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February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch" 
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
I really like the "Song of Ice and Fire" series and also the "Game of Thrones" TV series. I wish that I wouldn't have to wait for years until the story will be told completely and I am eagerly awaiting the release of the sixth book, but I think it's ludicrous to demand a quick completion of the series from George R.R. Martin.

That being said, I am a little bit annoyed insofar as Martin introduces an ever increasing number of subplots and additional characters from the third book on and loses sight of the thrust of the main story, in my opinion. Some of these extra plots and characters work really well in order to flesh out the world of "A Song of Ice and Fire", but, mostly, they are a bit repetitive (no more travelling thorough war-ravaged Riverlands, please) and sometimes superfluous. I would have appreciated it, if Martin had focussed more on moving the story forward rather than "wasting time" on side issues.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
For example, in "A Dance with Dragons", there are three characters who travel to Daenerys in order to propose a marriage. One of them, the heir to the province of Dorne, has been mentioned before but makes his first appearance in the book. We spend three or four chapters with this character, who manages to reach Daenerys and is then killed off pretty quickly. It may well be that this will have greater significance in the future books, but I don't really see the necessity of expanding on this story, because these events could have been related through other characters, the aspect of suitors crossing the Eastern continent to reach Daenerys is covered by two other characters already and the character himself is actually not interesting.


As for 'Game of Thrones', I don't think that the TV series will exhaust the source material before the novels are finished. It shouldn't be difficult to split books four, five and six into two seasons or even more. The timeline, which James Berardinelli has mentioned above, seems quite realistic. Also, according to George R.R. Martin, the TV producers know where the story is headed so it doesn't seem to be far-fetched that the TV series could be based on drafts of the sixths and sevenths novels rather than on the finished product


Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:32 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
mrguinness wrote:
Quote:
Unused to negative feedback, he grew defensive when a block of fandom responded poorly to The Phantom Menace.


Did he not listen to a word about how crappy the 3rd original movie was?


Hey, I like 'Return of the Jedi' and I don't think that it ever drew as much criticism, certainly not vitriol, as the prequel trilogy, Ewoks notwithstanding.

I think Star Wars fans got angry at Lucas before the prequel trilogy and would say that the creator-fandom relationship turned sour when the original trilogy was re-released in the 1990ies with CGI additions and some miniscule changes. Many die-hard fans were furious that the movies weren't exactly as they remembered, which is best exemplified by the controversy regarding Han Solo shooting some oddy-named alien bounty hunter before the bounty hunter had fired a shot. (Or was it the other way round? I forgot. There's only so much brain capacity I'm willing to set aside for useless trivia.)


Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:41 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
As you said, there is a lot of wandering in the last two books, so I'm confused as how they are going to split that into two seasons each, unless the showrunners will invent a lot of mini-events along the way (they have been pretty great in adapting so far, so I'll be fine with that).

Unke wrote:
I think Star Wars fans got angry at Lucas before the prequel trilogy and would say that the creator-fandom relationship turned sour when the original trilogy was re-released in the 1990ies with CGI additions and some miniscule changes. Many die-hard fans were furious that the movies weren't exactly as they remembered, which is best exemplified by the controversy regarding Han Solo shooting some oddy-named alien bounty hunter before the bounty hunter had fired a shot. (Or was it the other way round? I forgot. There's only so much brain capacity I'm willing to set aside for useless trivia.)


When I read about the who shot first controversy, I didn't even remember it being that way. That's from not being a long-time fan and seeing the whole six films only once or twice, I guess.

I will concede with the fans on one point though. That "NOOOOO" change in ROTJ which tries to tie it back to the prequels is pretty awful in my opinion. A sublime, powerful moment being turned obvious and melodramatic. I was curious about the changes so I looked them up on youtube, and I cringed hard at that one.


Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:55 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Vexer wrote:
Nowadays I prefer to wait until a TV show has finished airing before I start watching it, that way I don't have to deal with waiting many months to see a cliffhanger get resolved.


Oh Vexer! Your comment just triggered a personal PTSD moment regarding the season one finale of LOST. :shock: Another benefit to waiting for a TV show to finish airing is that you don't have to worry about investing time into a show that gets cancelled before the creators can tell the entire story. I hate that.

