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bborchar
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Thanks, it won't be a wasted effort if at least one person reads it.

 

Petyr, weird name indeed, but George always makes his character's names unsual, trying to spell Ygritte is a nightmare for me. Let's call him Littlefinger then.

 

 

*Spoiler for all TV and books ahead*

And warning: it's looooong built-up to a rant.

 

 

Littlefinger is a character that is fascinating to me. He is mastermind, moving people around like pawns without them even knowing that. He is like Moriarty but more cunning. Like Sherl but less show-off and noble and with hunger for power. He is ambitious, hides in plain sight and play a long game. He comes from humble background with no wealth, reputable family, physical prowess or sword skills; things that are very important in his time. He tries to do things to the rule at the beginning, challenging Ned's brother to a duel to win the woman of his dream, but he was beaten up and humiliated. I'm assuming from there he starts to realize that he needs another way to be significant in the world he is in.

 

With hard work, he manages to become Master of Coin (and brought the kingdom to horrendous debt because the king is so inept). He has web of brothels than run as his source of gold, spy and information. He crafts and wears his own symbol, mockingbird (those like Lannisters and lions, Targaryens and dragons, Starks and direwolf, Tyrells and roses etc), true to the character and presumably hoping to make it great and wellknown one day. Well I'm pretty sure that is his intention.

 

It's arguably that he starts the whole war by killing Jon Arryn, the previous Hand of the king, without getting his hand dirty, that prompts King Robert to go to Winterfell and fetches Ned Stark to become new one. It is his dagger that's used in Bran's attempted assassination, in which Tyrion is then framed, leads to Catelyn kidnapping him, and makes Jamie furious and attacks Ned in King's Landing. It creates greater divides between Lannisters and Starks, fuels the assassination of King Robert on top of suspicion that heirs of Iron throne are illegitimate, first suspected by Jon Arryn and then Ned, and all hell breaks loose. Some would argue that he tries to warn Ned, which probably believable as well as I think his style is flexible, because he is cunning and good mastermind, but when it doesn't work, he turns on him, and still, avoiding the real spotlight. Ned dies, war of five kings ensues. He thrives under chaos, and chaos is indeed ladder for him. The only person at that time who can read him really well is another cunning masterplan himself, Varys. The scene of two of them eyeing the thrones while chaos happens and everyone is busy fighting one another without considering them as any significance, is one of the best sum up of why I love this realistic imaginery world.

 

While he is on good side with the crown, led by Lannisters, none other than the king puppetmaster Tywin and Tyrion as the hand, he goes to Stormlands where the rest of Baratheon brothers fighting each other, and it may not stand out, but his scene with Margery Tyrell, the then queen of Renly Baratheon, where she claims that she wants be the queen, is a simple blink and you may miss clue. Clue that I believe is the seed of Littlefinger-Olena Tyrell's plot to assassinate Joffrey, each for their own purposes. Olena may think Littlefinger only wants to stab/save the crown, saves Sansa too and be on good side of Tyrell since they are powerful family and will be the half part of the crown. But Littlefinger is constructing deeper web and has longer plan. It is not stated obviously in the show or in the book, but it's pretty clear to me that his end game is for grand clash between Lannister and Tyrell and Joffrey's death will be powerful seed for conflict. It is even foreshadowed by Cersei's mention about the annihilation of Reyne's family under Tywin Lannister (their famous song Rain of Castamere) that Tyrell would suffer the same fate. It's probably a hiccup in the plan when Tywin meets his demise in the hand of Tyrion, and Cersei's stupidity leads to Faith of Militant being resurrected. But as we see in season 6 & 7, Tyrell is indeed annihilated by Cersei dan Jamie. (Ah oh, Littlefinger is the one who manages to convince Catelyn Stark to release Jamie Lannister, and convinces Tywin about potential alliance with house Tyrell and helps with the process of Cersei ends up being arrested by the Faith Millitant.)

 

And where is Littlefinger? Sitting pretty as Lord of Harrenhall. He is still in crown's good book, castles are empty, he has raised status of Protector of the Eyrie by marrying and killing Lisa Arryn. Noone brought his mess-up with ironbank deal except Tyrion (and the crown under Cersei is technically using the same method, paying debts and taking new loans). Crown relationship with Ironbank is always on thin ice and that is beneficial to Littlefinger. Enemy for your potential enemy or keeping your potential enemy fragile is the key of winning future wars.

