New interviews feature George R.R. Martin not writing for Season 6, The Sand Snakes on their roles, and Gethin Anthony on being a fan

Author George R.R. Martin talked about his absence from the show with Entertainment Weekly (EW) saying that he won’t be penning an episode for the sixth season of Game of Thrones either. Martin also canceled his San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) appearance as well as cut back on media interviews to focus solely on finishing the sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire: The Winds of Winter.

Martin: Maybe I’m being overly optimistic about how quickly I can finish. But I canceled two convention appearances, I’m turning down a lot more interviews—anything I can do to clear my decks and get this done.

EW also visited the set of Game of Thrones and sat down with our favorite trio of lethal sisters: The Sand Snakes.Sand_Snakes_torture_with_scorpions

Keisha Castle-Hughes (Obara), Jessica Henwick (Nymeria) and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Tyene) talk training, Oberyn, and weapons in the exclusive interview.

On training, the Snakes all agree that the intensive training in Belfast was a unique experience that followed almost immediately after they landed their roles.

Castle-Hughes:There’s a new stunt coordinator on this season, which will be really exciting, to see what he brings to all the different fight sequences. A lot of my training was in the martial arts of Wushu, and so a lot of that is just handling and footwork. It’s been about a maybe four and a half to five-month lead up to today, we’re shooting our big fight scene against [Jaime and Bronn] finally and using the weapons.

They indeed act like they could be sisters in that they all insisted they were Oberyn’s favorite. However, they all managed to agree on who was the most ruthless.

Head on over to EW for the full interview!

 

004_Jon_Borne

Apparently, fans were not entirely alone in their distraught over Margery and Loras’ imprisonment. Former Game of Thrones actor Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon) sat down with USA Today to give his thoughts on Season 5.

Anthony: “When they arrested Margaery and Loras, I was saying, ‘My queen! My man! Are you kidding me? I’m getting angry.” 

He goes on to say that he does indeed miss being a part of the fantasy drama:

It was such an extraordinary experience and I made so many good friends on that show. It was just like an adventure from start to finish. I’m very grateful for the time I had on it.

Follow the link for the full interview!

The idea that Winds of Winter may be out before this time next year is extremely good news. Let us know your thoughts below!

164 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. When George starts saying that he hopes he is not being too optimistic that paradoxically makes me more nervous. It just makes me think he’s not sure how long it’s going to take, and we know how bad he is at estimating his writing speed.

      I think there’s been a consensus that the fight scenes aren’t as good this season, and now we have a possible reason why. I feel for the new stunt coordinator to be honest, but if this week’s episode exceeds my (high) expectations it might make up for it.

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    2. Even if Winds of Winter was finished I don’t think GRRM would be writing another episode of GoT, not because of any hostility towards the show though. He is not in the writers room with them and many storylines and characters are significantly different than their book counterparts. The show has really become D&D version of his story and I don’t think he has any interest in writing someone else’s version of his own story.

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    3. Buttplugged Bear:
      A new stunt coordinator? That does explain something.

      I think it has more to do with the accelerated shooting schedule on that site. They were pressed for time and couldn’t get the amount of shots they needed to make the fight seem more dynamic.

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    4. How many times do they need to interview the Sand Snakes for them to say pretty much the exact same thing?!

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    5. GeekFurious,

      On second viewing the fight wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great on the editing front, but I think people were looking forward to hating it from the get go. What’s bad about it is the ridiculous timing of both the plans. You’d expect better from a show as smart as Thrones.

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    6. It would be nice if he could write the last episode of season 7. Winds of Winter will not come out next year and if it does I’m sure it will be because he decided on 8 books instead of 7.

      He just lost control of all the plotlines. I still love George for creating this world.

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    7. Did anyone see Gethin as a young Charles Manson on Aquarius last night? I am withholding judgement on the show, but I thought he did pretty good job.

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    8. I’ve said this before but my guess:

      HBO is gonna make Season 7 have 14 episodes broken into two parts: see Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc

      Season 6: 10 episodes 2016
      Season 7 part I- 7 episodes in 2017
      Season 7 part II – 7 episodes in 2018

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    9. jentario,

      The fights wasn’t that bad, not on par with what GoT usually gives us but still good. The problem was the contrivance of the whole situation, Jaime and Bronn just walk in to the WG in broad daylight, and it just happens that SS attack at the same damn time.

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    10. Whenever I see that Renly pic I just can’t stop laughing at Brienne. It’s my main argument against people who say it’s unrealistic the show doesn’t use helmets.

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    11. jentario:
      Am I the only one who doesn’t care about TWOW anymore? It’s all about the show’s canon now.

      You can add me to that. I am becoming less and less interested in all of the red herring plots and I’m looking forward to the end.

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    12. He’s stating that he’s turning down media interveiws…in a new media interview. You couldn’t make it up.

      But I’m far more interested in TWOW than the “show’s canon” as GRRM for all his slowness is still an infinitely better writer than the show’s writers.

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    13. jentario:
      GeekFurious,

      On second viewing the fight wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great on the editing front, but I think people were looking forward to hating it from the get go. What’s bad about it is the ridiculous timing of both the plans. You’d expect better from a show as smart as Thrones.

      I don’t know what “that bad” means to you but… yes, the biggest problem was the manner in which everyone arrived at the same time. It made it all feel very goofy. I understand that in movies and TV shows you have to often accelerate stories and make some things super convenient… but that was ridiculous.

      The fight was so-so. Nothing spectacular, but made worse by the edit… some of the shots were held a second too long.

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    14. 200 pages into ADWD. How slow do you guys think I should go so that I’m not waiting around to read the next one?

      And yeah, a new coordinator does make sense, that sand snake fight and even the scene with ellaria before it was bad. Though I think the Jamie and Bronn fight with the dornishmen on horseback was great. Jorah’s fight in the pits was great as well. So, let’s just say that one bad fight was a fluke.

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    15. SerCountryFriedSteak:
      I’ve said this before but my guess:

      HBO is gonna makeSeason 7 have 14 episodes broken into two parts: see Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc

      Season 6: 10 episodes 2016
      Season 7 part I- 7 episodes in 2017
      Season 7 part II – 7 episodes in 2018

      Most likely, but we’ve been saying that for years. It always seemed the most logical move for HBO if it was not going to run for 10 seasons. Then they can perhaps make a Rober’s Rebellion movie, or set of movies, for release in 2020.

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    16. jentario,

      It would’ve been more tolerable if they had just set it up better. Having everyone rush into the same place at the same timeade it look like a bad sit com. Still, on second viewing Jerome Flynn almost singlehandedlg saved it. Almost.

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    17. King of the Ashes:
      200 pages into ADWD. How slow do you guys think I should go so that I’m not waiting around to read the next one?

      I wouldn’t worry. It’s a slog. You probably have enough time to choke it down by the time the next one comes out. Barely.

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    18. jentario,

      I am excitedly looking forward to the continuation of the show – however, I also will be the first one in line to buy the book. If it comes out prior, I will definitely have it finished prior to the premier of season 6.

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    19. I’d still prefer to read about

      what happens with Jon

      before seeing it on the show. So write like the wind, George!

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    20. Ah – not everyone agrees with slog reviews of DwD. I liked it as much as Clash of Kings. Anyway, my brother took over a year to read it in hopes that he could stretch to publication of Winds – and that didn’t work. I would say read it as quicky or as slowly as you please.

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    21. Cersei’s Brain,

      I’d also say read it as quickly as he wants, and then read the Dunk And Egg novellas and The Princess And The Queen + Rogue Prince. Then I’d say to re-read ASOIAF.

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    22. I think they should hire someone from HEMA to coordinate the Westerosi fight scenes.

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    23. Oh, look. George saying he was overly optimistic.
      Cancelling a couple of cons and interviews should to the trick!

      Seriously, the man is a broken record. I can see Winds of Winter taking as much time as ADWD, if not more. And there’s still one more book planned!
      At this point, anyone thinking GRRM has a snowball’s chance in hell of finishing before the show is delusional.

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    24. Jeb:
      When George starts saying that he hopes he is not being too optimistic that paradoxically makes me more nervous. It just makes me think he’s not sure how long it’s going to take,and we know how bad he is at estimating his writing speed.

      I think there’s been a consensus that the fight scenes aren’t as good this season,and now we have a possible reason why. I feel for the new stunt coordinator to be honest,but if this week’s episode exceeds my (high) expectations it might make up for it.

      I view it as two different possibilities.

      1)After the DWD debacle, he wouldn’t dare act this optimistic about it coming out soon unless he really had made progress and was in a position where its possible to come out before next season

      2)Its yet another example of him being completely delusional or lying to the press since we’re hitting the point where his life’s work is about to be spoiled. Much like when he talked about there being 3 seasons for AFFC/ADWD or when he said there should be movies to finish the show.