Balaji Sivaraman wrote:
I was not a child of the 80s, so I cannot comment on the whole Star Wars problem because I became a fan during the prequels. But I will say that whatever problems Menace and Clones may have had - and let's face it, they had many - I forgave Lucas all of them for the outstanding final half hour of Revenge of the Sith. The whole sequence beginning with the dual battles between Obi-Wan/Anakin & Yoda/Emperor and ending up with Anakin morphing into Darth Vader while Padme gives birth to Luke and Leia is simply outstanding filmmaking. (All the while John Williams' brilliance does its work in the background.) That sequence is so awe-inspiring and goosebump-inducing that I can overlook whatever problems Films 1 and 2 had.


Oh for sure! The third installment of the prequels redeemed everything. I was in high school when The Phantom Menace was released, and I have to say I was caught off guard by the venomous response by some of the fans. I confess I never quite understood it. Relationships between creators and the fans are kinda complicated because, as pointed out, it's the fans that drive the success and thus allowing these future projects to be greenlighted. But I've never seen anybody claim "ownership" quite as much as those who love Star Wars. Well, probably the Trekkies? ;)

James Berardinelli wrote:
I spoke to someone in HBO about this and he said he doesn't think there will be an issue. Thumbnail of what *may* happen:

Book 3 Part B: Spring 2014
Books 4&5 will be interleaved and split into three seasons - 2015, 2016, 2017



Makes sense, but I've always been more curious about how it would all work with the aging child actors. On that timeline, the events of Dance with Dragons would feature a 22 year old Bran Stark and a 20 year old Arya Stark?


Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:23 pm
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Yeah, I learned my lesson with Two And Half Men when Sheen unexpectedly got pushed off the show by Chuck Lorre(Angus T Jones also allegedly left because of him) which forced season 8 to end early and then Ashton Kutcher had to replace him, and then the show just changed too much for my liking, it wasn't nearly as funny as before and Walden just couldn't replace Charlie, though I will say Charlie's daughter Jenny is pretty likeable, I just hope against hope that Sheen and Lorre at the very least can put aside their differences for him to come back once last time before the show ends. With ratings at an all time low, it looks like this season will be the last or second-to-last one.


Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:46 pm
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Quote:
respectfully disagree, I thought the writing on the prequels was pretty good for the most part, whether one's script "sucks" is strictly a matter of opinion and I don't blame Lucas for not wanting to listen to the naysayers.


In all the prequels I don't see a single memorable line of dialogue,action scene or even a character that has penetrated popular culture like the first three movies. Except for Jar Jar Binks which everyone over 12 mostly detested with a white hot passion which is indicative of the older CEO Lucas' complete lack of feel for his own material and filmmaking in general.[/quote]
I disagree there, there's many things about the prequels I remember very well, the pod-racing scene, the gladiator arena sequence, Anakin and Obi-Wan's duel to the death, etc.


Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:13 pm
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
First of all, I'm not going down the Lucas road again, as I've made my feelings on the prequel trilogy very clearly known (search my previous posts to get the details). While a creator certainly owes fans nothing, he should at least be able to recognize his own limitations unless fame and/or wealth have blinded him to them. The reason the term "art from adversity" was created was to at least partially emphasize that people usually do their best work when under pressure for various reasons.

On the note of Martin: I love the book series and do hold a very high degree of anticipation for the next book. However, I would never ever pressure him to get the books out faster, as this would likely come at the cost of quality. In many ways, I see Mr.Martin in the same light as I see the game developer Blizzard- both of them never turn out anything unless THEY feel its ready, and damn whatever the fans say. Too many times, creators caving in to fan pressure have led to disaster. Fans are fans because they like the artists' style, and changing that style to suit the fans ends up destroying the very thing that attracted them to the work to begin with.

I have another bit of advice to those fans who cannot bear waiting for the next installment in a work that they enjoy: look at the work of other artists. For that matter, diversify your interests so that you are not focused on just waiting for one to be fulfilled, as that usually goes down the road of unhealthy obsession.

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Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:31 pm
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
We've seen instances of this in the gaming community as well.

Half Life 3 (or Episode 3) has been delayed for nearly 7 years now. For a while, all of Valve's energy seemed to be put into making Steam ubiquitous. With that goal achieved, their next goal seems to be to make Steam Machines/Linux Gaming successful. And it is not like they stopped producing games altogether; Left 4 Dead, its sequel, DOTA2, and Portal 2 all arrived while the one game fans wanted is nowhere in sight. If you've played the series at all, you'd know that Episode Two left us hanging with the mother of all cliffhangers. A few gamers even started a protest outside Valve offices to no avail. If Valve gave gamers any indication that it was ever going to be made, that would be one thing, but they seem to be taking their fans for a ride. This general derision for fans of the one series that made them successful is ridiculous and plainly wrong. Believe it or not, they've got a responsibility to their fans. At the very least, you should let them know whether a sequel will ever be made.