 

Behind that, he is scheming and dealing with the Boltons, to get in good book of enemy of his potential enemy. Get it? XD And then he is using Ramsay-Sansa marriage to enrage Cersei and in return, she promises him Warden of the North to take care of the situation. He is planning couple of steps ahead of everything, while inserting himself in safe spot, Eyrie, that remains neutral and safe along the war (until he goes in), and when Boltons fall, well, before they fall, he already inserts himself with the opposing side in Battle of the Bastards between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, taking Jon/Sansa's side and techically, saving every single Northerers and wildings under Jon and Sansa's command. I would not be surprise the he chooses to change side because he detects the screw up with the crown by Cersei and incoming threat from Targaryen, where most likely the Starks, original warden of the north would be a safer bet than Ramsay Bolton, who unlike his father, lacks ability of war strategy, too random to predict that basically makes him dangerous wild card. While Jon and Sansa, he predicts he gains points by saving Sansa multiple times (albeit sending him to Ramsay) and again, saving every single person in that war by lending the assistance of Vale and saving the day. If the old days under Targaryens are restored, he would be sitting strong as puppetmaster of Robyn Arryn as warden of the east, back to Jon Arryn time.

 

SO! With those frigging long write-ups and recalls that I hope is accurate enough, to me, Littlefinger is one of the best character and if I was a scorned ambitious Westerosi and power is my ultimate target, I would most probably use the same style.

It is said, that Sansa is his weak point and someone that is going to be his downfall. I believe that. I also believe that is George R.R.Martin's bullet points about Littlefinger's demise. And that would be ultimate satisfying end to his story arc, IF, if it's done in the way he deserves.

 

His demise is cartoony, shameful and one of the worst writing, well I think it's the WORST for me, and I believe it's because the showmaker has ran out of source material. It is stupid and wasteful and it doesn't do justice at all. The end is correct, but the way it gets to that point is horrible butchered and a shame to a character that is so well-built, and a shame to other characters involved as well.

 

Someone like Littlefinger would be out of scene as soon as Bran says Chaos is ladder, even when he fails to read Sansa and Arya (which is one of the butchered storyline of the scene that is similarly very poorly done) he wouldn't go down to his knee and pleads like Ser Dantos before trying to talk his way out, demands trial of combat or even be there. He is good at knowing where to step, when to go and what to do. And Bran being a main source of accusation with his 'seeing'. Really? All the lord of Vale who follow him to the war after remain neutral would turn of him just like that, all the northerners that are practically would be dead without him. And all for the words, and merely words of the very kid, Sansa, that asks him for help in the first place. That is kangaroo trial based on Stark kid who sit on the helm who would otherwise perish without him, her brother who speaks and claim of seeing things and sister who has become blood thirsty, witnessed by a room full of seasoned war veterans.

 

Good god. I AM PISSED.

I know Littlefinger is a villain. And I know he deserves it. Like said, that is perfect demise but not the way it's done. His sparring of wits with Varys and Tyrion is one of the most compelling things to watch and I love every scenes, every chess moves and counter moves behind it. He is a pretty good villain and all these, mostly storyline in Season 7, are crap, left for the special effects, big bang whoha, that is, don't get me wrong, are impressive, but for that, the lack of material has reduced the epic stories and characters into rumble of fantasy action that is not the thing that makes me love the book in the first place.

It becomes just another surface scraper shallow Wrath of the Titans fantasy style.

 

It's a pity.

Imo.

Aiz.

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Thanks, it won't be a wasted effort if at least one person reads it.

 

Petyr, weird name indeed, but George always makes his character's names unsual, trying to spell Ygritte is a nightmare for me. Let's call him Littlefinger then.

 

 

*Spoiler for all TV and books ahead*

And warning: it's looooong built-up to a rant.

 

 

Littlefinger is a character that is fascinating to me. He is mastermind, moving people around like pawns without them even knowing that. He is like Moriarty but more cunning. Like Sherl but less show-off and noble and with hunger for power. He is ambitious, hides in plain sight and play a long game. He comes from humble background with no wealth, reputable family, physical prowess or sword skills; things that are very important in his time. He tries to do things to the rule at the beginning, challenging Ned's brother to a duel to win the woman of his dream, but he was beaten up and humiliated. I'm assuming from there he starts to realize that he needs another way to be significant in the world he is in.