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    25. I think someone else got it right . Considering how far the show is deviating from the books it would only confuse George to write any episodes Cuz that would mean he would have to put aside his book characters plots to focus on where they are in the show and that will only hinder his progress on his own version which is where the books are right now so yes I doubt he ever writes another episode except maybe the last 1 considering the books and the show do work towards the same ending and even then I’d think D&D wud wanna take credit for that … This show is theirs after all

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    26. whenever someone said that GRRM is not spending his time in writing and spend too much time on tours and other things ..people said that GRRM is not your bitch he has a life too

      INorder to get the quality of books as good as ASOIAF we have to let the man take all the time he wants …if he writes under the pressure the quality may drop

      but isnt that exactly what GRRM doing now cancelling all the tours and commitments to write WOW ..now does he not have a life
      what happend to writers block and quality because it looks like he is writing in a hurry to finish before the next season

      he seems like a kid who only studies on the eve of the exam and not during the semester

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    27. dragonbringer,

      The guy can’t win. If he writes in his own time people moan he’s taking too long and yet if he tries to write quicker people moan he’s rushing things.

      Seems to be an upswell of book hate on the forums lately and I don’t think there’s any need for it. Let’s not forget that without the world GRRM created the show wouldn’t be possible. I thought the first three books were excellent and although not as good, I still enjoyed the last two and think that people are bashing them unecessarily. I’m still looking forward to the other books even though the show will spoil a couple of arcs for me. Not a massive deal as it’s just a reverse of what has happened so far where the books have spoiled the general plot lines of the show. I still watched the show to see their interpretation of the story and the differences just like I’ll still read the book as I like to know about all the extra details and characters and how they play out.
      Some folks act likes it’s not possible to like and enjoy both. If they ever have two children then I ‘ll feel really sorry for one of them.

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    28. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Let me just say that i am not hating on Grrm and praising D&D..

      i have a lot of respect for GRRM has an author of ASOIAF who created this world …but i am speaking about the man he is ..his recent comments about how getting a new twist that show cant do and like that is what makes me question him

      he said himself he didnt write for nearly a year after ADWD came out because he has spent time in promotional events

      then he went on to do the books about dance 0f the dragons and WOIAF …for which Elio said he is having a writer’s block and hence till that time focusing on other work ..bvut now everything has gone and he started to write again …

      what i am saying if only he has spent a good time scheduling his work and at the same time writing ..he could still have gotten to do other commitments and write at the same time .. one doesnt need to go shut down inside his house for a couple of years so he can finish writing …what happened to the life of his now …

      like i said before he seems like the one who studies the night before exams when one has whole semester to do that and this with inability to produce the books on a deadline has made me loose a tiny bit of respect for him

      and for what its worth i love both the shows and books for what they are …

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    29. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Tbh, I don’t hate AFFC or ADWD, both have good stuff, but all the useless drivel and filler characters bring the whole thing down. See, I don’t think the bashing is unwarranted, considering people waited 6 years only to have a slog of a book that barely advances the plot, if at all. Not to mention that the author himself doesn’t seem to be all that interested in writing anymore -and please, before anyone starts with the Gaiman thing and the whole “the man has a life” argument, yes, I know.
      GRRM’s world and characters were and still are a constant source of inspiration and joy for me, so if anything, it makes me sad to see the same crap year after year, excuses, travels, cons, more excuses, “Can’t write while I’m out, can’t write when I’m not in my special couch, in my special computer, and when I don’t have my special hat”, instead of some actual progress.

      Anyway, I suppose people will call me an entitled whiny troll or whatever, but I’m past caring. For all the problems the show may have, I think the good outweighs the bad, and I’m glad D&D are going to bring some closure to the whole thing.

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    30. I am still excited for TWOW and stupidly optimistic it will come out before season 6. However, I love the show and am thankful that there will be a resolution to the story in a couple years. I don’t believe GRRM is going to be done with his story in 7 books. It will be YEARS before he is finished with ASOIAF.

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    31. JamesL,

      GMMR was already doing that. He wrote “Blackwater” and sure there are tons of websites listing all the differences there. I mean he wrote the scene where Talisa (Oona Chaplin) tells us she pregnant which is totally different stuff and that’s just one example off the top of my head.

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    32. Well, in the meantime, you guys can watch my Game of Thrones Parody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCOSOzBy3KI

      And I’m kind of glad he’s focusing more on the books, he does serve breaks from working on the show, and having two entire entities of the franchise is better than one, when it comes to deviations, large or small.

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    33. Well, in the meantime, you guys can watch my new random and short Game of Thrones Parody video on youtube (If you look up Lexyvil, my ID)

      And I’m kind of glad he’s focusing more on the books, he does deserve breaks from working on the show, and having two entire entities of the franchise is better than one when it comes to deviations, large or small.

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    34. I’ve always been amazed at a good author’s ability to put together their imagination and bits of history and reality, mystery and humour, a host of characters, a dozen plots, and have it all come together in the end. I cannot be frustrated by a crossword puzzle without flying into a bit of a rage, so I can’t even begin to imagine what his writing process is like.

      I’m fairly certain it’s not just “I’ll sit here M-F, 9-5 and get it done this year”. I don’t want it rushed to meet a dumb imagined deadline that people who like a tv show feel they’re entitled to. And I like the tv show as well.

      Side projects and other stories are probably necessary to both give the ‘main’ job a break, and at the same time let new things manifest. Rome, and all that.

      The guy’s spent half his life on this world, I’ll read Winds if it comes out in 2015, or if it comes out in 2025. 🙂

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    35. Pigeon:

      I’m fairly certain it’s not just “I’ll sit here M-F,9-5 and get it done this year”. I don’t want it rushed to meet a dumb imagined deadline

      that is the point he is doing exactly that after years of not caring about a deadline he suddenly gets in his chair and try to produce something in a deadline to get it before season 6 ..will that not be feel rushed ..will that not affect the quality

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    36. GeekFurious: Most likely, but we’ve been saying that for years. It always seemed the most logical move for HBO if it was not going to run for 10 seasons. Then they can perhaps make a Rober’s Rebellion movie, or set of movies, for release in 2020.

      Nobody really wants to see “Roberts rebellion”. Not if you think about it. Every character would have to be re-cast, and we know what would happen to all. I’m not sure why people keep bring it up, it is IMO a terrible idea for a movie or mini-series.

      Dunk & Egg, however is a real possibility. A relatively stand-alone series focusing on two main characters and their journeys. Very easy to adapt, it is a far more straight-forward story.

      Also the Targaryen civil war/Dance of the dragons. Plenty of cool characters, lots of action. And dragons! Could need a MASSIVE budget, though.

      Those two stories seem the most likely. Other ideas don’t even come close.

      EDIT: Another option would of course be to go far back in time – To the time of Nymeria – or even further, tell a story set in the age of Heroes. Bran the builder? Depending on how the show ends, a show set after the end of ASOIAF could also be interesting, charting ALL new ground.

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    37. It appears to me, that with the high probability of the citadel next season, one of the sand snakes might be headed there in disguise. I’m trying to figure out which one. Obara certainly has very masculine qualities but Tyene has short curly hair and both have had more screen time than Nym. It seems likely that one of them will be headed there.

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    38. Rei,

      thank you

      glad to know that Tyrion will come to believe in Dany and i still dont see how Jorah ends up in the pits ..

      he goes to fight in the pits himself or dany send shim to fight there ..then i dont know why dany looks sad and reluctant to start the fights while clapping if she is willing to send jorah to pit she should not be that reluctant to start the fight …maybe another surprise entry from jorah after he was exiled again

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    39. LordDavos,

      I think the outlines are probably done by now. I heard they had to be turned into HBO by June 1st. Not sure about the scripts. Incidentally, I had to go to the Santa Monica building where HBO has their headquarters this afternoon for a meeting, When I was going down the elevator to the garage, who gets in but David Benioff. Seriously, taking an elevator down with one of the D’s. He was chatting with someone, but he was on the HBO floor. Maybe he turned everything in today?

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    40. Morgoth,

      The wild card here is the TV show finishing before A Dream of Spring. His book publisher’s must be freaking out and I’m sure they’re pushing him as much as possible to at least get WoW out before Season 6 when it goes hard and heavy into that book.

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    41. Rei,

      He’s such a good actor (and I kinda hate the mocking Ser Friendzone thing). In some ways, he’s one of the hearts and souls of the series. I also just realized both he and Rose Leslie were in the early seasons of Downton Abbey.

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    42. Lars: Nobody really wants to see “Roberts rebellion”. Not if you think about it. Every character would have to be re-cast,

      No … just look at Gilly´s babe… the monster does not age, while Myrcella has been in Dorne for years little monster is still on the tit.

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    43. There’s only one important question regarding future book release. No, it’s not “When will TWOW be released?”, what most people ask. It’s “How much work have you done on TWOW until now, Mr. Martin?”. Is it a half of the expected manuscript? Is it a third? A quarter? A tenth, maybe? The same question may be asked by giving us the number of finished pages. But he doesn’t give us such update for years now. He refuses to answer such question in interviews (or better: he demands not to be asked about it when accepting the interview). You must be really naive to think that in his many interviews no journalist on this planet had the idea to ask him the question everybody wants to know the answer to.