On the other hand, we've got Mass Effect 3, the conclusion to the greatest game trilogy ever made. (My Opinion!) The entire series was all about freedom of choices. Well, whatever freedom means within the confines of a tightly-knit story. Each gamer who played the game felt as if they were telling their own story. However, the third game ruined this by giving the choice of one of three pre-determined endings. Irrespective of your overall choices in the preceding games, you were left with one of those three choices (Five if you count additional choices gained by playing multiplayer. My pet peeve with that game was that multiplayer was mandatory to gain additional war points and get to some of the better endings, but that is a whole other tangential point.) That is how many gamers perceived it.

But that is not entirely true. The final game had you accumulate war points based on the good will your choices had earned in the past, and these accumulated war points determined how your story ended. I was able to accumulate near maximum because I'd built up a lot of goodwill with all the alien factions. (Yeah, the way I wrote my character was awesome.) After my initial anger had passed, it felt to me that the ending made a lot of sense. The whole trilogy was about how humanity is faced with extinction at the hand of a race of synthetic super-aliens. And a clean ending where humanity simply defeated the Reapers (said super-alien race) would've made me cheerful, but it wouldn't have felt true in the context of the overall world that Bioware had built up. It is not supposed to be as easy as merely defeating them all. With that in mind, the ending felt perfect to me. (Minor plot holes in the ending I chose notwithstanding.)

The ME case is also interesting because one fan even went as far as to take it up with the Federal Trade Commission, stating: "after reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims." Another campaign called "retake Mass Effect" was also launched. Both eventually withered down after the release of the Extended Cut below.

This massive fan outrage prompted Electronic Arts (that evil, evil company) to coerce Bioware into releasing additional material that "expanded" on the original endings. Shortly thereafter, Bioware CEOs Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announced their retirement from the company. While publicly they announced they were going in different directions, common sense states that the whole Mass Effect 3 affair left a bad taste in their mouths. Inside information suggested that they never wanted to "expand" the endings and were happy with them as it is, and would've left it as such had EA not been worried about their coffers.

Those are two instances of similar cases in the gaming industry. While I have no sympathy for Valve and a lot for fans waiting for HL3 (since I happen to be one of them), I have a lot of sympathy for both Bioware CEOs (awesome creative minds!). Though gamers felt they had told their own story, the creative control to the overall trilogy still was at the hands of Bioware, and it was up to them how they chose to conclude "their" story. And they were pulled up for it, which is plainly wrong.

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Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:02 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
I believe there has been come recent news to suggest that Episode 3 is indeed in development right now, but the wait has been ridiculous.

Mass Effect 3's initial ending was absolutely fucking terrible, not because it was depressing, but because it just felt so incredibly contrived and half-assed, and it didn't make a goddamn lick of sense, all that stuff with the Catalyst just opened a ton of plot holes, I don't see how anyone could call that ending "perfect" under any circumstances, it's about as far from perfect as you can possibly get.

Now i'm not saying the ending had to be super-upbeat or anything, but that's not the main reason why people hated it, it's because Casey Hudson flat out fucking lied to the fans. In interviews he clearly stated that your choices that you made in all the games would impact the overall ending, and that turned out to be a load of horseshit, none of your choices before you reach the crucible had any impact at all on the ending, and THAT was why fans were truly and rightfully pissed.

You're wrong about fans ripping Mass Effect out of Bioware's hands, because it's not only the fans that despised the ending, the writers also hated it as they had absolutely no involvement in it, it was written by Hudson and Mac Walters with no input from any of the writing staff. Which is why the ending dosen't feel like its true to the Mass Effect series at all, it feels like Hudson and Walters just pulled it out of their asses at the last minute. There are plenty of ways the reapers could've been dealt with without having to use the Catalyst, the finale of the game should've been a epic battle for the ages, but instead it turned out to be little more then a fart in the wind, thankfully the extended cut fixed the terrible ending and made it better(though the EC still has some issues).

EA actually pressured Bioware into making the ending(and they also forced that stupid "must play multiplayer to earn points" mechanic into the game), and the writing staff were let go when they refused to go along with those demands, which is why Hudson and Walters wrote it themselves. So this is one case where fan outrage was completely and utterly justified, it wasn't "wrong" at all.