 

With hard work, he manages to become Master of Coin (and brought the kingdom to horrendous debt because the king is so inept). He has web of brothels than run as his source of gold, spy and information. He crafts and wears his own symbol, mockingbird (those like Lannisters and lions, Targaryens and dragons, Starks and direwolf, Tyrells and roses etc), true to the character and presumably hoping to make it great and wellknown one day. Well I'm pretty sure that is his intention.

 

It's arguably that he starts the whole war by killing Jon Arryn, the previous Hand of the king, without getting his hand dirty, that prompts King Robert to go to Winterfell and fetches Ned Stark to become new one. It is his dagger that's used in Bran's attempted assassination, in which Tyrion is then framed, leads to Catelyn kidnapping him, and makes Jamie furious and attacks Ned in King's Landing. It creates greater divides between Lannisters and Starks, fuels the assassination of King Robert on top of suspicion that heirs of Iron throne are illegitimate, first suspected by Jon Arryn and then Ned, and all hell breaks loose. Some would argue that he tries to warn Ned, which probably believable as well as I think his style is flexible, because he is cunning and good mastermind, but when it doesn't work, he turns on him, and still, avoiding the real spotlight. Ned dies, war of five kings ensues. He thrives under chaos, and chaos is indeed ladder for him. The only person at that time who can read him really well is another cunning masterplan himself, Varys. The scene of two of them eyeing the thrones while chaos happens and everyone is busy fighting one another without considering them as any significance, is one of the best sum up of why I love this realistic imaginery world.

 

While he is on good side with the crown, led by Lannisters, none other than the king puppetmaster Tywin and Tyrion as the hand, he goes to Stormlands where the rest of Baratheon brothers fighting each other, and it may not stand out, but his scene with Margery Tyrell, the then queen of Renly Baratheon, where she claims that she wants be the queen, is a simple blink and you may miss clue. Clue that I believe is the seed of Littlefinger-Olena Tyrell's plot to assassinate Joffrey, each for their own purposes. Olena may think Littlefinger only wants to stab/save the crown, saves Sansa too and be on good side of Tyrell since they are powerful family and will be the half part of the crown. But Littlefinger is constructing deeper web and has longer plan. It is not stated obviously in the show or in the book, but it's pretty clear to me that his end game is for grand clash between Lannister and Tyrell and Joffrey's death will be powerful seed for conflict. It is even foreshadowed by Cersei's mention about the annihilation of Reyne's family under Tywin Lannister (their famous song Rain of Castamere) that Tyrell would suffer the same fate. It's probably a hiccup in the plan when Tywin meets his demise in the hand of Tyrion, and Cersei's stupidity leads to Faith of Militant being resurrected. But as we see in season 6 & 7, Tyrell is indeed annihilated by Cersei dan Jamie. (Ah oh, Littlefinger is the one who manages to convince Catelyn Stark to release Jamie Lannister, and convinces Tywin about potential alliance with house Tyrell and helps with the process of Cersei ends up being arrested by the Faith Millitant.)

 

And where is Littlefinger? Sitting pretty as Lord of Harrenhall. He is still in crown's good book, castles are empty, he has raised status of Protector of the Eyrie by marrying and killing Lisa Arryn. Noone brought his mess-up with ironbank deal except Tyrion (and the crown under Cersei is technically using the same method, paying debts and taking new loans). Crown relationship with Ironbank is always on thin ice and that is beneficial to Littlefinger. Enemy for your potential enemy or keeping your potential enemy fragile is the key of winning future wars.

