ADWD Spoiler Thread

Discussion in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' started by LyannaWolfBlood, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    THIS THREAD CONTAINS GIANT SPOILERS OF DOOM FOR A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.

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    OK, so now I've made that clear it's time to talk about ADWD! Here's what I thought...

    Jon: His storyline has never been my favourite, to be honest, but I really enjoyed it here. Given how brutal much of the rest of ADWD was, I particularly appreciated Jon's fundamental decency and willingness to acknowledge that the Wildlings were, you know, human. And therefore should be protected against the decidedly inhuman things that are coming to wage war on the entirety of Westeros. His ending was fairly predictable - I'd pegged that Bowen Marsh was going to betray him fairly early on - and a little bit too much et tu, Brute? for my taste, but most theories I've read suggest that he'll come back as Azor Ahai by the end. Personally, I'd rather he just died like people (i.e. Ned) did back in AGOT. The growing tendency for killed-off characters to come back as zombies is probably my least favourite part of ASOIAF.

    Daenerys: Really, really epic scene at the fighting pits and her last chapter was interesting enough, especially the implication that she might not be barren after all. Other than that she mostly displayed a lack of ability as a ruler and appalling taste in men. Barristan's few chapters were some of my favourites though - sure, he may be in his sixties but he's still Barristan the Bold!

    Tyrion: He's Tyrion so he's always entertaining, but he wasn't as good as in previous books IMO. I think a lot of that is because we've lost his rapport with Cersei. Twisted as their relationship is, it was a major part of Tyrion's story in ACOK and ASOS and the new characters in his chapters are nowhere near as interesting. I'm writing this a few weeks after I finished ADWD and I'm finding them some of the least memorable chapters in the book.

    Theon/Asha/the North: Oh god, Theon's storyline was brutal. I mean, they were fascinating chapters but just horrible. I didn't like Ramsay as villain either; he was so utterly and irredeemably vile that he lacked any kind of depth. I just hope that he will die quickly and we'll never have to read about anything quite that depraved again (yes, I know. George will probably come up with something worse in TWOW). As for the rest of the Northern storyline, I loved Asha's few chapters. I didn't particularly like her as a character before ADWD (I thought she was the best of the Greyjoys, but that said more about how much I disliked the rest of the Greyjoys than it did about Asha) but she was fantastic here. The description of Stannis' army slowly dying in the snow was some of the best writing in the book IMO. Lord Manderly was epic. Can't wait to see what will happen with the navy he's been assembling!

    Bran: I'd come across the theory that Bloodraven was the Three-Eyed Crow and I thought it was completely crazy. Shows how much I know...

    Aegon: Jon Connington's two chapters were another high point in the book for me. In general, I really loved the more minor POVs (with the exception of Victarion, who is a contender for my least favourite character). I'm pretty much positive that Aegon is a pretender - the historical parallel of the dead prince "returning" at times of strife is too glaring for him to be real IMO. Also, there is far too much babyswapping going on already.

    I could write more - loads more, actually - but I should probably stop before I've written a novel. What did you all think?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  2. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    I am just going to quickly touch on a few things LWB has said.

    I am of the same opinion about Jon Snow, and the Starks in general!! I was shocked at what happened to him, but am not sure whether he is dead, alive or zombiefied yet.

    Daenerys is like a child star straight from Hollywood, going for the bad boys, messing things up due to inexperience etc. However she is growing and learning as a character, and we need to remember she is only a young teenager, but one born with the Targaryen fire in her belly. I think she will begin to focus more on her goals more and begin to grow into her birthright, or just up hooking up with Aegon and whelping some more silverhaired dragonprinces.

    Aegon could well be a pretender, or is he a bastard?? They seem to pop up everywhere!! Then in that case who would he belong too?? Lyanna/Rhaegar or someone else?? I like Jon Connington's character, he is kind of like Ned Stark in his sense of duty and Honour, but wasn't a traitor to his true king, and still (at the moment) has a head. Plus with the greyscale leaving him on borrowed time, you know he is going to speed things up, or do something rash!

    The plight of the Stannis B's army in the snow was well written, as was the destruction of Theon's mental/physical state. Some may argue that he got his comeuppance, but we have to remember his age and situation, and the culture of the Ironborn, he had to prove himself after running with the wolves for so long!!

    I have to run...have work to do, so I will have to continue this later!!

    There is but one vexing question remaining...What happened to Pretty Pig?? will she make it to the eventual dwarf wedding?? or has she gone the way of Crunch the dog?? :p
     
  3. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    This is all a lot more fair than I was :). It's also true that Meereen is a snakepit that practically nobody could rule and that Dany's efforts to destroy the slave trade were very admirable, but it was still incredibly frustrating to watch her get more and more entangled in a conflict that she's never going to win. I can't see Dany taking anything out of Meereen but the lesson that there are some battles you just can't win, and I'm a bit annoyed that she did not get one step closer to Westeros in the entire book. Particularly when it was obvious that Meereen was becoming an ever more hopeless snarl and Quentyn offered her some semblance of a way out - and she went and married Hizdahr!

