Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Song of Ice and Fire predictions (Page 2)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Song of Ice and Fire predictions
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Foust:
Oh, one more prediction: the Hound will not fight FrankenMountain.

Knowing Martin, you're probably right.

But oh boy do I still want it to happen.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dr Strangelove
Member
Member # 8331

 - posted      Profile for Dr Strangelove   Email Dr Strangelove         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I agree. I hear the "Martin can't write women" thing constantly, mostly from women, and I think that's way off.

See, again, here's an example of a claim about ASoIaF that evidently is common place but I knew nothing about other than my own opinion. I guess I'm a pretty sheltered fan.

Though I'm also going to contradict that as evidence of my point: Whenever I have heard people complain, it is always about women chapters, usually Sansa or Brienne, sometimes Catelyn and Cersei. No real complaints about Jamie, or Jon, or even Samwell for crying out loud. I'm not sure how that's not indicative of a problem. And yes, obviously there are people who don't complain or don't agree, but the trend undeniably exists.

And that's only on an external level. Internally, I personally find their chapters flat out boring, with very few exceptions. They are not dynamic characters and their internal dialogue is monotonous. I'm not really much of a literary critic so I have a hard time pointing out exactly what frustrates me so much about the writing style, but it just feels off. For me it's not that they are victims or anything like that. I completely agree that is a bogus claim. It's simply that they are not compelling characters. They don't more or change, or if they do it takes for freaking ever.

Examples: Sansa is the easiest one. She might be on the cusp of actually growing up, but compare her to nearly every other character in the book and she is frustratingly static. Her whole "What is a knight?" schtick is only interesting because of her interaction with the Hound, not because of her. She's just a foil for his much more compelling story and dialogue. They both are victims and in miserable situations, but one is interesting and one is... not. Maybe Sansa would be interesting from the Hound's perspective and not from inside her own head.

Catelyn as well is only interesting because of her interactions with Tyrion, Robb (who I'm quite sad never got any chapters), and the Tully group. She started out with her whole protective mother thing, did some crazy stuff, but also remained almost completely static. She never bonded with Tyrion, never really stopped treating Robb like her little boy king who needed his mother, etc etc. Now that she's a zombie maybe we'll see some change in character [Wink] .

Brienne started out interesting... because of her interactions with Jamie. Once she went off on her search and Martin actually tried to develop her into an independent character, she became uninteresting and again, static and monotonous. Noticing a trend?

Cersei continues it, especially in terms of being static. Considering what Martin did for Jamie, I was hoping something similar would happen with Cersei. Nope. We saw from an outside perspective that she was bat crap crazy, and waddya know - when we look inside, nothing has changed. She gets put in rought situations and what happens? Nothing really. Her character remains the same. It's not the situations or settings that Martin puts them in, it is how he manages those situations from the perspective of a woman. It just doesn't work.

By contrast, Tyrion is not interesting only because of Bronn, or Tywin, or the Griffs. Jon is not interesting only because of the Night's Watch, Mance, or Yrgritte. Martin writes these interesting (male) characters in such a way that whatever their position may be, they remain dynamic and important pieces in the overall story, their internal dialogue is considerably less monotonous (goes with being dynamic and not static), and gosh darn it, they are just better written.

The exceptions would be Arya and Dany of course, but Arya is a tomboy, so maybe that has something to do with it. Though I don't know that she is much of an exception. I find her interesting, but she also has remained remarkably static in terms of character and our perception of her. Her setting has changed drastically and the world that she inhabits is now one that is very interesting, but thinking about it, I'm not sure Martin really even succeeds with her, just her setting. She does have quite a bit of agency though, so that's nice.
Dany is, however, an interesting character in my opinion. She takes her situations, whatever they may be, and changes and adapts to them. Sometimes she's on top, sometimes she is a victim and is having a rough time of it, but she actually has movement as a character.

And just to say, I don't think my perspective here is colored by some sort of latent misogyny. I just don't think Martin knows what to do with women in his world. It's not the women themselves I dislike, it's the way Martin writes them. Though, and this is my last thought, I promise, maybe he is writing them exactly as he wants to, given the quasi-feudalistic setting, and his perspective is that women don't (or didn't) have agency in real life, so that's how to depict them in his world. In which case, I disagree with him, but respect his right to write frustratingly boring characters.

Sorry for the dissertation...

tldr: Martin has a hard time making the chapters of women interesting. It's not their setting that's the problem, it's not their status as victims, it's that when we get inside a woman's head from Martin's perspective, she becomes a static, monotonous character. In my opinion.

Posts: 2826 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Concerning writing about women:
Sapkowski, the best known Polish fantasy writer, is pretty good about women characters. I really liked him, I liked his style and all that. Then I read an interview with him. When asked: Many people praise you for your insight in women's nature. Why do you think you're good at it? He answered: "Talent, I guess". Then I kept reading about him and his general socio-political opinions and stopped liking him as a person, while still loving his writing. I guess this can be compared to OSC's gay discourse.