 

Behind that, he is scheming and dealing with the Boltons, to get in good book of enemy of his potential enemy. Get it? XD And then he is using Ramsay-Sansa marriage to enrage Cersei and in return, she promises him Warden of the North to take care of the situation. He is planning couple of steps ahead of everything, while inserting himself in safe spot, Eyrie, that remains neutral and safe along the war (until he goes in), and when Boltons fall, well, before they fall, he already inserts himself with the opposing side in Battle of the Bastards between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, taking Jon/Sansa's side and techically, saving every single Northerers and wildings under Jon and Sansa's command. I would not be surprise the he chooses to change side because he detects the screw up with the crown by Cersei and incoming threat from Targaryen, where most likely the Starks, original warden of the north would be a safer bet than Ramsay Bolton, who unlike his father, lacks ability of war strategy, too random to predict that basically makes him dangerous wild card. While Jon and Sansa, he predicts he gains points by saving Sansa multiple times (albeit sending him to Ramsay) and again, saving every single person in that war by lending the assistance of Vale and saving the day. If the old days under Targaryens are restored, he would be sitting strong as puppetmaster of Robyn Arryn as warden of the east, back to Jon Arryn time.

 

SO! With those frigging long write-ups and recalls that I hope is accurate enough, to me, Littlefinger is one of the best character and if I was a scorned ambitious Westerosi and power is my ultimate target, I would most probably use the same style.

It is said, that Sansa is his weak point and someone that is going to be his downfall. I believe that. I also believe that is George R.R.Martin's bullet points about Littlefinger's demise. And that would be ultimate satisfying end to his story arc, IF, if it's done in the way he deserves.

 

His demise is cartoony, shameful and one of the worst writing, well I think it's the WORST for me, and I believe it's because the showmaker has ran out of source material. It is stupid and wasteful and it doesn't do justice at all. The end is correct, but the way it gets to that point is horrible butchered and a shame to a character that is so well-built, and a shame to other characters involved as well.

 

Someone like Littlefinger would be out of scene as soon as Bran says Chaos is ladder, even when he fails to read Sansa and Arya (which is one of the butchered storyline of the scene that is similarly very poorly done) he wouldn't go down to his knee and pleads like Ser Dantos before trying to talk his way out, demands trial of combat or even be there. He is good at knowing where to step, when to go and what to do. And Bran being a main source of accusation with his 'seeing'. Really? All the lord of Vale who follow him to the war after remain neutral would turn of him just like that, all the northerners that are practically would be dead without him. And all for the words, and merely words of the very kid, Sansa, that asks him for help in the first place. That is kangaroo trial based on Stark kid who sit on the helm who would otherwise perish without him, her brother who speaks and claim of seeing things and sister who has become blood thirsty, witnessed by a room full of seasoned war veterans.

 

Good god. I AM PISSED.

I know Littlefinger is a villain. And I know he deserves it. Like said, that is perfect demise but not the way it's done. His sparring of wits with Varys and Tyrion is one of the most compelling things to watch and I love every scenes, every chess moves and counter moves behind it. He is a pretty good villain and all these, mostly storyline in Season 7, are crap, left for the special effects, big bang whoha, that is, don't get me wrong, are impressive, but for that, the lack of material has reduced the epic stories and characters into rumble of fantasy action that is not the thing that makes me love the book in the first place.

It becomes just another surface scraper shallow Wrath of the Titans fantasy style.

 

It's a pity.

Imo.

Aiz.

It's my impression as well, from the little I have seen and heard that the TV series is becoming more, well, let's say mainstream for the lack of a better word. More predictable. Less original and less realistic but of course still plenty violent.

 

I hope, for the sake of all you GoT fans out there, that Martin will finish the books because I doubt those will develop in a similar direction.

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Yes I believe the books would give storyline that I could appreciate, if it ever came out... I was so sure it's out in 2015. Now it's 2018... Now there is rumours he is not allowed to publish if so the TV show won't be spoiled... and Season 8 is delayed... Well I actually I don't care that much anymore, but of course I'd wander around in bookshop hoping to be pleasantly surprised one day. I think it's just the grumpy old me who feel disappointed about what the Show has become. It's like tiny bit embarrassing now to be a fan, like you say, mainstream. And it makes me twitch that probably more than half of the show fans don't even realize what is missing.

 

P.S. And I think I just mourn for losing a very interesting character. Even Tyrion and Varys are reduced to boring characters. At least my other favorites, Cersei, the Hound, still deliver.

Jon, Daenerys, Arya, Sansa, snoozer..!!

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  • 6 months later...