      It’s pretty clear to me why it is so. There’s only one answer to the fact that there is no answer to this question. No answer itself answers it.

      One may ask the next question. Will somewhere in the future, in some other decade, Mr. Martin finish the novelization of a successful HBO series? Please don’t bash Mr. Martin, I said novelization, and not fan fiction. Well, I don’t think so, what do you think?

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    44. I really wonder if the books’ story, and by definition the show can ever really end on a truly satisfying high? I mean what can GRRM do that will shake readers to the core for an ending after so many shocks along the way already?

      I get a feeling that the books will end up being about the journey rather than the arrival and maybe in the back of GRRMs mind somewhere is the concern that it can never live up the expectations of the fanbase that have built up over 20 years and ongoing.

      If the show has a less than satisfying conclusion it’ll be interesting to see how the hardcore fans react, whether they will have to rein in their disgust until the books are complete too.

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    45. TheTouchOfFrost: Seems to be an upswell of book hate on the forums lately and I don’t think there’s any need for it.

      It’s the same phenomenon you see in any partisan environment. Fans get split, and those on each side keep repeating their arguments as to why they are right, causing them to more deeply internalize those arguments and consider the ones on the other side the words of an enemy. Thus, after a number of years, some of those that were initially disappointed by AFFC become outright haters because they have spent so much time repeating criticisms of the book and attempting to refute any praise.

      I think this review is pretty much middle-of-the road for AFFC – critical, but lovingly so.

      http://www.tor.com/2009/09/17/no-ice-no-fire-george-rr-martins-a-feast-for-crows/

      Despite the hater’s hate, it was by no means a bad book – critical reviews were solid, ratings on sites like Goodreads, Amazon, etc are positive and far above the norm for scifi/fantasy, and AFFC was nominated for a Hugo. It’s pretty easy to argue it was not as good as ASOS, but few things in this world are.

      The problem with S5 is not that its primary source books were bad, but that they were not adaptable to TV in a straightforward manner. The show can only maintain about 8 “POVs” at once, which is consistent with the number the books had in ACOK and ASOS. However, in AFFC/ADWD, the number of concurrent POVs significantly expanded, at one point reaching seventeen under a liberal counting. This simply doesn’t work on TV, even if it is fine in on the page.

      Before this season, there wasn’t a huge gap between the books and the show. AFFC and ADWD’s structure ensured there would be this year, and this has re-opened some old wounds and re-ignited some of the partisanship.

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    46. Thanks Ravyn, Jentario
      I don’t suppose it is known if the writers will have access to GRRM’s words (as opposed to knowing what happens)? I was re-reading the Cat chapter from book 2 where she talks to Jamie in Riverrun and there was a large chunk of text used word for word in the show. I could hear the actor’s voice delivering the lines in my head as I read it. It would be a shame if the show misses really good book material like that through going ahead of the books.

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    47. Sam,

      I never even noticed that was Brienne! Those cute stag antlers look funny, but if a Baratheon helmet must have them, I suppose they’re a practical improvement on what I’ve seen in some fan art, where Robert at the Trident looks like he’s wearing full-sized elk antlers. What a rack!

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    48. jentario,

      Has anyone considered that the SS fail was an intended feature and not a bug? Seems to me it’s totally in keeping with the whole Dornish arc.

      Isolated from Westeros and the only kingdom to not fully bend the knee to the Targaryens, the Dornish developed a very high opinion of themselves without ever being called on it.

      Oberyn and Ellaria waltz into King’s Landing saying and doing what they please and… splat. The SS think they’re all that but are really just spoiled brats who’ve had (like the actresses who play them) a little martial arts training. Doran just sits and stews, plots and waits.

      Classic ASOIAF reversal of expectations. Perceived awesomeness… reality check… character evolution… actual awesomeness, but with newfound wisdom.

      That’s got to be it, right? Dorne can’t just be play fights and tits…

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    49. LordDavos,

      Stongly agree. I’ve been a bit bitter since season 4 when there were GRRM’S scenes and themes but moved away from using his language. It was obvious to me that the show was moving away from George and starting their own dialogue. It seems like they have ‘dumbed’ it down, as if we, the audience can’t comprehend GRRM’S words…where do whores go?

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    50. Jeb,

      I don’t think that’s been the consensus. The only fight scene this year to have a generally negative consensus was the Jaime/Bronn vs. The Sand Snakes one – probably because they really, really wanted to shoot it on location in the Alcazar of Seville (bad idea) and 1) they were really limited for time and 2) they were probably restricted from doing lots of things which might have damaged the museum. On the other hand, the fight between Jaime/Bronn and the Dornishmen on the beach everyone liked.

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    51. dragonbringer,

      Morgoth,

      I think the thing is you’re over analysing everything he says and does too much. He’s a guy in his mid 60s. I’m sure there’s plenty of things in life he wants to do and enjoy before he dies and the success of GoT has allowed him to do that. I think in some ways that certain sections of the fanbase are actually putting him off writing more than anything as they seem to never be happy although I think he’s of a strong enough mind to ignore them. If people are fed up of waiting and if they found the last two books so bad then great: Stop reading them and stop moaning about more not coming out.
      I want to read the next books as much as anyone but it’ll happen when it happens. It’s not as if there aren’t plenty more great books and series out there I can’t enjoy. I think people need to excercise that virtue that is neglected so much in this modern world: Patience.

      Chad Brick,

      Interesting observation which I agre with. It seems some people on certain sides of a debate do adopt a sort of siege mentality and their opinions became more entrenched as they seek to define their own opinion and rubbish the other. It’s kind of tragic that this happens even in something as relatively unimportant as entertainment and slightly different adaptions of the same story.
      I think the show and the books have both suffered from this season/book mainly being a builder. After the conclusion of a lot of plots and arcs in Storm of Swords , Feast was always going to have a job on it’s hands as it sort to set things up and introduce new characters,locations and plots. I think it’s a perfectly fine book and maintain people are only giving it such harsh criticism in order to try and amplify their opinions.

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    52. Luka Nieto,

      “Nonsense. Whore’s is a great name for a whorehouse.”

      On the show, yes, but book purists clinging to hope that we’ll see ‘The Lazy Eel’ or ‘The Peach’ would be appalled yet again at the dumbing down of GRRM’s poetry!

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    53. Shmofo: It’s “How much work have you done on TWOW until now, Mr. Martin?”. Is it a half of the expected manuscript? Is it a third? A quarter? A tenth, maybe?

      I agree. GRRM needs to add a realtime TWoW completion meter to his not-a-blog site. It would push up when he completes a chapter and go back down when he starts to rewrite it. The percentage of chapters delivered to his editor would be in displayed in green. 🙂 If he isn’t past 75% at this point, then…ugh.

      Annie Wilkes: If we did the whole chapter would be about what Ghost ate that day.

      Hah!

      Well, I wonder how Ghost would describe Bowen Marsh being digested? I bet he tasted like chicken!

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    54. King of the Ashes: 200 pages into ADWD. How slow do you guys think I should go so that I’m not waiting around to read the next one

      Read it first fast… then put it in the bathroom and read it in snips. The first read will give you the general feel for it.. then when you read it in short time groupings.. not necessarily in order, you will get a better feel for the prose itself and the really good story that is there. Its a complex story and I think that’s where a lot of folks that don’t get all the parts get to thinking its boring.. I don’t think so, I’ve enjoyed all the bits and pieces… Act 2 is always a setup and long, and tends to slow the story down.

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    55. freoduwebbe: Its a complex story and I think that’s where a lot of folks that don’t get all the parts get to thinking its boring.. I don’t think so, I’ve enjoyed all the bits and pieces… Act 2 is always a setup and long, and tends to slow the story down.

      It’s not Finnegan’s Wake; it’s an easy read when it comes to the prose and the plot doesn’t twist so much as start and stall. His pacing is just off with the “second act”, I doubt George would even deny that; he’s aired a few frustrations about AFFC and ADWD already and talked about how difficult it was to piece together. Really, AGOT, the first book, was setting everything up and managed to be massively exciting with all sorts of nascent world building and plots going on. At some point GRRM lost track and I’m sure he’s admitted as much when it comes to the “Meerenese knot”, etc.

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    56. SummerIsComing,

      I’m pretty sure he mentioned in the commentary that he did not write that scene and that is the case for a lot of stuff in his episodes. The fact is now almost all the content is original D&D material loosely inspired from the books, that was not the case in the earlier seasons. Like I said in my previous comment I don’t believe he has any hostility towards the show, it’s just that it has become too different from his novels for him to participate in writing it.

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    57. jentario:
      GeekFurious,

      On second viewing the fight wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t great on the editing front, but I think people were looking forward to hating it from the get go. What’s bad about it is the ridiculous timing of both the plans. You’d expect better from a show as smart as Thrones.

      No, it just was generally bad all round. I didn’t even know there was a fight scene with them coming up… so I had no pre-generalized hate. It was terrible.