    Oh, and silver-haired dragonprinces? :p I think princesses are just as likely; one impression I've had throughout the books is that women are probably going to be more politically prominent at the end of the series than they were at the beginning. If there's one ruler on the Iron Throne at the end (something I doubt personally - I think things are going to hell in a handbasket too fast for the Seven Kingdoms to remain unified) I bet it'll be a queen.

    Well, if he's a bastard, even Lyanna and Rhaegar's, then he's a pretender by definition ;). I think he could be anyone, to be honest - there were enough mentions of people with Valyrian colouring in the Free Cities (the whore Jorah was with, Illyrio's wife and one of the Golden Company come to mind) that he doesn't have to be related to the Targaryens at all. There was also a mention in there that the Blackfyres were extinct "in the male line" which, to me, implies that there aren't extinct in the female line. And how can Barristan be sure that Ashara Dayne had a stillborn daughter instead of a live son? (OK, I doubt that a child of Ashara and Ned/Brandon (it's a bit unclear which Stark Barristan is talking about) would look anything like a Targaryen.) I kind of want him to be nobody important by blood, particularly as I think Varys and Illyrio, given their history, would get a kick out of putting a commoner on the throne.

    It looks like Asha is going to use the fact that Theon wasn't at the kingsmoot to declare it invalid and have him made King. Hopefully, she'll set herself up as his Hand, like she offered to Victarion in AFFC, and rule from behind the throne. I do have some sympathy for Theon now but Asha would make a way better ruler IMO.

    I'm afraid her only likely future role is as bacon. There's a hungry army out there!
     
  4. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    ADwD was okay but hardly worth a 5yr wait :(

    I've always liked Jon but wasn't particularly surprised to see him killed off ~ no doubt he'll reanimate his corpse and return as King of the North now he's been freed of his Night's Watch oaths, with Uncle Benjen reappearing as his side-kick. He may also have jumped into Ghost as a temporary host, licked his own mortal wounds to ensure he lives to fight another day.... I'm sure Melisandre will play some part, with Stannis now on ice ;)

    Tyrion is one of my favourite characters but his chapters didn't really do him justice ~ it felt like they were fillers allowing him to tread water for a while, as does Arya's chapters. Daenerys just bores me rigid. Jon Covington & Aegon were more interesting adding a bit of action/pushing the storyline along as does House Martell. Everyone at Kings Landing were *yawn*.

    The most interesting character development for me was Lord Manderly ~ the building of his fleet, his relationship and actions with/against the Freys & Bolton all pointing towards another clever schemer/strategist playing the long game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  5. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    Maybe she is Samwell Tarly in disguise?? :p

    I was thinking that to a degree, but didn't want to say it!!
    I found that some parts of the book appeared to be rushed, however as I do not know how GRRM's work time line ran for this novel so I cant be certain, but some chapters have that feeling to them.
    But as I have always had a problem with his "screenplayish" (for lack of a better word) style of writing, maybe it is just another angle for me to attack him. A lot of the intricate plot lines are probably going to be solved by "baby swapping", "unexpected parentage", "Consumed by Dragons fire" or "zombies" now.
    In hindsight there does appear to be a bit of filler, but hopefully it is being used to set the scene for character development, though Tyrion's chapter's seem to be pushing him towards empathy and possibly love with a base born dwarf girl!
    The developments in the North have definitely become interesting. Manderly's playing of the game wasn't really expected, and it will be interesting to see how it pans out. I am not sure if Ramsay will usurp his father like he obviously wants to...I think Roose is too cunning for him, should be interesting. And I think we all know the Frey's are probably going to end up like the Reyne's of Castamere.
    I wonder if Daenery's will use the Ironborn to cross to Westeros? Or will she and her Dragons become enslaved to Victarion? Which will no doubt piss Euron off no end! It was a bit of a shame that Quentyn Martell got himself fried, that particular plot line felt like GRRM was originally going somewhere, then decided to do something different, so the easiest way out was to kill him off.
    At the end of the day I will still read the rest of the series, I only hope it will not be 5 years till the next one!!
    And in my personal view, I am not fussed if they don't continue the series on HBO, it is not that great and probably sidetracks GRRM too much!! :p
     
  6. 35TangoTango

    35TangoTango 35TangoTango

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    My predictions:

    Jon - is still alive. Mellisandre saves him. He is a Targaryen - the one that Mellisandre is seeing in the fire (that she mistakenly thought was Stannis). He will be one of the three. GRRM has said that the scene that first came to him, the seed of the whole series, was the discovery of the wolf pups. And the key person in that scene is Jon. In fact the first book opens with Jon and Bran; I think it may climax with them also.

    Aegon - is what they say he is. Also a Targeryen and one of the three.

    Daenerys - the point of her stay in Meereen is that she can't proceed until she learns how to control the dragons; which looks like it is about to happen.

    Tyrion - Just happens to be the world's leading authority on dragon lore.

    Bran - I have this terrible feeling that he's going to turn out to be the bad guy. He is in the process of being seduced to the dark side, and the the final battle will find him opposed to the three.