I don't watch / haven't read GoT, and don't think I'd care to -- so I have no idea how I came upon this article, but found the following quote from Martin interesting, in a bewildering sort of way (please excuse the duplication if it's already been posted):

Added: And please note that  what appears to be the third paragraph of the quote is actually my comment on it.  (I keep forgetting about that particular quirk of the new software.)

Quote

“Gandalf dies!” Martin exclaims in the clip. “I can’t explain the impact that had on me at 13.” What’s more, he goes on, the minute you kill a character like Gandalf, the suspense of everything that follows is “1,000 times greater. Because now anybody could die.”

Martin quickly follows that up with a reflection of its influence on his own work, musing that Gandalf’s “death” after confronting the Balrog in Moria “had a profound effect on my own willingness to kill characters at the drop of a hat.”

Huh?  Did he stop reading after Fellowship of the Ring?  Besides, the reason Gandalf's apparent death stuns the reader is that it's so unexpected -- a word that I've never heard applied to the deaths in GoT.

 

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7 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Huh?  Did he stop reading after Fellowship of the Ring?  Besides, the reason Gandalf's apparent death stuns the reader is that it's so unexpected -- a word that I've never heard applied to the deaths in GoT.

Oh, I have to disagree. I read the first couple (three? I forget) novels, and I can tell you, some of the deaths are VERY unexpected, starting with Ned Stark in the first half of the first book. I think Martin is an excellent writer who creates interesting characters that you quickly care about, and he's very good at taking the reader by surprise. If any of the deaths in the TV version were expected, I suspect it's only because the viewers read the books first.

My only problem with GOT was learning that there was no end to the story in sight … I hate getting invested in a tale only to find out it's never finished. (I still haven't forgiven NBC for cancelling Earth 2.) So I stopped reading and don't plan to go back unless and until he's done.

I seriously doubt I'll ever watch the TV show because it sounds like they revel in the violence too much for my taste. I can read about all kinds of mayhem without turning a hair, but it's getting harder and harder for me to watch it. Weird but true. I suspect it's a certain lack of imagination on my part, which I'd just as soon preserve. :smile: 

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12 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

... some of the deaths are VERY unexpected, starting with Ned Stark in the first half of the first book.

That's early on, then.  But I would imagine that as you read additional books, you would become somewhat used to the deaths of major characters, simply because there are (as I hear) so many of them.  Not that you would think, oh, I bet so-and-so is going to die in the next chapter -- just that it wouldn't shock you so much if he did.

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Well GRRM certainly has a knack with surprising you with when and how someone dies, I'd say. Spoiler tags just in case - yes, I know the first book came out in 1996, I read it back then (pity me) but still:

 

The first book starts deceptively standard-fantasy like. You have the tough Northern rural family going south into a den of corruption and deceit, and while it's well written, it bored me a bit because at this point it seemed fairly clear that they were gonna make clean house with their Values and whatnot. Yeah, and then about halfway into the first book, the tough-but-just-and-kind patron of said family gets his head chopped off. That was ... unexpected to say the least, and what sold me to the series then, because it's really, really hard to predict anything. Case in point: the third book, when you think us readers would've got used to it by then, had the infamous Red Wedding, when several main chars were murdered at what was supposed to be a, well, wedding and reconciliation. One of the most intense scenes I've ever read, anywhere, and hit me totally out of the blue, yes even knowing that this was a GRRM book.

Amused sidenote: These two scenes, as well as a certain duel, hit the show-watchers-only just as much by surprise for the most part too. In this age of internet spoilers, I've never seen a fan group stay mum about anything so gleefully. :smile:

As for Gandalf, I think I read that interview once, and he said that he thought that Gandalf should have stayed dead, so no, no coming back from the dead (well, some did actually, but again, that only makes it harder to predict anything).

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Okay, I definitely did not read the 3rd book, then. I think I would've remembered that. :smile: 

Any word yet on whether Martin will actually finish writing the books? I hear the last (?) season of GOT is coming out next year … this should be interesting!

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Officially - not sure, mayyybe next year (mind you, that is the second-to-last book that we're talking about here, not even the final one, which is set to come out ... no idea, probably when Great Cthulhu rises from his slumber). If you ask me - never. GRRM clearly wasn't much into writing any more of ASoIaF even before the show came out, and now that it's overtaken the books and spoilered a couple of much beloved plot twists of his (Jon Snow's parentage comes to mind) he's probably even less motivated. I'll take whatever closure reading the spoilers from the TV shows (I don't watch it, far too gory for me) can bring me, because I've sadly given up on the books by now.