I don't feel one bit sorry for those people resigning, as they brought this whole thing upon themselves. If they didn't want fans to be outraged, then they should've never made promises that they had absolutely no intention of ever keeping and they should've let the writing staff handle the ending. When you promise the fans that your choices will impact the ending and they don't, you really can't blame people for being pissed off, the ending was not the vision of the talented writing staff, it was Hudson and Walters saying "fuck you" to all the fans who were expecting their choices to have some impact, it feels like a huge waste of time investing so much in your characters when it turns out your choices don't matter in the end. Hopefully Bioware has learned their lesson with Mass Effect 4.


Last edited by Vexer on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:17 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
StatGuy2000 wrote:
JB's commentary about George RR Martin and the pace of his writing begs the following questions:

(1) How faithful is the HBO series Game of Thrones to the novels written by Martin? (Note: I have not read any of Martin's books to date, nor have I seen the HBO series Game of Thrones).

(2) How much creative flexibility do the producers of Game of Thrones have in altering or deviating from the source material? Presumably if a particular release of a book is delayed, the producers could hire screenwriters to expand upon or deviate on existing plot points (whether that is a good thing or not is a separate matter).


The first season of GoT was very faithful to the book. Since then, there have been gradual deviations. I think the overall plan is to slowly divorce the show from the books. Not enough to anger fans but to set up the possibility that the final season(s) of the TV series could be greatly different from Book 7 if Martin is unable to complete that novel in time for it to be strictly adapted.

A couple of characters in the series differ greatly from their novel counterparts. Rob's wife was so different in the TV series that they changed her name. Tyrion's whore is also a much different character with an expanded back story. It will be interesting to see whether the TV counterpart shares the fate of the one in the book - I guess we'll know the answer to that in a few months.

I have heard that there are some significant changes coming in Season 4 and that bigger deviations will continue when Books 4/5 are adapted because of difficulties associated with straightforward transformations of that material will be difficult considering how they are written.


Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:18 pm
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
James Berardinelli wrote:
StatGuy2000 wrote:
JB's commentary about George RR Martin and the pace of his writing begs the following questions:

(1) How faithful is the HBO series Game of Thrones to the novels written by Martin? (Note: I have not read any of Martin's books to date, nor have I seen the HBO series Game of Thrones).

(2) How much creative flexibility do the producers of Game of Thrones have in altering or deviating from the source material? Presumably if a particular release of a book is delayed, the producers could hire screenwriters to expand upon or deviate on existing plot points (whether that is a good thing or not is a separate matter).


The first season of GoT was very faithful to the book. Since then, there have been gradual deviations. I think the overall plan is to slowly divorce the show from the books. Not enough to anger fans but to set up the possibility that the final season(s) of the TV series could be greatly different from Book 7 if Martin is unable to complete that novel in time for it to be strictly adapted.

A couple of characters in the series differ greatly from their novel counterparts. Rob's wife was so different in the TV series that they changed her name. Tyrion's whore is also a much different character with an expanded back story. It will be interesting to see whether the TV counterpart shares the fate of the one in the book - I guess we'll know the answer to that in a few months.

I have heard that there are some significant changes coming in Season 4 and that bigger deviations will continue when Books 4/5 are adapted because of difficulties associated with straightforward transformations of that material will be difficult considering how they are written.


A couple of things:

Martin has stepped in himself to write some pivotal episodes.

Also, I thought HBO only agreed to make the show if Martin told the creators how he envisioned his series ending (in case he can't finish by then, or worse..he passes away). Don't they already know the broad strokes, which main characters he plans to kill off or have survive etc?


Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:31 pm
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
I think the problem fans have, or at least that *I* have, with the books is that if they are going to wait years and years and years for a "perfectionist" to finish a work, then at least it should be GOOD when he releases it. I was so freaking disappointed with Book 4, I can't even tell you. I have Book 5 sitting on a shelf but I haven't even cracked the spine. I'm not going to spend any more time or money on the series until Martin completes it, and then maybe I'll go back and read everything all the way through.

But Book 4 just threw me off the whole enterprise (although I was also disheartened by the Red Wedding in Book 3, that killed off several of my favorite characters). While Books 1-3 actually moved and had some urgency to them, Book 4 was a narrative slog where very little seemed to happen. I really am reminded of Jordan, whose first Wheel of Time books were very good but then who lost the plot around books six or seven (I put that series down and never picked it back up again after it took about 150 pages for a bunch of people just to go through a freaking gate. My goodness.)

