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Thoughts on A Game of Thrones



I'm listening to the audiobook of Game of Thrones again. Because I know these people so well now, the little moments are affecting me more this time around. I got misty when Jon and Arya said goodbye to each other; when Dany rides her silver for the first time ("tell him he has given me the wind"); other moments that I've forgotten, I took too long to write this.

So there's this vision that Bran has, as he's sleeping after his fall. He's falling from a great height, and the crow is telling him to fly. He can see everything from where he is: he sees Sansa crying herself to sleep on the Kingsroad, he sees Jon on the wall, etc etc. He sees three shadows made of ash: one wears the helm of a dog (the Hound;) one wears golden armor (the Kingslayer;) and one is an enormous suit of armor, with nothing inside but . . . black wisps or something. You guys, he's talking about Zombie Mountain!! Zombie Mountain isn't introduced until the END of ADwD!! I am so impressed by that. I have such confidence in George R. R. Martin, seriously. Stephen King can eat a dick. I mean it becomes so apparent in the Dark Tower series that he is making this shit up as he goes along (and not always doing such a bang-up job of it.) And I didn't fault him too much for it, I mean whatever, I can't write anything more challenging than Elvis Costello fan fiction . . . but still, to see that someone has an END in mind, and sure, he's getting a little distracted along the way (I could not care less about Quenten Martell, good, I'm glad he died,) but . . . man, that's such a great feeling. See also: Battlestar Galactica. I really really want to watch it again, and I really want Chris to see it, but I've complained so much about the ending of that series that I've un-sold him on it and he's super reluctant. And I sorta am too . . . as soon as poor-man's-Dane Cook is on the scene (not to be confused with poor-man's-Bashir (Baltar) and poor-man's-Dave Matthews (that blind lawyer guy)) I'm going to lose interest, I know it.

ANYWAY. What was I saying about Game of Thrones?

Oh yeah. So Kevin (Baker) was complaining about how there are "so many things" in the first book that still aren't resolved. And I'm going to have to ask him for specifics, because . . . what? We know who killed Jon Arryn. We know who tried to murder Bran. We know what Varys's deal is, mostly. (He just wants the Targaryeans in charge, right? Although it's still arguable as to why . . . does he really think that's for the good of the realm? Does he have the Others in mind? Is he that much of a Big Picture dude?) We know who Jon's parents are -- well all right apparently some people think it's possible it isn't Lyanna and Rheagar, but I think it's pretty obvious that it is . . . what else is there, really? Are there any other mysteries raised in the first book that aren't yet addressed by the end of the fifth? Am I forgetting something? After all, AGoT is pretty straightforward. There are Others in the beginning, and dragons in the end, and a whole lot of . . . politics in between. What am I forgetting?

So anyway. I'm about halfway through the audiobook, and even though the first half -- before Jaime attacks Ned and his men outside the brothel, before it all starts to go really wrong -- is not all, like, sunshine and roses? It is still, in comparison to the rest of the series . . . sunshine and roses. It's so bittersweet to see the Starks together, and then being all "all right well I'll see you soon!" and Dany all happy and pregnant and shit . . . it's just all going to go to shit, you know? They're never going to be a family again in Winterfell. They're never going to have a little reunion with their wolves. (Lady, we hardly knew ye!) They're never going to hang out. Robb doesn't get to be a leader, he's dead. Arya doesn't get to be a kid, she's a stone cold killa. Nymeria never comes back. (Well, not yet.) Rickon never gets to be . . . anything useful. (My god, if he turns out to be SUPER IMPORTANT at the end I will be pissed. He's so dumb and useless.) It's all just very bittersweet. I'm loving it, though. And dog-earing pages in my paperback! Mostly visions and flashbacks and whatnot.

Anyway.

[Oh, okay, so I asked what Kevin was complaining about . . . his answer? "I want to see more north of the wall and more dragons." I -- okay, first of all, those are NOT unresolved mysteries/issues; second of all, we spent a TON of time north of the wall. It is cold and there are wolves; third of all, we also saw a ton of dragons. They barbecued people. What the fuck more do you want; and fourth of all, the entire goddamn series is (presumably) going to end in a battle between the dragons and the Others. You want your load blown now? Ugh. I can't even respond to him without being snarky because COME ON.]

