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Old 05-02-2009, 09:42 PM   #1
Philly Homer
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A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin

I recently got done reading the first four novels of A Song of Ice and Fire, and I doubt I can adequately put into words how epic and awesome this series really is. The first four books had somewhere upwards of 4,000 pages, and I flew through them in two and a half weeks. This process involved numerous "sick" days from school. Even though, my grades suffered, I don't regret it at all.

A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of award winning epic fantasy novels (4 to date) and 3 more to come. The last book reached the #1 spot on the NYT bestseller list, and it has sold over 2.2 million copies in the US. HBO has ordered a pilot for the series, though casting and shooting have yet to begin. The series is called Game of Thrones, which is also the title of the first book.

Time magazine called GRRM "the American Tolkien", and that title is well-deserved, since A Song of Ice and Fire is the most darkest, realistic and grittiest fantasy series ever written. It has rape, incest, pedophilia, and several other dark themes. It might be defined as epic fantasy, but don't expect a lot of magic. It's more of a political thriller disguised as epic fantasy. It's based on the Medieval Period, and inspired by the War of the Roses.

The world of Westeros and beyond is built masterfully with its own extensive history and religion or religions. However, the best part of the series are the characters. Make no mistake, A Song of Ice and Fire, is a character driven epic. Oh and what characters they are, some of the most realistic, beloved, witty, cunning, honorable characters ever written. Some of the characters stand out like Tyrion, the Kingslayer, Eddard, Tywin, the Hound, Robert, and my personal favorite Littlefinger. However, I would also advise you to be careful, because GRRM is absolutely ruthless with his characters. The world and characters are tied up in a stellar plot. To avoid spoiling any of it, I won't go into details, but here is the gist.

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The story of A Song of Ice and Fire takes place in a place called Westeros Most of the characters are human but as the series progresses other races are introduced, such as the cold and menacing Others from the far North and fire-breathing dragons from the East, both races thought to be extinct by the people of the story. There are three principal storylines in the series: the chronicling of a dynastic civil war for control of Westeros between several competing families; the rising threat of the Others who dwell beyond an immense wall of ice that forms Westeros' northern border; and the journey of Daenrys Targaryen, the exiled daughter of a king who was murdered in another civil war fifteen years previously (War of the Usurper) and now seeks to return to Westeros and claim her rightful throne. As the series progresses, all three storylines become intensely interwoven and dependent on each other.
For those of you who haven't read the books, I will give you some free advice. Drop any or everything you are doing, and acquire a Game of Thrones. Trust me you will not be disappointed. In fact, you will soon be picking up A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows.

For those of you who have read the books. Let's make this the all purpose A Song of Ice and Fire thread. We are due to get some of the casting news soon, so we can discuss it here. If you want to talk about the books (they deserve it) just use the spoiler tag, so we don't fuck up the experience for others.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:00 AM   #2
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Jon Snow is my favorite character with Jaime Lannister coming in second. I hate Sansa with a passion of the Christ. Fucking spoiled bitch, she got everything she deserved >_<

Only thing that annoys me about GRRM is how fucking long he takes to publish his books. I think it's been 2-3 years since Crows came out and we're still waiting for the next installment which still has a shifting release date.

But yeah, amazing series. I actually have my 80 year old grandma reading them and she is loving them. Every week when she comes over she keeps raving how deep the plots and characters are, and how amazingly detailed the world GRRM made is.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:23 AM   #3
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I'm long overdue for my customary annual re-read. This time, I think I'll wait until the release date has been announced. He hopes to complete the book by June, so factoring in the various post-processes, we should get the book by years end. Fingers freakin' crossed.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by EvilSpanker View Post
Jon Snow is my favorite character with Jaime Lannister coming in second.
Yeah, Jon has constantly been entertaining to follow. I think part of what brought the last book down was the lack of Jon and Tyrion. The Wall and Jon are such essential parts of the story that any book without them seems incomplete. Oh and the Kingslayer fucking rules.

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I hate Sansa with a passion of the Christ. Fucking spoiled bitch, she got everything she deserved >_<
Preaching to the choir brother. The only reason I put up with her was, because through her POV, we got some of the happenings at King's Landing. Her constant angst bugged the shit out of me, although I will say she has improved
Spoiler (highlight to show):
ever since she hooked up with Littlefinger. It's nice to know what LF is upto at the Vale, and what exactly his goals are.
You can rejoice, because she doesn't appear in A Dance with Dragons.

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Only thing that annoys me about GRRM is how fucking long he takes to publish his books. I think it's been 2-3 years since Crows came out and we're still waiting for the next installment which still has a shifting release date.
I think that's every fan. If GRRM can get done by June (a big if) then the book can be published by October or the beginning of November.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:01 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by EvilSpanker View Post
Only thing that annoys me about GRRM is how fucking long he takes to publish his books. I think it's been 2-3 years since Crows came out and we're still waiting for the next installment which still has a shifting release date.
Sometimes it's out of the author's hands. I work with a guy who made his first professional sale (a steampunk alternative history trilogy, sold to Tor) more than a year ago. Publication of the first novel is not expected to happen until 2010 at the earliest.