Posts: 602 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Strangelove, I completely agree with your Dany and Arya conclusion. Arya is a tomboy and even though I sincerely hate her, I have to admitt that she is interesting, at least more interesting that her lovely stupid sister. And Dany... well. Dany is Dany. I guess Martin gave a hell lot of thought to her, and plenty of time, she's kind of an axis of the whole plot. And she's got dragons, obviously.

By the way, it is so cool that she has problems controlling them. Compare it to Paolini's Inheritance. On a second thought, don't. There can be no comparison.

Posts: 602 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You're leaving out a few women. Even if you only count viewpoint characters you're leaving out Arianne, Asha and Melisandre. If you count characters who aren't viewpoint, you're still leaving out a few who spent significant time on center stage, like Margery Tyrell.

Catelyn is a bit boring because she's an archetype. She's the mothering figure, or rather, a rather traditional mothering figure that clearly juxtaposes against Cersei's mothering figure, which is no less devoted to her children, but pursues that devotion in an entirely different manner. Sansa is boring because she's quite literally the helpless maiden trapped in a tower waiting for a knight to rescue her. It's almost a joke how lost that fanciful notion is in Westeros, but it also serves as a great balancing act against a lot of other characters. But if you read beneath the surface, she actually learns quite a bit as the story goes on and doesn't leave King's Landing nearly as naive as when she entered. She's also the female character with the most growth potential. Under Littlefinger's guidance, anything could happen with her.

Cersei is fascinating to me. She's almost a man trapped in a woman's body. She goes so far as to have sex with another woman just because she wants to feel the sexual dominance that a man feels. She's also cunning, ruthless, and surprisingly devoted to her children.

Brienne was great for two whole books. I liked her in Clash and Storm, it's only when she went off in search of Sansa that she got boring, so it's not really fair to write her whole character off.

Frankly, Dany was the one I breezed through the most in the first book. I didn't find her particularly interesting until into the second book. But now I think she has a lot going for her, though her chapters in Dance got a little tedious every now and then.

I think too many people give the women short shrift because they want them all to be like Dany, riding on horseback into battle waving a sword, but the women of Westeros have to play a deeper game that's no less interesting because they aren't on the battlefield. On the contrary, there's a hell of a lot more variety in the women than in the men.

Posts: 21262 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dr Strangelove
Member
Member # 8331

 - posted      Profile for Dr Strangelove   Email Dr Strangelove         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Arianne is a minor POV character (two or three chapters I think? Unless I'm fogetting some), while Asha is minor and quite manlike. Melisandre has only just gotten chapters and she also is kind of a witch. But I'll concede her - I enjoyed her chapters well enough.

Again, my issue is not with the women themselves. I think Melisandre is a fascinating character, as well as Margery (Queen of Thorns as well). I even think the characters I bashed in my post have very interesting aspects, and I agree that Brienne especially started out strong. And I certainly agree that Sansa has incredible potential, courtesy of Littlefinger. There is a lot of variety and complexity in all of their situations. I certainly don't want them to all be Dany!

My complaint is that when we get inside a woman's head, via Martin, a lot of the complexity and nuance seems to descend into either crazyness or mundanity (yeah, that's a word now). It's not the women I complain about, it's how Martin writes from their perspective. It's almost like he's constructed them as good characters, but just can't seem to pull it off from their perspective.

I actually think Sansa is a great example of this, because she had the potential to be an incredibly interesting character from early on, with her notions of chivalry coming up against reality and her being forced to grow up and see the world in a new way. But it just has not happened (for me). Martin set it up, but he didn't deliver.

Edit: To be clear, I certainly don't have enough of a problem with the way he writes women to not read the books multiple times. But I do think the criticisms are valid, at least on some level.

Posts: 2826 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some of that might be lost on me because 80% of his writing is rather dry and ponderous regardless of gender. I tend not to mind that style of writing if the characters and the plot are interesting, but I recognize that a lot of people have a problem with it (not saying you do). But I'm not sure I see that as a gender gap issue.

It's been two years since I've read them, I think I'd have to go back and specifically pay attention to the gender-specific chapters to see if that holds water, but it's not what stuck with me when I remember the novels and describe them to others.

The way you've described it, however, sounds a lot more legitimate than any complaints I've heard. I get that you can not like the writing, per se, but still appreciate the characters. Everyone I've ever heard attack the women though hasn't been nearly that nuanced. It's universal hatred.

Posts: 21262 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dr Strangelove
Member
Member # 8331

 - posted      Profile for Dr Strangelove   Email Dr Strangelove         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It didn't really stick out to me until I listened to the first book on audiotape with my wife (as an aside, it currently holds the world record for most characters voiced in a single audiobook). I'd generally thought Catelyn's and Sansa's chapters were boring, but hadn't given it much though. Perhaps it was the combination of a mans voice with Martin's writing that, but when I reread the subsequent books after, the women's chapters really started to bug me. Again, not enough to cause a serious problem, but enough for me to give it some thought.