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    58. King of the Ashes,

      Read ADWD as fast as you can. Be disappointed. Then toddle off to ‘The Meereenese Blot’ site. Get psyched when you realize you were wrong, and that there was so much you missed because you just aren’t smart enough. Then march–always forward!–to the ‘Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire’ blog for multi-part, illustrated articles and podcasts devoted to analyzing battles that haven’t even take place yet.

      That’s what I did, and that’s why I’m the mess that I am. But weeks and weeks of fun could be yours. Don’t be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the book reader’s party!

      Before you know it, TWoW will be out, as will Season Six, and peace and jubilation will be restored to our beloved realm.

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    59. One of Roose Bolton’s leeches:
      I think they should hire someone from HEMA to coordinate the Westerosi fight scenes.

      ^This. So much this. I practice HEMA at the local sword club and let me tell you, once you’re past the basics of learning the actual martial art you’ll never look at a hollywood/medieval/GoT fight the same way again–they all looks so bad and untrue and comical.

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    60. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I see your point, and I appreciate your response. Of course there are other authors and things to do, in fact my daily routine doesn’t allow me to spare too much time, so I keep myself busy -which is good, because the week flies by and then it’s sunday again! GoT night!
      Anyway, point is -Of course they guy deserves to have fun and enjoy himself, and all. Heck, if I was rich and famous, I’d absolutely love to travel and do lots of things, but I think he has been neglecting the very thing that made him rich and famous in the first place. For too long now.
      I’m not saying he “owes” me, as if it was a contract, but it’d be nice to see him taking things seriously instead of trying to stall the show (suggesting movies, four seasons for AFFC and so on), and doing interviews and more interviews just to say the same thing all the time. He could handle things in a different way, instead of being all silent about his progress, censoring comments on his blog, etc. That doesn’t help at all.
      This situation? He brought on himself. And I don’t really think “if you’re tired of waiting, just shut up and stop reading” is a good solution, really.

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    61. Euron’s Blue Lips,

      But why do they look so bad and untrue and comical?

      Is it just that real fights don’t look as exciting? Is it that actors can’t be entrusted with a potentially risky move?

      I read somewhere that the tradition is to not have more than five moves in a single shot lest the actors screw up and wallop each other.

      I have noticed that reality-based UFC moves are making it into pro-wrestling; perhaps HEMA could do the same for movies and TV.

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    62. Rodrik the Reader:
      King of the Ashes,

      Read ADWD as fast as you can. Be disappointed. Then toddle off to ‘The Meereenese Blot’ site. Get psyched when you realize you were wrong, and that there was so much you missed because you just aren’t smart enough. Then march–always forward!–to the ‘Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire’ blog for multi-part, illustrated articles and podcasts devoted to analyzing battles that haven’t even take place yet.

      Lol are you me? I did exactly the same, am still working through the analyses on Wars & Politics of Ice and Fire (awesome x1000 as I think it’s written by a few ex military guys), and now I’ve discovered ASOIAF reddit “Spoilers All” and have lost several weekend hours going down the rabbit holes of tinfoil theories. This series/show is so much fun to nerd out to!

      and PS Lulu’s Mom, “giant killer penguins” at Hardhome HAHAHAHA!

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    63. LordDavos:
      Would most of the scripts for season 6 have been written by now?

      Yes I would think so. I’m assuming Dan, David, Dave and Bryan start writing/story boarding in January or February. If anything they may be tweaking things here and there. About now I think they would be doing casting and scouting locations. If I’m correct I think last year they started filming at the start of July. So they have to find new locations, build sets, get fight choreography down, set up the shooting schedule, things like that. I’ve seen tons of interviews with D&D and they always get asked about the process of shooting the show. I’d love to see them elaborate on how they do things from writing the show up until they start shooting.

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    64. LordDavos,

      If they are following the yearly schedule, the scripts should be either finished or close to it. Pre-production is already going strong, and there’s a point when the producers need more than an outline. After all, just in a couple of months the new season will start filming.

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    65. Valaquen,

      I keep reading about a five-year jump that originally was to have taken place in lieu of AFFC and ADWD. I also keep reading (perhaps originally from Cogman) that George has thousands of pages of world-building that only elliptically make it into the books.

      Perhaps AFFC and ADWD were part of the process George needed to go through to get to the end game. He couldn’t very well have left readers hanging for 15 years after Book Three. Another pressure is the expectation that each tome will be a monumental doorstop publishing event, and that the unalterable plan will be seven books (for seven kingdoms, for seven gods, and so on).

      If he can trickle out chapters as he has, perhaps he should have given himself the leeway to trickle out more focused books; say, one 400 pager every two years instead one 1000 pager every five or six.

      But his muse doesn’t allow it. Given that he seems to focus on one major character or arc at a time–and not necessarily in chronological order–he may well be finished with the end of Book Six while still mulling the dangling tendrils in the middle of it. Gardener, not architect, is the way he put it.

      But what do I know? My editorial suggestion of more focused books might’ve led to Dany hearing about Tywin’s murder before we actually see Tyrion perform it. Hmmm… That mystery might have made us long for the next installment even more!

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    66. chameleon,

      “Giant killer penguins” yessss! You win the Internet for the day.

      Just when Jon thinks he and his men are safe in the boats, ‘they’ attack!

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    67. Gilly’s bonsaied baby,

      Ellaria too, right?

      Or maybe she stays with Doran, like Arianne. Doran has to interact with someone in season six. Unless he travels to King’s Landing too in TWOW / Season 6, for the Myrcella-Trystane wedding?

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    68. Arya Havin’ a larf?,

      Benioff has already been asked about this question and he answered unequivocally that “yes, the ending is completely satisfying”. Obviously, he’s not going to say it sucks, but I thought his tone was telling that he (and Martin), at least, think the ending is worth the journey. And remember, Martin has already stated that “one or two” people on the internet have correctly guessed the ending, so its out there somewhere.

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    69. I read his first book when I was 18. I was mesmerized and wondered how the saga would end. Now I am 33, I managed to start university education, graduate, get a job, get married and conceive two children. Still no end in sight.

      Good luck to everybody who is waiting.

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    70. For the people asking where did the SS fans go: I’m here! Just because Dorne had some of the worst writing so far, and terrible introduction scenes, it doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate the book characters (and the potential that still exists on the TV ones).

      Gilly’s bonsaied baby,

      Nym goes to KL on the books too, to take the dornish seat on the Small Council. The question is wheather Tyene is going there too, to get info on the Faith or if she will play Sarella’s role and go to Oldtown.

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    71. Gilly’s bonsaied baby,

      They do not need to be relevant on their own. After all, most characters are just foils for a few lead character. The SS are foils on the books and should be foils on TV. They do not need development and and plot lines focusing on them would be filler.

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    72. Ravyn:
      Arya Havin’ a larf?,

      Benioff has already been asked about this question and he answered unequivocally that “yes, the ending is completely satisfying”. Obviously, he’s not going to say it sucks, but I thought his tone was telling that he (and Martin), at least, think the ending is worth the journey.

      I hope so, it’s the problem that watching or reading so many Sci-Fi / fantasy series is that it’s hard to feel that there are any surprises left and that it’s heading to a fairly orthodox conclusion albeit with some twists even if most of us bar a few can’t guess yet. Maybe it’s best not to expect some mega completely unguessable OMFG ending and just enjoy the ride, care only about the characters we love/hate.

      I remember reading some theory about certain projects (where financial constraints and deadlines don’t apply ) and how there is an element of wanting to keep adding new things in and slowing down because the project eventually becomes such an end in itself that concluding it actually becomes undesirable, that all purpose seems to cease if it’s finished. I shall never find it again but it seemed to apply perfectly here.

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    73. RandomSand,

      I think Tyene takes Sarella’s role. Someone is going for sure, D&D wouldn’t include mention of Oldtown for no good reason. I can’t wait for Sarella’s and Sam to interact.

      I think Jon asks Sam to go, in order to replace Aemon, and then Gilly and Sam make a quick stop to Sam’s pad to drop off Gilly and baby similar to what’s in the book.

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    74. Morgoth,

      There’s not really a situation or problem until you make one. Don’t take an interest in his interviews and what have you if they rile you up so much. He’ll get the book done so just chill out until then. He’s not going to finish the books before the show so let the show do it’s thing and let him do the books at the pace they need to be done at.

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    75. RandomSand,

      Gilly’s bonsaied baby,

      Considering that they initially wanted a black actress for Nym and greater role for Indira Varma, i think its possible it will go like this:

      KL- Mama and daughter team Ellaria and Tyene for The Council and The Faith
      Nym- Oldtown without pretending that she is male (also show Nym character suits this role best, she is supposed to be a thinker)
      Obara – staying with Doran in Dorne/going with Trystane to meet Dany/hunting Bronnstar

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    76. dragonbringer,

      Or maybe it’s GRRM’s life to do with as he pleases and whether he decides to spend all day writing or write for 20 minutes a week is his choice and not something any of his “fans” are entitled to demand of him?