Song of Ice and Fire is a very nice series, perhaps a little too influential in my own writing. (After reading Martin, I find I have to fight the urge to kill off characters a bit too casually). Tyrion is by far the most interesting character to me.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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When I was young, I always stayed away from this series partly because my main love of fantasy was the concept of magic which the series had within. However, now that my tastes are starting to broaden, I think I might pick up the books again.
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Old 05-04-2009, 04:09 AM   #7
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I've been interested in reading the series, however I'm hesitant because I've often heard that the writer often kills off main characters. I know it might seem a bit weird, but I really don't want to read 4k+ pages, just to come to an end and find the people I've been following for the past however-long are dead at the end.

Is my fear justified, or no?
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:44 AM   #8
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Like the books, annoyed that the released date for Dance of Dragons keeps getting put back.

Feast for Crows was the worst book so far, because it contained none of my favourite characters, except for Arya, but even then she hardly appeared.

But yeah, favourite characters are Daenrys, Jon and Arya.

Basically the ones most in contact with magic <_<

I'm looking forward to Daenrys' victorious wtfpwning of Westros, but predict that it won't happen at all. Martin never lets his characters get their way lol, so she's probably going to die, or have her dragons killed, or be betrayed, or lose her army by random chance, or something to stop her from getting back her throne.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:09 AM   #9
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It's been a while since I read it. Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister are awesome. Actually Bran Stark is my favorite character despite the fact that he disappears for huge portions of the books although it looks like he is being set up to do some crazy shit in the next couple books. I usually like the first character introduced.

The series was hard for me to read. The vast amount of characters with a really high mortality rate among the characters are a bit of a turnoff. Sometimes it feels a bit gratuitous how often characters are built up only to be killed without warning. The constant betrayals are as irritating as they are interesting. I'm pretty sure that every alliance is fucked up by someone betraying someone only to get betrayed later themselves.

When the next book comes out I'll definitely read it because I really want to know how this is going to end but I'm sure characters will drop like flies. We should take bets on how many characters introduced in the first couple books will still be alive by the end of the series.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:50 PM   #10
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I'm looking forward to Daenrys' victorious wtfpwning of Westros, but predict that it won't happen at all. Martin never lets his characters get their way lol, so she's probably going to die, or have her dragons killed, or be betrayed, or lose her army by random chance, or something to stop her from getting back her throne.
Spoiler (highlight to show):
I don't think Daenerys is going to wtfpwn a lot of people in Westeros. If Euron Greyjoy is telling the truth, then she might soon be losing her dragons. Without the dragons, her army won't be half as formidable. That is if Euron Greyjoy is telling the truth, which I'm not exactly sure of. Although, the thought of Euron Greyjoy burning motherfuckers from the sky leaves, a lot to be desired.

Even if Euron is lying, I don't see Daenreys sitting the Iron Throne, at the end of the series. I can see the Targaryen dynasty being restored, but it would be too predictable for Martin, if it was Daenerys. I think it might be Jon Targaryen, if the Rheagar/Lyana conspiracy theory turns out to be true.


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When the next book comes out I'll definitely read it because I really want to know how this is going to end but I'm sure characters will drop like flies. We should take bets on how many characters introduced in the first couple books will still be alive by the end of the series.
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I don't see Cersei or Jaime (even with his redemptive arc) coming through at the end. They are the reason the entire war started, so I could see the war ending with their deaths.

The undead Catelyn won't make it either, since she is already dead. However, before she finally bites the dust, I predict she will wipe out all the Freys, which they heartily deserve.

The Hound (if he isn't already) will most likely die killing Qyburn's monster Gregor.

I highly doubt Stannis will sit on the Iron Throne at the end. We all know he won't give up his claim, which is why I predict his and Melisandre's deaths.

Unfortunately, I don't see Petyr coming out of the series with his head on his shoulders especially when Littlefinger's role in the game of thrones is revealed, and the deaths he has caused, I predict Varys or Tyrion will be the ones who bring his schemes to light.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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Well, I have not read all the book yet, I have just begun A Storm of Swords. The fact that I am not donde with the books yet has nothing to do with quality, they are awesome, but with the long time the autor seems to be taking on publishing aDwD.

My favorite character is Jon Snow, he is everything Ned was but with more cunning.

Spoiler (highlight to show):
I hated Ned's dead... Why do bad things happen to nice guys like him? And the whole red wedding thing creeps the hell out of me. The Stark family sure is cursed which makes me think that in the end they will be the great winners.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:56 PM   #12
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I hated Ned's dead... Why do bad things happen to nice guys like him? And the whole red wedding thing creeps the hell out of me. The Stark family sure is cursed which makes me think that in the end they will be the great winners.
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That's part of what makes this series so great. Most series get too predictable, because you know certain characters just won't die. With the death of Ned and Robb, Martin obliterated any such notion in A Song of Ice and Fire.

