.
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Old June 25 2013, 02:43 AM   #3
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

At this point, Danaerys, along with Jon Snow and Tyrion are in my top three living (or possibly living, in one case) characters.

Online fandoms are really only good for convincing you to hate the series of which the fandom are supposedly fans. I used to like Star Trek before I came here.

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Old June 25 2013, 04:10 AM   #4
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

I've read A Game of Thrones, I just finished reading A Clash of Kings and just started A Storm of Swords. I love almost everything about this series so far, how its told in shifting perspective and the weight and realness to this fantasy world. The thing I dislike the most, Arya has spent the last book and so far the beginning of this book always chewing on her lips. Can't she do something other then just bit her lip? That seams the default reaction from her. Something happens and Arya bites her lip. Come on man, any other reaction...anything?
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Old June 25 2013, 05:09 AM   #5
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Shurik wrote: View Post
At this point, I strongly dislike almost everyone in the story. I like Stannis, I like Ironborn and I liked Jon in ADWD. Westeros is FUBAR and that's before the Others' invasion, if it ever happens. All the major houses still play the increasingly irrelevant game of thrones, ignoring the real threat from beyond the Wall, and all of them deserve to go extinct.
Interesting. Stannis seems such a piece of wood to me, though Melisandre is interesting. He has no real claim to the throne except being the brother of a guy who won it (seems a poor reason to be king in my humble opinion). He also seems hopelessly unable to win anything. Maybe if Melisandre manages to wake a dragon, he's got a chance. But then it's really her who's the mover and shaker and he's just a figurehead.

I'm enjoying the Ironborn stuff - as hard an Theon's story is to bear. Asha is cool though and I'm interested to find out what part she plays in the rest of the story. I liked Victarion at first but got a little bored with all his "I'm going to bed Dany and screw over my brother's ambitions - ha!"

As to major shockers - Varys reappearing at the end of ADWD and murdering Kevan and Pycelle was very surprising, Red Wedding was also pretty shocking the first tine I've read the books.
I knew Kevan's number was up in that last chapter, but I thought Cersei was going to do the deed. I'd been wondering where the hell Varys was though so I thought it was a great twist to have him show up right then.

The plot twist I still haven't quite adjusted to is Catelyn's transformation into Stoneheart. It was a fabulous reveal at the end of ASOS - but super weird. And I can't quite see where it's going.

-Brett- wrote: View Post
At this point, Danaerys, along with Jon Snow and Tyrion are in my top three living (or possibly living, in one case) characters.

Online fandoms are really only good for convincing you to hate the series of which the fandom are supposedly fans. I used to like Star Trek before I came here.
See, I love Dany and Tyrion (my absolute favorite). I can take or leave Jon Snow, though he got more interesting in ADWD. I can see where people would dislike my faves, but apparently there's a contingent of people who really, really hate Dany. That simply never occurred to me, even as wrong-headed and wildly naïve as some of her actions were in the last book.

I find fandoms fascinating because of the many different reactions people have to fictional worlds. There's nothing particularly special about online fandoms versus others - back in the pre-internet days a Trek con would be full of debates with people spitting venom about all sorts of characters and other things. That's the fun of being a fan - getting all het up over stuff that doesn't really matter one whit. It's a marvelous release from the stress of real life.
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Old June 25 2013, 10:25 AM   #6
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
For all the criticism I've seen for A Feast for Crows, I thought it was very enjoyable whereas A Dance with Dragons felt very unfocused and wandering to me.
I'd say the reverse. I love both but AFFC didn't progress the main plot nearly so much as ADWD did. The Theon chapters and Fake Arya plotline in ADWD are among my favourite material in the series.

I was also somewhat shocked to discover that Stannis gets a lot of love.
Stannis is fucking awesome. He was great in Book 2 to be sure but his punch-the-air arrival at The Wall made him a fan favourite forever.

Last edited by DalekJim; June 25 2013 at 11:58 PM.
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Old June 25 2013, 10:58 AM   #7
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Stannis at least tries to do something for the realm and not because he has to advance his family, even if most of his actions are backed by his and Melisandre's religious fanaticism. IMO, he is the best possible candidate for the Iron Throne.
He has no real claim to the throne except being the brother of a guy who won it (seems a poor reason to be king in my humble opinion).
This is his claim to the throne at the moment, this is how things work in Westeros (and worked in Middle Ages). Saying that Stanis doesn't have real claim to the throne is like saying that the descendants of William the Conqueror don't have any claim.
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Old June 25 2013, 12:44 PM   #8
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Maybe if Melisandre manages to wake a dragon, he's got a chance.
Well, there's Patchface's song with a line about a great stone beast rising from a smoking tower. I wouldn't be surprised if those stone dragons at Dragonstone wake up at some point. So far, Patchface has been pretty spot on with his predictions.

The plot twist I still haven't quite adjusted to is Catelyn's transformation into Stoneheart. It was a fabulous reveal at the end of ASOS - but super weird. And I can't quite see where it's going.
There's some speculation that she's planning a Red Wedding 2.0 at Riverrun, since there's supposed to be a Frey wedding there and Tom O'Sevens decides to stay there for the winter.
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Old June 25 2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

I think the awakening of the stone dragons was a prophecy refering to Daenerys and her dragon eggs.

It's odd, but out of all the candidates for Azor Ahai (Jon, Dany, Aegon, Rhaegor etc.), it is the clearly FAKE candidate, Stannis Baratheon that engages me the most. I think he is the one most helping the realm right now.
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Old June 25 2013, 06:07 PM   #10
Lapis Exilis
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

DalekJim wrote: View Post

Stannis is fucking awesome
Wow - I'd never have even thought that sentence in a million years. This is so interesting.