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    77. Rodrik the Reader:
      chameleon,

      “Giant killer penguins” yessss! You win the Internet for the day.

      Just when Jon thinks he and his men are safe in the boats, ‘they’ attack!

      Credit where credit is due, it’s tm Lulu’s Mum from the Hardhome Preview thread 🙂

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    78. Ravyn:
      Arya Havin’ a larf?,

      Benioff has already been asked about this question and he answered unequivocally that “yes, the ending is completely satisfying”. Obviously, he’s not going to say it sucks, but I thought his tone was telling that he (and Martin), at least, think the ending is worth the journey. And remember, Martin has already stated that “one or two” people on the internet have correctly guessed the ending, so its out there somewhere.

      The problem is that one or two people have guessed a hundred different endings. In any case, there is not really one ending to a story as large as this, but rather individual endings for the dozen or so largest characters, political endings for Westeros and Essos (in other words, what areas are united and under what laws), and endings for institutions like the Watch, the Faith, or the Citadel. I really doubt anyone has guessed all of these correctly and doubt even more than they put it all together in one place.

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    79. Arya Havin’ a larf?,

      That happened to Lost. The show-runners wanted to move the series inyo the final “acts,” but the network refused to OK ending the series. That resulted in the season where they added new characters for no apparent reason from the perspective of the stories and plots. More than one person I knwow even compared that season to SoI&F (this was between Crows and Dragons, mind you) and to Jordans Wheel of Time series.

      The opposite happened to Babylon 5. Because it looked like there would not be a 5th series, they accelerated the overall plot to get both plots into the 4th season. That really hurt the story part of it: they were too busy cramming in plot to emphasize the story properly. Then they got a 5th season with a different studio! Unfortunately, it was just storiless world-building, and the ratings dipped heavily. (I do not think that I even watched the last several episodes.)

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    80. Chad Brick,

      I’m just telling you what Martin is quoted as saying. Just two weeks ago, he reiterated on his blog (paraphrasing): We’re taking different roads, but we’ll all end up in the same place at the end of the journey.

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    81. Rodrik the Reader:
      chameleon,

      “Giant killer penguins” yessss! You win the Internet for the day.

      Just when Jon thinks he and his men are safe in the boats, ‘they’ attack!

      chameleon: Credit where credit is due, it’s tm Lulu’s Mum from the Hardhome Preview thread

      Why thank you folks, glad you enjoyed it! :O)

      There is actually a reason for that theory, it’s not quite as random as it seems. There was a discussion here a couple of months ago about the Day in the Life behind the scenes documentary. Two of the things which caught people’s attention were the production artwork behind one of the interviewees and a very brief clip of the action at Hardhome where Jon is looking up at something the audience can’t see with an “oh fuuuuuuuuuck!” expression on his face.

      At first glance one of the production drawings looked to me like a row of rather large penguins (don’t think I ever worked out what it actually was). Jon looking at something apparently quite a bit above his eyeline prompted posters to suggest there might be at least one giant there. And my over active imagination kicked in. Don’t know if you’ve seen the shot of Jon I mean but you should do tonight and believe me, if you had a 15ft tall, half ton penguin lumbering towards you, you’d be pulling the same face. Apparently it doesn’t happen in the books but until the episode is over I have my fingers crossed! So just 98.7% random, then ;O)

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    82. Ravyn:
      Chad Brick,

      I’m just telling you what Martin is quoted as saying. Just two weeks ago, he reiterated on his blog (paraphrasing): We’re taking different roads, but we’ll all end up in the same place at the end of the journey.

      I actually hope GRRM is spoofing us, and he sets it up so it lookslike we get the TV-S7 ending, only to have one more plot twist or reveal and sweep it all away. GRRM is a master at setting up “Holy Crap! I should have saw that coming!” moments. I hope the end is the biggest one of all.

      That being said, for D&D to be going to “the same place” as GRRM means a lot more than just “same butt on the Iron Throne”. The fates of all the major characters and institutions need to be fundamentally the same.

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    83. I am still very much waiting for the books. No one can touch GRRM in world-building. He may not be the best writer in the world (or have the best editor) but he has created a world we all obsess over. It is not easy to make a TV show either however it is very easy to look at ASOIAF as a whole and cherry pick the best parts, while tossing out the stuff that didn’t work (mainly referring to Penny here). D&D have added stuff or made changes that were fantastic but hindsight is 20/20 etc.

      I think this season has shown though that when the source material is weak, they haven’t really elevated it tremendously. I think the assumption was that they were going to take the “weaker” AFFC and ADWD and chisel and refine it to the point that it would be on par with the far superior first 3 books/4 seasons and they just haven’t done that. I’m not being a hater but this season is by far the weakest and it has nothing to do with the books. They have 3 episodes to really get things humming for the next season, but they’ve, IMO, really dropped the ball with some of the storylines (The Sansa/Joffrey retread in Sansa/Ramsay, The whole Dorne plotline, Jamie, not knowing what the hell to do with Brienne or Davos, the pacing of Arya’s story). Dany’s story has been better than the books, as has Tyrion’s, simply by streamlining them. Stannis’ is probably the most improved and I love that he became a main player this year (which makes me a little nervous re: his survival).

      Long story short, I can’t wait for WoW and beyond, whereas my excitement for the show is on a downswing. Really, really hoping that all the chess pieces that have been (excruciatingly slowly) set start paying huge dividends in these last 3 hours.

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    84. Wimsey:
      Arya Havin’ a larf?,

      That happened to Lost.The show-runners wanted to move the series inyo the final “acts,” but the network refused to OK ending the series.That resulted in the season where they added new characters for no apparent reason from the perspective of the stories and plots.More than one person I knwow even compared that season to SoI&F (this was between Crows and Dragons, mind you) and to Jordans Wheel of Time series.

      The opposite happened to Babylon 5.Because it looked like there would not be a 5th series, they accelerated the overall plot to get both plots into the 4th season.That really hurt the story part of it: they were too busy cramming in plot to emphasize the story properly.Then they got a 5th season with a different studio!Unfortunately, it was just storiless world-building, and the ratings dipped heavily.(I do not think that I even watched the last several episodes.)

      I didn’t get past about 10 episodes of the first season of Lost, just did nothing for me.

      As for Babylon 5, although the first half of season 5 wasn’t great (loss of Claudia Christian for Tracey Scoggins, The Telepath Wars, shudder) the last few episodes really picked it up again and it ended on a high note – if you ever get the chance to just see the S5 finale “Sleeping in Light” then you should as it was a great and somewhat emotional goodbye to the characters and space station we loved.

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    85. Personally I’m hoping GRRM pulls a Beyoncé and just casually throws it up on digital reading platforms, with option to order the physical as well. The anticipation of WHEN is draining.

      I realize this scenario is unlikely. A girl can dream.

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    86. Would rather GRRM write WoW and ADoS well in such a way that stands the test of time rather than rush it

      One big plus about the show starting to be so different now is that it is an alternative universe in effect, we will get the broad strokes and speculation will be about reverse engineering the show to see how things will play out in the books

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    87. I suppose GRRM didn’t read a new chapter after all? There was a lot of hype but I’ve not seen anything about the chapter that he read.

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    88. Demonmonkey,

      If you are referring to his recent appearance at Conquest in KC, then yeah….he didn’t read anything new as far as preview chapters go. But it was the first time that he read the “new” Alayne chapter in front of a live audience, who may or may not have read the chapter, which was released in early April (before GoT S5 began).

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    89. TheTouchOfFrost:
      dragonbringer,

      The guy can’t win. If he writes in his own time people moan he’s taking too long and yet if he tries to write quicker people moan he’s rushing

      The guy can’t win because he already lost several years ago. He is uninterested and unprofessional. That’s not a bad thing, but it is the truth.

      Imagine if J.K. Rowling had several year hiatuses between her books. Can’t imagine it? Yeah, because she is a professional.

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    90. Arya Havin’ a Larf,

      Ah, but Lost did do something for a lot of people! The success of shows like Lost (with overarching mysteries) almost certainly contributed to HBO’s interest in GoT.

      I did watch Sleeping in the Light. I recall thinking that it was pretty good, although I do not recall any details about it nearly 20 years later. Still, B5 should get a lot more credit than it does for modern series: it was the first widely-watched show to wed the idea of over-arching plots (previously seen only on soap operas) with SciFi/Fantasy.

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    91. asfastasican,

      Rowling did have the advantage of a single protagonist in her stories. That almost certainly is easier to write than multiple protagonists, where each storyline must be “flavored” by subjectivity particular to the PoV. Of course, it is on GRRM that he added so many extraneous and/or redundant PoV characters in his last two volumes. They added nothing to (and in some cases even detracted from) his story while almost certainly increasing the composition time.

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    92. Wimsey:
      Arya Havin’ a Larf,
      Ah, but Lost did do something for a lot of people!The success of shows like Lost (with overarching mysteries) almost certainly contributed to HBO’s interest in GoT.