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
fearsclave
Apr. 11th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
I may have to re-read them one of these days. The impression I got was that it wasn't going anywhere very quickly and winter was taking bloody forever to show up, but I may have missed some details...
littlewashu
Apr. 11th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh, it definitely moves at a glacial pace, but that sort of thing doesn't bother me at all. It does drive some people crazy, though.

And yes, the devil IS in the details! It's brilliant how he'll have some scene, like a tourney, or all the knights of the Vale gathering to watch Tyrion confess his sins -- and he'll be like "and Ser Baron von Applebottom was there, with his sigil of three yellow cheeses on a blue field, and Ser Marven Hammerschmidt, with his llama on a white-and-red striped shield," etc etc. And then two books later Ser von Applebottom will be TOTALLY IMPORTANT, but his name is only vaguely familiar to you. But THEN, when you re-read the books, you're like "holy shit, Applebottom was at that thing? Amazing! I know that dude and what he's going to do and the fact that he's a second son of a second son etc etc" and it -- I mean, all he's doing, initially, is throwing a name out there, and then writing it down somewhere so he knows to use it again later. That part isn't that hard. But the result is this feeling of completeness, this intricately woven web of dudes and sigils and houses and it makes the world feel REAL to me and I just love it.
counterfeitfake
Apr. 11th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC)
cheeses
mordicai
Apr. 11th, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
"Ser Baron von Applebottom was there, with his sigil of three yellow cheeses on a blue field..."

Ser Baron von Applebottom is your totem animal. You MUST get that tattoo. Or a llama on a white-and-red striped shield.

Edited at 2012-04-11 09:06 pm (UTC)
kromelizard
Apr. 11th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
I was absolutely convinced about Jon Snow's parentage by Rhaegar and Lyanna before the end of the first book. It made more sense than any of the alternatives and would explain Ned Stark's complete refusal to reveal who Jon's mother is. But after Jon's death, and the revelation of the secretly raised in exile son of Rhaegar, I'm no longer so certain.
mordicai
Apr. 11th, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
I still say yeah. Also, we need three Targaryens.
littlewashu
Apr. 12th, 2012 02:29 pm (UTC)
1. I dunno, people don't always stay dead in Westeros. Catelyn, Beric . . . Brienne, although maybe she didn't die in the first place . . . I don't think that Jon is going to stay dead. I mean, Melisandre is right there.

(Aside: when a lady who can read the future tells you to keep your wolf about you at all times, for the old gods' sakes, man, KEEP YOUR WOLF ABOUT YOU AT ALL TIMES. Way to not take a hint, Snow.)

2. Why were the kingsguard guarding the Tower of Joy if there wasn't a baby Targ in it?

3. As M says, we need three heads of the dragon. Right?
mordicai
Apr. 11th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Dude, Rickon is 100% going to be the like, hero. Historically. They'll be like "this War of Kings SUCKED, then WINTER came, & it was a fucking mess, except The King in the North Rickon Stark saved all our asses." That is totally going to be the epilogue.
littlewashu
Apr. 12th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
Seriously. The Others are going to freeze to death everyone living north of the Neck; the dragons are going to scorch the fields and therefore starve to death everyone south; the biggies will all kill each other at the Trident (in dramatic fashion, natch) and then Rickon will pop his head out of the smoldering ruins of the Isle of Faces or wherever the fuck he's hiding and make lords of the last, like, fourteen smallfolk that are still alive. Cheese sigils for everyone! YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, FOLKS!
littlewashu
Apr. 12th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh also I forgot the part where the survivors head to the Inn at the Crossroads for a post-battle flagon of wine.
mordicai
Apr. 12th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
DEATH TO THE CHEESE KNIGHT LONG LIVE THE LLAMA KING.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 15th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
hi, first time caller, long time listener
this is jeff, btw, I'm on my phone & don't know my lj login info.

I think the rheagar/lyanna/jon "promise me, ned" mystery is the one real unresolved element from the first book. we keep getting pieces of it but at this point, only howland reed knows. & he can't really know everything, I mean short of someone discovering rheagar's diary. everyone else is dead. wait. what about connington? it's possible that he might know shit. seriously, he'd better fucking know some shit.

also, jon snow is not dead, obviously. also, my worst part in the reread/listen was ned's last scene with arya. fucking. waterworks. also, do you think roy dotrice reads all the dialogue for a given character at one time? like, they give him a script with all of Hot Pie's lines & he does it or does he just have to remember Hot Pie's voice?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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