To make this less of a downer post, here's a YouTube compilation of people reacting to the big twist in the first series of the show (same as in the first book) spoilers, obviously. This is why people still put up with GRRM's lack of any kind of schedule. The Big One happens about two minutes in:

 

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Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. Bummer. Seems kind of a waste to get so far and never finish it. One of the perils of long-format fiction, I guess.

I remember the other thing that was shocking to me was the youth of many of his characters. I know it made the story more realistic, but my modern sensibilities had a hard time accepting some of it as "appropriate". But I had to admire his unflinching realism at the same time. And by god, the man can do characterization.

I hope at least Joffrey gets (got?) his just desserts before it's over! And I hope it's a hideous death. :D 

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Oooooh yes, he did. :evilinside: If you're interested in the show version (which is pretty faithful to the book there) it's all over YouTube. My husband watched the show, and one of the highlights of occasionally glancing over his shoulder when he did was seeing Joffrey and some of the other [censored] doing their [censored] stuff and thinking, oooooh, I know what's coming your way, dearie. :P

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My main problem with the series, both books and TV (from what I have seen) is still the insane amount of cruelty. It's not just violent and gory but in many ways the very plot is downright sadistic. And if the only joy a story has to offer is rejoicing at the death and suffering of the villains, then it isn't for me. Yeah, Joffrey, Ramsey etc eventually die. So? That doesn't undo any harm they caused, doesn't help their victims. It does however bring the viewer / reader down to their level for enjoying their death scenes. Blech. 

The only bit that made me happy was the ending of the first book where Danaerys emerges from the fire with her newly hatched dragons. I was sad that they didn't show it on TV the way it was described. All that murder and mayhem is A-OK but dragon babies suckling her breasts would have been too extreme? Please. Also, her hair was supposed to be burned off. 

I am really curious about the ending though because I have not idea how one would properly end such a gigantic work. 

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21 minutes ago, T.o.b.y said:

All that murder and mayhem is A-OK but dragon babies suckling her breasts would have been too extreme?

Dragon babies suckle?  :huh: The only hatchlings I'm aware of that do anything at all like that are platypuses.

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Dragon biology is weird in Game of Thrones. Just for starters, they're genderfluid (in the sense of that they can be male or female at different times). The ruling families of the now-lost kingdom pf Valyria (by a catastrophe only hinted at as the Doom, I think there was a volcano involved somewhere) had dragon blood in their genetic makeup (Dany and her kin are the last of those, as far as anyone knows, that's how that whole dragon riding works for them), and it's never been specified just how exactly that happened ... and no, if dragons can shapeshift into human form there has been no hint of it so far. Oh, and their eggs can lay dormant for who knows how many years/centuries and still hatch afterwards. And they're somehow connected to the planet's Mana level - as in, many dragons, much magic around, no dragons, almost no magic. Really, suckling (from a woman with dragon blood in her veins no less, see above) is only barely in the top ten of weird dragon facts in that setting. :lol: 

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Interesting dragon facts!

Many reptiles are genderfluid although some could be contained in specific phase of life I think, I don't even know if they are reptile though :D

I suspect about the volcano, it is implied, and for the magic, it is believed by many of the characters and sort of proven. But I certainly never heard or think about special relation of Targaryens and dragons that involves some genetic mixed-up. That is both interesting and disturbing, I merely thought they have special bond because of history between the two, like maybe, early domestication or something such as why mosquitoes love O blooded people better. It's similar with the bond between the Starks and their direwolves.

 

As for Gandalf, I knew he was not dead. It is textbook, you don't kill a character like that. And..... then there was GoT, therefore I fell in love for that series and then almost crapped my pants where Sherlock died. Damn you Sherly.

 

I don't think I would give up on the book, used to get annoyed by the delay, but somehow I kind of understand and believe GRRM would delay it until the TV series ends.

I think it's best that it is treated as two separate entities. Season 1-4 are close adaptations and it's great to see the realization of the characters. Many are spot-on (I love the Lannisters) and the story are so rich and intriguing even when it's already simplified from the book version.