      I did watch Sleeping in the Light.I recall thinking that it was pretty good, although I do not recall any details about it nearly 20 years later.Still, B5 should get a lot more credit than it does for modern series: it was the first widely-watched show to wed the idea of over-arching plots (previously seen only on soap operas) with SciFi/Fantasy.

      Yes, along with Hill Street Blues and the X-Files (arguably due to often episodic format) and Twin Peaks it did bring long term arcs extending through one season or across seasons in drama to the masses. And sci-fi of course was still dominated by the episodic Star Trek franchises ( although Deep Space 9 showrunners allegedly nicked the idea from an earlier JMS pitch to Paramount, it was still largely episodic).

      GoT has so much in common with progressive story arc structure of The Wire though (no episodes are truly standalone) , it was right up HBO’s street really. Swap pseudo feudal Europe for 1990s Baltimore! Winter is Coming = War on Drugs 😉

      B5 does look dated now I have to say although it helped make possible and influenced later series such as Farscape, the re-imagining of BSG and others. Well I hope the end of GoT is more pleasing to everyone and less divisive than BSG’s though personally I was fine with the end of it!

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    93. Wimsey: [Babylon 5] was the first widely-watched show to wed the idea of over-arching plots (previously seen only on soap operas) with SciFi/Fantasy.

      Wouldn’t that be Twin Peaks? Or’s that still too much on the soapy side?

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    94. Tibatonk,

      Twin Peaks has fantastic elements (which is of course not the same as Fantasy), but it’s mostly considered a supernatural psychological thriller.

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    95. Tibatonk: Wouldn’t that be Twin Peaks? Or’s that still too much on the soapy side?

      Given that it ran for only one year, I would not put it under “widely watched”! Oh, true: it had more viewers per week than B5: but it didn’t have the long run of B5. Indeed, Twin Peaks’ short run probably did more to hurt the idea of these types of series: Twin Peaks simultaneously had a huge fanbase AND low viewership. That seemed to follow up on the Star Trek experience from 25 years earlier: big fandoms ≠ lots of viewers.

      That written, Twin Peaks certainly put creative thoughts into peoples’ minds. Of course, there were little-watched anime series that did the same. Also, good old-fashioned comic books were playing this game in a different medium for a long time, too.

      It could well be that I’m playing a fools’ game trying to find a single biggest influence on modern “over-arching plot” series. However, B5 certainly has to be up there on the list.

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    96. Arya Havin’ a Larf: B5 does look dated now I have to say although it helped make possible and influenced later series such as Farscape, the re-imagining of BSG and others.

      Definitely. And you are right about the 1980’s dramas that had over-arching plots. Basically, going into the mid-1970’s there were two types of TV dramas. One was the “plot-driven” type where you had some iconic figures (cops, lawyers, fathers) who solved the problems. The other was the “character-driven” type modeled on soap operas. In the late 1970’s – early 1980’s, shows like Dallas, Coronation Street, etc., and their numerous copycats really drove the plot-driven shows into extinction. In a big way, the soap-operas won. (Amusingly, they now are almost extinct in their “pure” form.)

      So, in a lot of ways, B5 was Hill Street Blues in Space as much as anything else. But that also marked the major point in the evolution of SciFi/Fantasy away from plot-driven stories to character-driven stories. It was not about Vorlons or Shadows, but about how Sheridan, Delenn, et. al. came to understand those things and how they reacted in response. And we’ve seen that in Lost, Battlestar Galactica, the new Doctor Who, even shows like TruBlood. Just tossing Rings into volcanoes was not going to work anymore: any Harry Potter figure has to willingly march into the forest to die now. Look for SoI&F to follow the modern character-driven model, not the old plot-driven model.

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    97. Abyss,

      That’s a good description. There are plus/minuses, too: did Twin Peaks show that even small amounts of “fantasy” drive away mainstream audiences, or did it show that you could do good drama with some fantasy?

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    98. Wimsey: Indeed, Twin Peaks’ short run probably did more to hurt the idea of these types of series

      Well, I’m not too sure about that. Certainly Twin Peaks had a strong influence on other series that followed shortly afterwards, such as the X-Files, for example. What about FBI agents investigating fantastic cases + an over-arching story arc and all that. Sure, its second season was pretty bad for all kinds of reasons and the ratings dropped accordingly. But it still was an integral stepping stone in transferring over-arching plots from soaps to other formats. Which is quite evident in the fact that Twin Peaks actually mixes soap opera elements with components from other genres.

      Which is, however, in no way meant to suggest that Babylon 5 wasn’t an important part of the process, as well.

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    99. Abyss:
      Tibatonk,

      Twin Peaks has fantastic elements (which is of course not the same as Fantasy), but it’s mostly considered a supernatural psychological thriller.

      It certainly is fantasy, the very term “supernatural” which you use for your definition makes it so. It’s just not high fantasy the way Babylon 5 or Game of Thrones are.

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    100. Thing about Twin Peaks is that it was genuinely genre busting: was it a murder investigation or soap opera or psychological mystery/supernatural fantasy or parody and/or all of these? Although not that successful it made possible a show like Buffy The Vampire Slayer for example.

      This is where GoT and the books stand to make their mark in taking fantasy away from questy “good guys defeat the evil Big Bad and save the World” trope ( at least we hope as it’s not yet finished ) and broadening the appeal beyond so called nerd culture. You can see that GRRM influence in a book series such as the First Law Trilogy* which I would imagine some other networks are eyeing up as their own potential GoT.

      * which the author actually finished ( heh heh )

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    101. Arya Havin’ a Larf,

      And, again, the concept of “baby steps” comes up here. You don’t go from Lord of the Rings -> SoI&F in one step: there are lots of small steps along the way. I agree that all of these shows contributed in part to the evolution in TV series that allows for this. As I wrote, it might simply be a fools’ errand to try to identify a single “most important” step.

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    102. Tibatonk,

      Yes and no. The term “supernatural” is much wider than “fantasy”. That’s why I said that it has fantastic elements but isn’t Fantasy. And Babylon 5 cleary isn’t, btw, it’s science fiction. For some reason, the two are put together all the time these days, but they have not that much in common when it comes down to it.

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    103. Wimsey:
      Arya Havin’ a Larf,

      And, again, the concept of “baby steps” comes up here.You don’t go from Lord of the Rings -> SoI&F in one step: there are lots of small steps along the way.I agree that all of these shows contributed in part to the evolution in TV series that allows for this.As I wrote, it might simply be a fools’ errand to try to identify a single “most important” step.

      True enough but for most people who aren’t into the fantasy genre, fantasy is The Hobbit / Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter both of which follow fairly familiar defeat the evil & save the world paths (sorry, spoilers :wink:). They are not at all familiar with other literary fantasy like Thomas Covenant or The Wheel of Time, say.

      Today, if you say you admire B5 or Twin Peaks as a mould breaking show to under 30s for example it is likely to raise eyebrows ( “never heard of it” or “erm, that really old show?”) and most I suspect wouldn’t get any connection to current day dramatic structure.

      GoT as a TV series now that the internet has really taken off has opened up new vistas for many who would have said that they can’t stand fantasy even if they do enjoy sci-fi ( I mean laser cannons and space cowboys, wow, great!).

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    104. Abyss,

      You are absolutely right, I should not have put Babylon 5 and “high fantasy” in the same sentence. I was thinking about the fact that it, and similar science fiction series, do create worlds similar in scope to those of the high fantasy genre, and therefore quite dissimilar to low fantasy settings such as the one of Twin Peaks.

      As far as excluding Twin Peaks from the fantasy genre is concerned, the problem is that “the fantastic” does not exist as a genre, at least not in general discussion. There are, instead, three major genres which belong in the realm of the fantastic/the supernatural: fantasy (which is often conflated with the much more restricted term of high fantasy), sci fi, and – to a degree – horror.

      Horror, however, is of course not defined by its content, but rather by the reaction it tries to evoke in its audience and can at times be entirely devoid of supernatural element. Therefore, any work of fiction which includes fantastic or supernatural elements but is not part of the more clearly defined science fiction genre by means of elimination has to be part of the fantasy genre, including Twin Peaks. If we’re talking sub-genres of fantasy, though, I’d be more than happy to make use of your term of “supernatural thriller”.

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    105. Tibatonk,

      Well, we are getting in a bit of a (pseudo) academic disscation here and since it is a pseudo one, don’t expact any sources from me. 🙂
      I basically agree with everything you said, besides this.