And I agree with above posters about Martin introducing new characters and stories rather than advancing the main plot. Some of that can be interesting but you take a real risk of having so much going on that nothing ever happens.


Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:21 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Vexer wrote:
Yeah, I learned my lesson with Two And Half Men when Sheen unexpectedly got pushed off the show by Chuck Lorre(Angus T Jones also allegedly left because of him) which forced season 8 to end early and then Ashton Kutcher had to replace him, and then the show just changed too much for my liking, it wasn't nearly as funny as before and Walden just couldn't replace Charlie, though I will say Charlie's daughter Jenny is pretty likeable, I just hope against hope that Sheen and Lorre at the very least can put aside their differences for him to come back once last time before the show ends. With ratings at an all time low, it looks like this season will be the last or second-to-last one.


How can anyone call Sheen being fire unexpected? Sheen was a total ass and got what he deserved. If I said to my boss even half of what Sheen said about Lorre, I'd have gotten canned and rightfully so.


Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:12 am
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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
ilovemovies wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Yeah, I learned my lesson with Two And Half Men when Sheen unexpectedly got pushed off the show by Chuck Lorre(Angus T Jones also allegedly left because of him) which forced season 8 to end early and then Ashton Kutcher had to replace him, and then the show just changed too much for my liking, it wasn't nearly as funny as before and Walden just couldn't replace Charlie, though I will say Charlie's daughter Jenny is pretty likeable, I just hope against hope that Sheen and Lorre at the very least can put aside their differences for him to come back once last time before the show ends. With ratings at an all time low, it looks like this season will be the last or second-to-last one.


How can anyone call Sheen being fire unexpected? Sheen was a total ass and got what he deserved. If I said to my boss even half of what Sheen said about Lorre, I'd have gotten canned and rightfully so.

It was unexpected because Sheen had a "no morals" clause in his contract, and he was fired for moral reasons which violated the contract, if you ask me it was producer Chuck Lorre who was being a total ass, not Sheen(though he did say some ridiculous stuff), Angus T Jones apparently also had some issues with Lorre, which is why he's no longer a series regular.


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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Machiara wrote:
I think the problem fans have, or at least that *I* have, with the books is that if they are going to wait years and years and years for a "perfectionist" to finish a work, then at least it should be GOOD when he releases it. I was so freaking disappointed with Book 4, I can't even tell you. I have Book 5 sitting on a shelf but I haven't even cracked the spine. I'm not going to spend any more time or money on the series until Martin completes it, and then maybe I'll go back and read everything all the way through.

But Book 4 just threw me off the whole enterprise (although I was also disheartened by the Red Wedding in Book 3, that killed off several of my favorite characters). While Books 1-3 actually moved and had some urgency to them, Book 4 was a narrative slog where very little seemed to happen. I really am reminded of Jordan, whose first Wheel of Time books were very good but then who lost the plot around books six or seven (I put that series down and never picked it back up again after it took about 150 pages for a bunch of people just to go through a freaking gate. My goodness.)

And I agree with above posters about Martin introducing new characters and stories rather than advancing the main plot. Some of that can be interesting but you take a real risk of having so much going on that nothing ever happens.


I totally agree with your opinion of book 4 and share your feeling for the Red Wedding. I am half way through book 5 and it is an improvement over 4 but still not at the level of the first three. I will say that at least Martin's writes in a way that allows you to easily digest and take in his universe and characters. Unlike the author Steven Erikson and his just finished 10 book fantasy series called Malazan Book of the Fallen which started in 1999 and finished in 2011(some people can make deadlines). I tried reading the first book in the series called Gardens of the Moon twice as I had to take notes to remember who was who and what was going on in the second book which was still tough. Martin might be a slog to read but these were tough to get through comprehension wise. The only interesting side note is the author Erikson developed Mazalan as Dungeon and Dragon's RPG world and later to GURPS to play in and it got so big and complex that he decided to write a novel about it.


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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Machiara wrote:
I think the problem fans have, or at least that *I* have, with the books is that if they are going to wait years and years and years for a "perfectionist" to finish a work, then at least it should be GOOD when he releases it. I was so freaking disappointed with Book 4, I can't even tell you. I have Book 5 sitting on a shelf but I haven't even cracked the spine. I'm not going to spend any more time or money on the series until Martin completes it, and then maybe I'll go back and read everything all the way through.