He was great in Book 2 to be sure but his punch-the-air arrival at The Wall made him a fan favourite forever.
Yeah, but he only did it because Davos urged him to. Now, Davos is fucking awesome. He's one of my favorite characters. Every smart or honorable thing Stannis has done has either been at the behest of Davos or Jon (gaining support from the mountain clans - first really smart move he's made from a strategic point of view). Yet he keeps Melisandre at his right hand. Anyone who is passionately loyal to the advice of a religious fanatic is scary!

Shurik wrote: View Post
Stannis at least tries to do something for the realm and not because he has to advance his family, even if most of his actions are backed by his and Melisandre's religious fanaticism. IMO, he is the best possible candidate for the Iron Throne.
Well, anyone looks good next to the Lannisters, let's face it. But I'm not clear on what Stannis is trying to do for the realm. He seems to be trying to secure his claim just like everyone else. He also would have burned an innocent child alive to advance his own purposes if Davos hadn't gotten Edric away. That's pretty high on the scale of Pure Evil.

Or at least it seemed so until GRRM started describing Ramsey Bolton's pastimes...

Why do you think he's the best candidate for king? While I can't see it ever happening in Westeros, I've always rather favored Tyrion as the wisest ruler and I think I harbor hopes that Danaerys will learn her lessons (she at least seems to be struggling with morality, unlike most of the other contenders), hook up with Tyrion as Hand and the two of them rule Westeros together. Not that I think the books are headed for any sort of triumphant, and-the-best-person-for-the-Throne-won sort of ending.


He has no real claim to the throne except being the brother of a guy who won it (seems a poor reason to be king in my humble opinion).
This is his claim to the throne at the moment, this is how things work in Westeros (and worked in Middle Ages). Saying that Stanis doesn't have real claim to the throne is like saying that the descendants of William the Conqueror don't have any claim.
Well, it'd be like saying that if William died with no sons his eldest brother wouldn't have much of a claim. And he wouldn't (if William had had a brother) - he'd have had to fight off Harold Godwinson's sons probably. A strong claim is one everyone acknowledges and which doesn't require war. Basically no one in ASOIAF has a good claim at this point.
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Old June 25 2013, 06:14 PM   #11
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
DalekJim wrote: View Post

Stannis is fucking awesome
Wow - I'd never have even thought that sentence in a million years. This is so interesting.
It's actually not very unique an opinion . Among book fans, Stannis is by far one of the most popular characters. On a forum I frequent, he is certainly the most popular character in all of ASOIAF. Mainly for his hilarious sense of humour and subtle nobility. One of the few characters that isn't a hypocrite.

Shame the show aint quite got him right. Though they gave him a badass theme tune.
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Old June 25 2013, 06:23 PM   #12
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

I find Varys to be the most interesting character as right now you can argue he truly loves the realm and its people or you can argue that he only cares about gaining more power. Varys' character arc is fascinating and led to the epilogue in ADWD which, for my money, is one of the series' best scenes to date. I'd love to see what would happen should Varys gain power but right now Stannis seems to be the best choice of those that are realistic options as he's not pure evil like Roose, the Freys, or the Lannisters (although the bad ones are either dead or out of the picture by now so maybe they should just stay in power...).
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Old June 25 2013, 06:49 PM   #13
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

DalekJim wrote: View Post
I think the awakening of the stone dragons was a prophecy refering to Daenerys and her dragon eggs.
I misremembered. The stone beast vision happens to Dany in the HotU.
a great stone beast flying from a smoking tower, breathing shadow fire
Doesn't really fit Drogo's Funeral. They were three dragons, not one and they did not breathe fire.
Dragonstone is described as having a huge tower and it has stone dragons.
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Old June 25 2013, 06:57 PM   #14
Lapis Exilis
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
DalekJim wrote: View Post

Stannis is fucking awesome
Wow - I'd never have even thought that sentence in a million years. This is so interesting.
It's actually not very unique an opinion . Among book fans, Stannis is by far one of the most popular characters. On a forum I frequent, he is certainly the most popular character in all of ASOIAF. Mainly for his hilarious sense of humour and subtle nobility. One of the few characters that isn't a hypocrite.
I'll give you that one - he's pretty straight forward and you know what he's about.

Shame the show aint quite got him right. Though they gave him a badass theme tune.
Well, that ought to please everyone!
sidious618 wrote: View Post
I find Varys to be the most interesting character as right now you can argue he truly loves the realm and its people or you can argue that he only cares about gaining more power. Varys' character arc is fascinating and led to the epilogue in ADWD which, for my money, is one of the series' best scenes to date. I'd love to see what would happen should Varys gain power but right now Stannis seems to be the best choice of those that are realistic options as he's not pure evil like Roose, the Freys, or the Lannisters (although the bad ones are either dead or out of the picture by now so maybe they should just stay in power...).
LOVE Varys! Like I said I was delighted when he showed up to do Kevan in. He's terrific because you can't quite tell what he means by "I'm working for the realm." But, given that he spirited Prince Aegon out of the country and worked with Illyrio to help Dany, he seems to be a Targaryen supporter?
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Old June 25 2013, 08:06 PM   #15
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire - Love and Hate

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
Well, it'd be like saying that if William died with no sons his eldest brother wouldn't have much of a claim.
Stannis was the lawful heir if Robert left no children. That was acknowledged by everyone. Renly simply decided to leapfrog, while the Lannisters pretend Joffrey is legitimate. Stannis' whole deal is rigid adherence to the law; he doesn't even particularly want to be king, but by the law he is.
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