      Tibatonk: Therefore, any work of fiction which includes fantastic or supernatural elements but is not part of the more clearly defined science fiction genre by means of elimination has to be part of the fantasy genre, including Twin Peaks

      It’s true that “the fantastic” is way to wide to attach it to one genre and it’s also true that some don’t see it as a genre at all. What is important here is that fantasy is a clear, although very complex, genre. There’re a lot of fantasy sub-genres, but they all have at least one thing in common: They fantastic parts of the world (or at least some) are real within this world. If we take GoT for example, this parts are Dragons and more to the point magic in general. The people in this world may think (for the most part) that magic is long gone, but they do believe in it. If you make the contrast to let’s say “Pan’s Labyrinth” or “The Golden Pot” by E. T. A. Hoffmann (something that clearly has fantastic elements in it) you can see the differents.
      The question is “Are the fantastic elements an accepted part of the world (then it’s fantasy) or could all the fantastic stuff just be part of a pipe dream of the protagonist?
      The fantastic elements in Twin Peaks are not an accepted part of the world, it’s not set in a fantasy world.

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    106. Abyss: For some reason, the two are put together all the time these days, but they have not that much in common when it comes down to it.

      That is true, although much of what passes for “Sci Fiction” these days really is what some people call “Science Fantasy.” Of course, that, too, an oxymoronic misnomer: what it really is is “Futuristic Fantasy” as opposed to “Past Fantasy.”

      They both run into the same problem with the mainstream critics and the mainstream public: they generally are viewed as escapism in which “world-building” basically is a substitute for real story-telling and character development. And, 9+ times out of 10, they are right. SoI&F (like Harry Potter or Thomas Covenant) are exceptions, but you need a lot more than a handful of exceptions to alter the general perception.

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    107. Arya Havin’ a Larf: GoT as a TV series now that the internet has really taken off has opened up new vistas for many who would have said that they can’t stand fantasy even if they do enjoy sci-fi

      Amusingly, people said similar things about B5 20 years ago.

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    108. Abyss,

      What you describe is actually pretty much the distinction between “high fantasy” and “low fantasy”. One has a setting of which the fantastic is an integral and at least to a degree accepted part; the other has fantastic elements clash with a setting which at least believes or believed itself to be non-fantastic (e.g. our own world), or involves fantastic elements which are entirely the product of a characters imagination or subconscious.

      So yes, Twin Peaks is not set in a fantasy world – although the fantastic elements are consistent part of its world, not just the creation of a character’s psyche, if I remember correctly – but is nevertheless part of the fantasy genre, albeit of the low fantasy variety. At least according to my preferred definition. Since genre definitions are usually a somewhat sketchy matter to begin with, though – sometimes referring to themes, sometimes to settings, sometimes to tone, etc. – your mileage may of course vary.

      Out of curiosity, which overarching genre would you assign such works I categorized as low fantasy to?

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    109. asfastasican: The guy can’t win because he already lost several years ago. He is uninterested and unprofessional. That’s not a bad thing, but it is the truth.

      Imagine if J.K. Rowling had several year hiatuses between her books. Can’t imagine it? Yeah, because she is a professional.

      Actually, there is little difference between GRRM and Rowling’s writing speed.

      http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/2f59pv/no_spoilers_grrm_is_a_faster_writer_than_jk/

      And that is ignoring the fact that ASOIAF is about a bajillion times more complex than HP.

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    110. Chad Brick,

      Yes, SoI&F is more complex because HP was a single-protagonist story whereas SoI&F is a multiprotagonist story. However, there is a lot more “filler in SoI&F than in HP: GRRM has a penchant for gratuitous world-building and unnecessary PoV chapters that exceeds Rowling. (Rowling herself often was guilty of that, too: both writers take 2-3 pages to communicate what the typical Booker award winner communicates in 1 page.)

      So, as Rowling tells more story per word than GRRM did, she was getting story done faster than GRRM has.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Euron’s Blue Lips: ^This.So much this. I practice HEMA at the local sword club and let me tell you, once you’re past the basics of learning the actual martial art you’ll never look at a hollywood/medieval/GoT fight the same way again–they all looks so bad and untrue and comical.

      Where is your HEMA Club?

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    112. Tibatonk,

      And here things get a bit difficult? 😉 First of let me say that I don’t agree with you, but I can see your point. The main problem here is that I don’t believe the terms “Low Fantasy” and “High Fantasy” are very good ones (in fact, I don’t think anybody ever used them, during my studies, but hey, at the and of the day that doesn’t mean they’re worng). One problem I have with them is, that they don’t clarify the genre in my oppion. If something is fantasy it just is fantasy the fact that in “Low Fantasy” the fantastic elements are less doesn’t change that. – That’s why we have something like “Urban Fantasy” instead. Another problem is that your definition of “Low Fantasy” is way to wide, in my oppion. If you define it as a genre were

      Tibatonk: fantastic elements clash with a setting which at least believes or believed itself to be non-fantastic (e.g. our own world), or involves fantastic elements which are entirely the product of a characters imagination or subconscious.

      you can put just about anything in it. At this point you are just saying that it has not as much Fantasy in it as “High Fantasy” has, which means you’re describing fantastic elements. Once you’re at this point, you have lost, at least if you’re trying to define a genre. Fantastic elements have been used since the begining of writing, in pretty much all genres you can think of. They have been used in Romanticism, Weimar Classicism and the Age of Enlightenment just to name a few.

      And that pretty much is my answer to the question where I would put all the works were the fantastic elements are not an intrinsic part of the world, in all the genres I just named and many more. Are “Faust 1” and “Faust 2” Fantasy? No, it’s considered part of Weimar Classicism (btw, let’s not mention the fact, that that’s a literature period, which is not a genre if we are being finical…). Has it fantastic elements in it? Hell yes, Mephistopheles says hello. 😉

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    113. Oh, and let my clarify something, while the question is ““Are the fantastic elements an accepted part of the world (then it’s fantasy) or could all the fantastic stuff just be part of a pipe dream of the protagonist?” it doesn’t have to be the case of course (as in Faust). The question is only could it be, without absolutly negating the world. – LoTR is not a pipe dream from Frodo, although they smoke a lot of shit in Middle Earth. 😀

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    114. Abyss: The question is only could it be, without absolutely negating the world. – LoTR is not a pipe dream from Frodo, although they smoke a lot of shit in Middle Earth.

      Heh, true: but, then, Frodo was not a protagonist! (Tolkien wrote long letters explaining why he hated the concept of protagonists in “adult” literature and felt that they only belonged in children’s literature.)

      That written, where one draws the line between “fantasy” (or “scifi”) and “normal” fiction utilizing fantastic (or futuristic) concepts is a bit arbitrary. All fiction is fantasy, after all: it is just that the fantasy in most fiction is not “fantastic.”

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    115. Abyss: If you define it as a genre were . . . you can put just about anything in it. At this point you are just saying that it has not as much Fantasy in it as “High Fantasy” has, which mean you’re describing fantastic elements.

      Well no, you could put anything in it which exhibits strong fantastic elements, which in my opinion is exactly what you’d want to do. The very idea is to have an umbrella term for works with strong or predominant fantastic elements which would otherwise not qualify for any genre that’s inherently linked to the fantastic (although your alternative proposition of “urban fantasy” would certainly catch some of them, though not all).

      And the difference between “high” and “low” fantasy is not exactly how much fantasy there’s in it. Rather, “high fantasy” and “low fantasy” have a theme (fantastic elements) in common, but are divided by setting (fantasy world vs. non-fantasy world).

      Abyss: No, it’s considered part of Weimar Classicism (btw, let’s not mention the fact, that that’s a literature period, which is not a genre if we are being finical…)

      But that was exactly what I was going to say. 🙂 Certainly Weimar Classicism is not a particularly useful term when it comes to film genres, at least. Imagine someone made a film of Faust, certainly that wouldn’t qualify as Weimar Classicism now, would it? And still it would be the very same content. Only now devoid of a genre?

      And … certainly in Faust (and Twin Peaks) the fantastic is still an intrinsic part of the story world. The mere fact that certain characters do not believe in it (even though I don’t know which character that would be in the case of Faust; Faust’s assistant Wagner maybe?) does not make it any less real in the context of the story. It is not something merely imagined by one or several of them. Which makes the believes of the characters a rather weak defining element in my opinion. Although, yes, it also does play a role in my proposed distinction between “high” and “low” fantasy, I know.

      Anyhow, that’s it for me tonight. Any further posts I’ll have to answer tomorrow.

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    116. Abyss:
      Oh, and let my clarify something, while the question is ““Are the fantastic elements an accepted part of the world (then it’s fantasy) or could all the fantastic stuff just be part of a pipe dream of the protagonist?” it doesn’t have to be the case of course (as in Faust). The question is only could it be, without absolutly negating the world. – LoTR is not a pipe dream from Frodo, although they smoke a lot of shit in Middle Earth.

      Not quite sure, I follow you there. Wouldn’t the fantastic (if true) only negate the world view of the characters, not the world itself?

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    117. Wimsey: All fiction is fantasy, after all: it is just that the fantasy in most fiction is not “fantastic.”

      I agree, but that’s more of an overarching, almost philosophical idea, which, at the end of the day, doesn#t get you anywhere.

      Wimsey: Heh, true: but, then, Frodo was not a protagonist!