Books 4 and 5 need to be read as one since that's how they were originally intended to be read. That said, I agree that the overall quality of Book 4 was down considerably from Book 3. Book 5 is much better, especially toward the end. The problem with Books 4 & 5 is that they introduce a lot of new characters and plot threads. This results in not much narrative advancement with the established characters, especially in Book 5. With so many characters, 1000 pages only allows each character about 50 pages of "screen time."

Martin's perfectionism is evident in his writing more than in his plotting, at least insofar as Books 4 & 5 are concerned. Plotting and writing are entirely different things.


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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
A couple of things:

Martin has stepped in himself to write some pivotal episodes.

Also, I thought HBO only agreed to make the show if Martin told the creators how he envisioned his series ending (in case he can't finish by then, or worse..he passes away). Don't they already know the broad strokes, which main characters he plans to kill off or have survive etc?


One of the more amusing comments Martin has made relates to some problems he had writing the TV episodes because character names and certain events had changed from the books.

He has given the GoT showrunners detailed notes on his plans for ending the series. He has admitted those could change when he gets around to writing the events but, until then, they represent the "plan of record" that can be used in case he never finished ASoIaF for whatever reason. His death or incapacitation would probably end the book series (I don't see another writer being brought in a la THE WHEEL OF TIME) but not necessarily the TV series.


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Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
Quote:
Books 4 and 5 need to be read as one since that's how they were originally intended to be read. That said, I agree that the overall quality of Book 4 was down considerably from Book 3. Book 5 is much better, especially toward the end. The problem with Books 4 & 5 is that they introduce a lot of new characters and plot threads. This results in not much narrative advancement with the established characters, especially in Book 5. With so many characters, 1000 pages only allows each character about 50 pages of "screen time."

Martin's perfectionism is evident in his writing more than in his plotting, at least insofar as Books 4 & 5 are concerned. Plotting and writing are entirely different things.


If being read as one was originally intended it still would not make them any better. The problem is indeed a lot of uninteresting new characters and plot threads replacing all the interesting characters and plot lines that were killed off previously which may or may not be a bit of deliberate act of mischief of the writer on his paying customers. There have been a couple of moments where I almost reenacted the scene from Silver Lining Playbook where Bradley Cooper gets incensed by Hemingway and Farewell to Arms.

Plotting and writing are different things and if Martin was a newbie author a good editor would not have allowed him to get away with what he had written. Only a successful author like Martin could be confident enough to dispense with plotting for the sake of meandering world building but it makes it tough to get through not matter how well it is written. I find it a bit annoying to have to slog through 900 pages of his self indulgence to get to the material at the end of the books that are remotely interesting to me the reader.Then knowing the same pattern will happen in book 6. In the end it is about good storytelling leaving the reader wanting more story not less as in the case of books 4 and 5.


Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:32 pm
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Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 67
Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
+1 to oakenshield 32

The new characters and "side quests," as it were, really detract from the narrative emphasis. It's almost as if, rather than "binge watching" a full season of your favorite TV series, you get a 2-3 episode season. But not only that, you have to watch 2-3 episodes of several series in which you're not really interested in order to watch the episodes in which you are interested.

It's just tedious.

And back to the Red Wedding. I understand that Martin wants us to have the feeling that no one's safe, which adds to the tension level. But killing character after character in which the reader has become emotionally invested, while leaving so many characters in which they are not alive (and about whom they will have to read correspondingly more) just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. It starts to make the reader not care at all, about anyone; you hold them all at an arm's length. Why invest yourself in the characters if they're just going to die?

I mean, I guess the whole point of James' article was that its Martin's series and he can do what he wants. I generally agree, but it's a little like getting married to someone whose personality changes dramatically after the wedding. You kind of wish you'd known where they were going before you made the commitment.


Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:47 pm
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Gaffer

Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 11:16 pm
Posts: 9
Post Re: February 04, 2014: "George R.R. Martin is not Your Bitch"
This series is simply the pulpit from which GRRM is attempting to preach the case against marriage!

Actor Iain Glen claims that the Season 5 scripts have already been written. Makes sense given the nature of the production (i.e. based on geography). That means that Season 6 will be scripted prior to Book 6's release as well. The show is going to have to choose between wheel-spinning, outpacing the books, or even telling its own story.

A want one of the non-wheel-spinning options.


Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:43 am
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