As to why, Ned and Robb had to die, it's rather simple. Their deaths progressed the plot the way Martin needed to. I was as surprised as anyone when Ned lost his head, but it made sense. Ned Stark was simply too honorable (some would say stupid) to survive or be a player in the Game of Thrones. Besides, it makes the point that honor won't win you anything.

Same with Robb, he won every battle he was in, but lost the war because of everything else. Like his father, Robb was too honorable or stupid to be a King. To hold a throne you need to be able to do more than just win battles. You have to be ruthless and cutthroat. Honor hasn't saved Starks, instead it's been their bane. All of that adds to the intrigue of who will sit the Iron Throne at the end, because it certainly won't be someone whose only quality is being righteous and honorable.
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:47 PM   #13
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I bet it will be Samwell that is King in the end
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:56 PM   #14
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I bet it will be Samwell that is King in the end
There is another that I hate. Martin might as well have a template for Samwell chapters. I suck at life, because I'm a craven, I'm fat and useless, I should be dead, Angst over his dad and his family, and I suck at life some more. If I just elaborate on those ideas a bit, I would have my own Sam chapter. My hope is he dies in a horrifically gruesome and painful way.
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:43 AM   #15
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Haha, I quite like the Samwell chapters. Not because of the character, but because of the parts of the world we get to see through him.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:52 AM   #16
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I'm also a fan of the books, if nothing else then for the fact that Martin seems to enjoy utterly destroying every cliche and expectation of the normal fantasy genre.

I didn't particularly enjoy Crows due to the absence of my favorite characters (Jon, Daenerys, and Tyrion) but Martin still managed to do a decent job with it. It was kind of interesting to see events from Cersei's persepective since she's one of Martin's more evil/unsympathetic characters.

I'm kind of hoping that when/if he finishes the series we'll finally get a bit of happiness for some of the characters; Martin's a great writer, but his dark and grim crapsack world sucks so much I want it to get just a little bit better by the end.

Of course, part of what makes Martin's world so terrible is that, if you remove the Dragons and magic (which aren't a big part of the story anyway) it's a pretty accurate depiction of how much the real Middle Ages sucked.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:55 PM   #17
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You know how I know Daenerys won't succeed? Because a lot of things have gone her way for a while. She will most likely be betrayed or killed by that guy she dismissed. It will be one of those "If I can't have you no one can!" and he will kill her. When a character has things going their way they will fail in the end with GRRM.

Which is why I think that Stannis may very well come through in the end >_>. Though, I am a fan of the Rheagar/Lyana = Jon Snow's real parents. So, I'm pulling for that.


Meh, spoiler tags for those who haven't read.
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:46 AM   #18
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Casting News and a Director

This morning, over at Westeros, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss teased us with the following quote.

A little good news coming soon...

Well, the little good news has arrived.

As per the Hollywood Reporter, Peter Dinklage has signed on to play Tyrion Lannister. This is pretty much perfect casting. As I was readng the series, Dinklage, was Tyrion. I think this will make a lot of people happy.

We also have the director for the pilot in Tom McCarthy who directed The Visitor and Dinklage's The Station Agent

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...5a5a9e328518de


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Tom McCarthy has come aboard to direct HBO's fantasy pilot "Game of Thrones," on which the star of his first feature, "The Station Agent's" Peter Dinklage, has been tapped for a key role.

Based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling "Songs of Fire and Ice" novels, "Thrones" is described as an epic struggle for power set in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Dinklage will play Tyrion, the Queen's brother who is treated as an outsier because of his size.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss penned the pilot script and are exec producing. HBO Entertainment president-turned-producer Carolyn Strauss, Management 360's Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, Ralph Vicinanza and Martin serve as co-exec producers, and Mark Huffam and Frank Doelger are producers.

"Thrones" is slated to film in the third quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in what the country's First Minister Peter Robinson hails as "the first TV production of such vast size and scale that has been filmed in Northern Ireland."

Dinklage, repped by manager David Ginsberg and attorney Karl Austen, is filming two features: the indie "Pete Smalls Is Dead," which he also co-produces, and Screen Gems/Sidney Kimmel's remake of "Death at a Funeral."

"Thrones" marks the first TV directorial gig for the Gersh-repped McCarthy, an actor who wrote and directed two features, 2003's "Station Agent" and 2007's "The Visitor," both of which landed him Indie Spirit Awards. On the acting side, McCarthy next appears in "2012."
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:55 PM   #19
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The guy from Winter is Coming is claiming that he has an inside source which has confirmed that Sean Bean has been casted as Lord Eddard Stark.

If this turns out to be true then this is some great news. Bean is a terrific actor who would do a great job of portraying Ned's cold and honorable personality. If this does not turn out to be true, then it's a massive cocktease.

By the way, for those who are not familiar with Bean, he was Bormir in LoTR.

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Old 07-16-2009, 05:59 AM   #20
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Having a big name like Bean will do wonders for the ratings too, which means less likelihood of cancellation.
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