      I know that’s kind of an “uncool” thing to do, but I don’t care what Tolkien said in that case. Of course sometimes it’s very hard to pick a protagonist and maybe it isn’t Frodo or it’s more then just one person (or even not a person at all), but if he really thourght that LotR had no protagonist of any kind (really? Can you point me to something?), then LotR wouldn’t work as all, a story needs a protagonist.

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    118. Tibatonk: Well no, you could put anything in it which exhibits strong fantastic elements

      That’s not good enough. What are “strong fantastic elements”? Would you consider “Faust” as something that really has them or is the story of Faust intrinsicly about something else? Of course things get a bit blurry here, the study of literature is not exactly hard science, but most consider the story of Faust a story about the search after knowledge no matter the cost. Faust does not call for Mephistopheles, because he wants to have adventures in a Fantasy world with him. He does it because he wants to learn things. The story could have a science fiction plot and it still could be pretty much the same.

      Tibatonk: And the difference between “high” and “low” fantasy is not exactly how much fantasy there’s in it. Rather, “high fantasy” and “low fantasy” have a theme (fantastic elements) in common, but are divided by setting (fantasy world vs. non-fantasy world).

      And that was my problem. I still think, once you define “Low Fantasy” as something with fantastic elements in a non-fantasy world all bets are off. 😉

      Tibatonk: . Imagine someone made a film of Faust, certainly that wouldn’t qualify as Weimar Classicism now, would it? And still it would be the very same content. Only now devoid of a genre?

      Maybe yes, maybe no. Hard to say. They point is, as I said, that the fantastic elemets are not the important part of the story. That’s why it wasn’t fantasy back then (had it existed) and probably wouldn’t be now either. – And btw, GoT is considert Fantasy only because you can’t run from it (it is set in a Fantasy world), if that wouldn’t be the case maybe Salman Rushdie would come along and call it Magical Realism. 😉

      Tibatonk: Wouldn’t the fantastic (if true) only negate the world view of the characters, not the world itself?

      Maybe that wasn’t that clear. What I meant by that, is that in truth you can never be sure that the fantasy world is “real”, it may all just be a pipe dream, but you have to draw the line somewhere, otherwise you might as well cosider all fiction fantasy as Wimsey said, and what good would that be? – Anyway, nice discussion, sleep tight. 🙂

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    119. Well, turns out I’m still awake, even though I really, really shouldn’t be.

      Abyss: That’s not good enough. What are “strong fantastic elements”? Would you consider “Faust” as something that really has them or is the story of Faust intrinsicly about something else? . . . [M]ost consider the story of Faust a story about the search after knowledge no matter the cost. Faust does not call for Mephistopheles, because he wants to have adventures in a Fantasy world with him. He does it because he wants to learn things.

      Isn’t that a rather shallow definition of fantasy, though? Is fantasy really just about “adventures in a Fantasy world”? Aren’t a lot of works which are clearly part of the fantasy genre at their heart about something more than this? And if it’s just something as vague as “the human condition”? And if they are, does it negate their fantastic elements?

      But back to your question: Faust? Yes, although the entire thing is of course, quite intentionally, cross-genre. If you watch F.W. Murnau’s silent film version though, for example, you will see quite some emphasis put on the fantastic elements of the story. And I still think it would have to be considered “fantasy” even by your more minimalist definition:

      Abyss: The question is “Are the fantastic elements an accepted part of the world (then it’s fantasy) or could all the fantastic stuff just be part of a pipe dream of the protagonist?

      Faust and most other characters certainly accept the fantastic as part of their world – albeit some of them by way of religion. There is no questioning of its reality within the story. It’s only we, the readers, who don’t accept the fantastic elements because the story supposedly takes place in our own world which we consider to be rational.

      And that’s where the problem with your definition lies: As long as the fantastic elements are not shown to be imaginary they are a real part of the story world. They are a real part of the world of Lord of the Rings, and they are a real part of the world of Twin Peaks. Only one world clearly presents itself to all its denizens as a fantastic place, whereas in the other the fantastic elements are more hidden from everyday view. It’s really a sliding scale:

      – Realistic world with hidden fantastic elements (Twin Peaks)
      – Realistic world with accepted fantastic elements (True Blood)
      – Fantasy world with hidden fantastic elements (Game of Thrones)
      – Fantasy world with accepted fantastic elements (Lord of the Rings)

      And I happen to have a hard time putting a knife to that sliding scale and say everything below is “fantasy”, everything above is not. Which is why I prefer a broader definition of the term than you do. Even if some results of applying such a broader definition might appear to be somewhat inelegant.

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    120. Tibatonk: “adventures in a Fantasy world”?

      That wasn’t supposed to be a definition of Fantasy, only a case were the story would have been (or at least could have been) about the fantastic elements 😉 Of course a Fantasy story can be about much more then that, GoT is prove of that.

      As for Faust, as I said, you can define it as Fantasy genres (and to a lesser degree literature periods) are constracts, not the philosophers’ stone. The only thing I was saying was that a) most people consider it not to be Fantasy (you have to look at time of writing, the reason it was writen and much more to find the right literature period for something) and b) if you define it as Fantasy then you need a very wide (and imo unuseful) definition of “Low Fantasy”.

      Tibatonk: And that’s where the problem with your definition lies: As long as the fantastic elements are not shown to be imaginary they are a real part of the story world.

      That wasn’t my defintion. I said “Are the fantastic elements an accepted part of the world (then it’s fantasy) or could all the fantastic stuff just be part of a pipe dream of the protagonist?” You can agree on that or you can not (as I said, no hard science here), but if you go with your definition of “Low Fantasy” then you have deal with a big problem as well. Following the same line of thinking I could define everthing that has horror elemets in it as “Low horror”, everthing that thas crime elements in it as “Low Crime” and so on. Where does it end and can we even define a genre at all at this point? and btw, I’m not ” putting a knife to that sliding scale and say everything below is “fantasy”, everything above is not”. I would try to use sub-genres of Fantasy of which there are a lot, I mean really a lot. – And thatÄs of course only if I stop there and not try and to find another main genre. Genre were made to define things as good as possible and somethimes of course you can put a work in many of them in the same time. The only thing I don’t think is very practical is the idea of “Low Something” and “High something”

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    121. Abyss: That wasn’t supposed to be a definition of Fantasy, only a case were the story would have been (or at least could have been) about the fantastic elements Of course a Fantasy story can be about much more then that, GoT is prove of that.

      As for Faust, as I said, you can define it as Fantasy genres (and to a lesser degree literature periods) are constracts, not the philosophers’ stone. The only thing I was saying was that a) most people consider it not to be Fantasy (you have to look at time of writing, the reason it was writen and much more to find the right literature period for something) and b) if you define it as Fantasy then you need a very wide (and imo unuseful) definition of “Low Fantasy”.

      That wasn’t my defintion. I said “Are the fantastic elements an accepted part of the world (then it’s fantasy) or could all the fantastic stuff just be part of a pipe dream of the protagonist?”You can agree on that or you can not (as I said, no hard science here), but if you go with your definition of “Low Fantasy” then you have dealwith a big problem as well. Following the same line of thinking I could define everything that has horror elemets in it as “Low Horror”, everything that thas crime elements in it as “Low Crime” and so on. Where does it end and can we even define a genre at all at this point? and btw, I’m not ” putting a knife to that sliding scale and say everything below is “fantasy”, everything above is not”. I would try to use sub-genres of Fantasy of which there are a lot, I mean really a lot.– And thatÄs of course only if I stop there and not try and to find another main genre. Genre were made to define things as good as possible and somethimes of course you can put a work in many of them in the same time. The only thing I don’t think is very practical is the idea of “Low Something” and “High Something”.

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    122. Abyss,

      Okay. Let’s put an end to this discussion, shall we? It was fun while it lasted, but it is quite obvious we could go on forever without persuading the other since we’re clearly caught on opposing sides of an argument that smarter people than us have not been able to conclusively decide before us. I also suspect that some of our differences are founded in a difference in background and accordingly we have somewhat diverging demands concerning the nature of genres. Yours seems to be in literary studies (?), whereas mine is actually in film studies.

      There’s just one thing I’d like to try to clarify one last time: The difference between “high” and “low” fantasy is not at all about the amount of fantastic elements to be found within a story, it is about setting. Most of the time “high fantasy” obviously will feature more fantastic elements than “low fantasy”, but that is not necessarily true. For example, the fantastic elements of True Blood are more constantly evident than those of Game of Thrones, yet the former would be considered “low fantasy”, the latter “high”. So an analogous model for crime, for example, would not work since you could hardly distinguish texts according to whether they take place in a “crime world” or not.

      Anyhow, I’ll leave the last word to you if you want it (unless you post something I absolutely, completely, and utterly disagree with with all my heart 🙂 ) and finish by thanking you for a nice (if inconclusive) argument. Cheers.

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    123. Tibatonk,

      You are right, my background is in literary studies, something that is of course much older then film studies (but I have done a little bit of that as well, and find it very interesting). Since literary studies have been around for so long there’re a lot more genre definitions and I think that you can and should use them. I will end it here as well. Have a nice day. 🙂

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