However, later seasons, when the series had lost its detailed sources (I believe they know A lead to Z but only in some kind of bullet points) it turns into a common fantasy. What hooked me in the beginning, that it's so not ordinary fantasy, had almost disappeared. There are still trace of it here and there, which makes it still a good series (Hodor's plot, Cersei's plot for example), but it's definitely not great anymore. Personally I believe they butchered Dorne, Stannis (even with the book source) and Arya, Sansa, Jon, Euron (without much book source) and my most disappointment, Little Finger. There are lack of essences in the stories and they fails to leave long impression and very forgetable.

Somehow I think GRRM must be much more disappointed than me.

So I'll wait for the book.

 

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4 minutes ago, Van Buren Supernova said:

As for Gandalf, I knew he was not dead. It is textbook, you don't kill a character like that.

Besides which -- we didn't see the body!  That's rule number one with SF/fantasy -- if they don't show you the body, the character may not really be dead -- like Black Panther (besides, the movie is named after him).  I was actually surprised when Dumbledore turned to be really dead (yeah, we did see his body, but that scene was sufficiently ambiguous that I half expected him to pull a Gandalf).  I won't be at all surprised if Han Solo and Steve Trevor didn't die in their "death scenes" either.

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But... Isn't Gandalf dead? I mean, isn't he just resurrected for the fight against Sauron and once that's over he has to go into the West (aka die) because the condition of his returning to Middle Earth no longer existed? 

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I don't think so.  As I (sort of) understand it, Gandalf is even more immortal than the elves.  Sailing into the west is not dying.  He has apparently completed his current mission, so he can go to the undying lands and rest up before his next mission.

Sailing into the west isn't dying in Bilbo and Frodo's case either.  They are mortals, so they will eventually die, but they get to rest and heal first, so they can die in peace.

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I'm pretty sure that Fran Walsh said that in the movie, it was meant to be understood that "passing into the West" was analogous to dying. And they certainly played it that way, I thought.

I personally think there's an element of metaphor in Tolkien's writing, too. The immortal races may not die the way we die, but the effect is the same; they are removed from this world and taken to Paradise, never to return. The sense of melancholy he imbued their departure with reads as a form of dying, to me. Plus he clearly believed in the resurrection of the soul after death, and since the elves didn't die, they were denied that kind of (after)life; so they were sent to their own version of Heaven, instead.

Gandalf, though … he's basically an angel, as I understand it. I'm not sure where they ended up when they left the world. Gone to rejoin their maker, I think … another metaphor for death.

I'm not Catholic (or even Christian, although I was raised as one), and they've always seemed rather arcane in their faith from my perspective … I don't pretend to really understand what they believe about life and death. From the outside looking in, it all seems very complicated.

 

14 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

My main problem with the series, both books and TV (from what I have seen) is still the insane amount of cruelty. It's not just violent and gory but in many ways the very plot is downright sadistic.

Agreed. Although it does make his world seem very realistic, alas.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I personally think there's an element of metaphor in Tolkien's writing, too. The immortal races may not die the way we die, but the effect is the same; they are removed from this world and taken to Paradise, never to return.

Good point.  So technically no, but in essence yes.  That sort of thing is complicated in any belief system.

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Especially since Tolkien was trying to "accurately" imagine a pre-Christian universe, right down to its bolts and nails. The deeper he went, the more questions he had to answer. I think it bothered him that his heroes couldn't be "saved" in the Christian sense of the word.

He must've been a fascinating guy to talk to. Assuming you were interested in the same things, of course. :smile: 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

He must've been a fascinating guy to talk to. Assuming you were interested in the same things, of course. :smile:

Perhaps more of a fascinating guy to listen to.  Considering how deeply engrossed he was in his own homemade universe, dunno if I'd have been able to hold up my end of a real conversation, or even ask questions that he'd consider relevant.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

I think it bothered him that his heroes couldn't be "saved" in the Christian sense of the word.

Isnt there a Christian belief that after Jesus died on the cross, he preached the gospel to the souls in the afterlife?  I don't know if that would apply to the elves in the undying lands, but it presumably would to the hobbits, dwarves, and assorted "men."

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