In a somewhat related vein in an attempt to retrack the thread, what are the general thoughts about zombie Catelyn? Evidently she got Beric's gig, which is kind of a weird thing to begin with. Unless I'm again not in the loop, it doesn't seem like there's a ton to go on concerning what is actually going on there, but I'm interested in being proven wrong, or just general thoughts. Also, do we know what Brienne says to presumably prevent being strung up? "Arya" perhaps? "Sansa"?

Posts: 2826 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was a little disappointed when she rose from the dead.

I'm not even sure what they really need her for anymore. So many of the storylines are so out of whack and so many pieces are moving I can't even guess at what he plans to do with her.

Posts: 21262 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just a few little comments...

quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
Also, do we know what Brienne says to presumably prevent being strung up? "Arya" perhaps? "Sansa"?

She says "Sword."

She was told to choose "sword, or noose," and she refused to choose, so they strung her up. She shouted "sword" and they spared her. Now she's supposed to kill Jaime. We'll see how that goes.

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Some of that might be lost on me because 80% of his writing is rather dry and ponderous regardless of gender. I tend not to mind that style of writing if the characters and the plot are interesting, but I recognize that a lot of people have a problem with it (not saying you do).

Wow, I don't find his writing dry or ponderous at all. What do you mean?
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think too many people give the women short shrift because they want them all to be like Dany, riding on horseback into battle waving a sword, but the women of Westeros have to play a deeper game that's no less interesting because they aren't on the battlefield. On the contrary, there's a hell of a lot more variety in the women than in the men.

It's interesting to me that your mind went there, Lyr, because Dany never does that.

In fact, I'm pretty certain Dany has no idea how to use a sword. It's actually kind of awesome, because she's absolutely a warrior queen, but to all evidence she has no martial skill whatsoever. She's not Asha. She just has the intelligence and charisma to successfully command men into battle.

Also I agree with you that the women in Martin's books are varied and interesting. I love Brienne, even when she's POV. On my first reading I hated Sansa and was fine with Catelyn, but on subsequent readings I can't stand Catelyn and actually have a lot of sympathy for Sansa. I also found Dany sort of boring my first read through of Game, but I loved her in the subsequent books and in my subsequent readings of Game.

While I'm at it, we were talking about Jaime earlier, and how our perspectives of him have changed.

Lyr: Have you reread any of the books? I ask because like you I hated Jaime till I got into his head in Storm, but then when I reread Clash and read the scene where Catelyn interviews him, it was astonishing to see that scene through fresh eyes.

The first time I read it, I empathized with Catelyn and hated Jaime. Second time, the opposite. And I snickered at all of Jaime's quips, whereas they just made me want to strangle him the first time through.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:

quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think too many people give the women short shrift because they want them all to be like Dany, riding on horseback into battle waving a sword, but the women of Westeros have to play a deeper game that's no less interesting because they aren't on the battlefield. On the contrary, there's a hell of a lot more variety in the women than in the men.

It's interesting to me that your mind went there, Lyr, because Dany never does that.

In fact, I'm pretty certain Dany has no idea how to use a sword. It's actually kind of awesome, because she's absolutely a warrior queen, but to all evidence she has no martial skill whatsoever. She's not Asha. She just has the intelligence and charisma to successfully command men into battle.


I don't know. She is great for a number of reasons, but she makes a lot of mistakes. She was cunning and smart when buying/stealing the army and afterwards all she did was wrong. To me she looks like a typical young ruler who wants to do too much and dies in the process. She's too amiable, too wiling to submerge herself to somebody else's will <ekhm>. She relies too much on her advisers...

She is not a good ruler.

Posts: 602 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dan_Frank
Member
Member # 8488

 - posted      Profile for Dan_Frank   Email Dan_Frank         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I didn't say she was a good ruler.

So far, she's definitely made a lot of mistakes on that front.

What she is, clearly, is a good conqueror. As I said, a warrior queen.

All while possessing zero martial skills. That's neat. I like it.

Posts: 3542 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dr Strangelove
Member
Member # 8331

 - posted      Profile for Dr Strangelove   Email Dr Strangelove         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Write Like the Wind!

So I found this while browsing the blog of Patrick Rothfuss (and yes, I phrased it that way because I couldn't remember how to make "Rothfuss" posessive. Three S's just doesn't feel right...).

Any bets on whether or not Martin actually finishes the series?

Posts: 2826 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Szymon
Member
Member # 7103

 - posted      Profile for Szymon   Email Szymon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ha! Nice song.

A little out of line, though.

He will.

Posts: 602 | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2