    Arya - She will be given the assignment as a faceless one of assasinating one of the above characters. Will she succeed, or will the confrontation reawaken her identity as a Stark?
     
  7. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Slight exaggeration IMO. True, he's read quite a lot about them and knows more than most people but that knowledge is all entirely academic. I don't see him suddenly coming up with the solution to Meereen's feral dragon problem.

    I've come across this theory before and to a certain extent it makes sense, but who's going to hire her? Almost everyone in Westeros is bankrupt and Faceless Men are supposed to be incredibly expensive. Illyrio is about the only person I can think of who might be able to afford it and I don't think he'd have Aegon or Daenerys killed, since he's been plotting to get Aegon on the throne for the last 15 years or so and is probably in on the plan to have Aegon marry Dany. Arya knows everyone else on your list and we learn in ADWD that FM are never hired to kill people they know.
     
  8. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    sup who wants some Frey pie (one of the nastiest bits in the entire book)

    Anyway, I'm with Lya on a lot of what she said. I found Ramsay to be incredibly disgusting, though she and I did disagree on one point; it felt to me like GRRM was trying to force the "evil awful completely unredeemable bastard" aspect of his personality. However, the Theon/Asha chapters were some of my favorites.

    The zombie thing is also getting old. I'm kind of hoping Jon Snows stays dead just because.

    Jon Connington's chapters were some of my favorite. He was so, so, so gay though. It makes me feel that my six-year-old crush on Rhaegar is justified. ;)

    Someone else summed up Quentyn's chapters quite accurately. I don't understand why GRRM gave an entire pov to a storyline that was introduced one book ago in a fairly minor side-story (Arianne), only to be like "LOL NO DRAGONFIRE" and get him killed off. Like, I just feel that we could've skipped all of his chapters and had the major events happen in other povs (Barristan/Dany) and the book would've been better for it. (Also, go Barristan!)

    I don't understand how anyone could believe that Aegon isn't a pretender. After all of Varys' talk on how kings/queens who believe that they have the right to rule shouldn't actually be in power, it's kind of silly for him to plot the "one true king" to the Iron Throne.

    Also, how can Bran turn out to be one of the bad guys if he's associated with the children of the forest? (Incidentally, I'd laughed off the Bloodraven theory as a crackpot one. Apparently, it wasn't.)



    Several weeks later, I think that one of my main problems with the books now is that though the writing quality is gorgeous, the plotting no longer is. I feel that events in books 1-3 are clearly linked, and make sense. Now, it feels as though GRRM added a lot of these events on the fly (baby Aegon, Bloodraven alive, Tyrion possibly being Aerys's son, etc.). Even if evidence suggests otherwise (GRRM answered years ago in fanmail that Rhaenys was def. dead, but was coy on answering Aegon), the books never really foreshadowed it. To me, it felt like, "Huh. So some of these crazy theories are actually true. Cool?" In essence, it lacked a lot of depth for me.
     
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  9. 35TangoTango

    35TangoTango 35TangoTango

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    My take on all these things is probably somewhat different because I just discovered this series this summer. I read books 1-4, then only had a short wait for book 5. I can't imagine waiting 5 years for it! A year's wait for book 6 (it it's that fast) seems like forever.

    It does seem like there's a real change of view-point as the series goes on. In books 1-3 (and part of 4) we are focused in on the various factions and how they are doing against each other. Now it seems that the only purpose of those story lines was to exhaust all power in all those factions so that none of them can really intercede in the real battle, which will be between the light (the dragons and those on their side) and the dark - the others, their wights, and whomever else they seduce). Did GRRM intend it this way from the beginning? Did George Lucas know in the original Star Wars that Leia was Luke's brother and that Vader was their father?
     
  10. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Is it just me or were there loads of references to cannibalism in this book?

    Yeah, I definitely had an issue with this too. That being said, I don't think the evidence for Tyrion as Aerys' son is anywhere near conclusive (given the timeframe it would make more sense for Jaime and Cersei to be Aerys' children, if anyone is) and like you I think Aegon is a pretender so only 1/3 of those theories may actually be true. It's the kind of situation where I'm willing to give GRRM the benefit of the doubt - he may yet turn the entire notion on its head.
     
  11. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    I don't feel alone anymore!! :p

    Yeah there were a few...Don't want to know what inspired that though!!


    Time frame wise, the mad king could have tumbled Lady Lannister anytime during his reign, not just on the wedding night!! He was infatuated with her for a while apparently, so that could still be true!?


    In regard to the brief and "poorly" executed Quentyn and to a degree Arianne POV's Just a thought...it is almost as if he was writing for a tv series, so there could be cliffhangers at a time the other parts of the story may well be going a little slower whilst building their storylines?? Perhaps the screenwriter in him is alive and kicking?? or he is foreseeing many seasons ahead for the HBO series??
     
  12. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Oh, it could be - I'm not by any means saying it's impossible - but personally I'm not willing to jump on this particular bandwagon quite yet. The rumours Barristan mentions were suggestive, but Tyrion was born something like 8 or 9 years after his parents' wedding. For Tyrion to be Aerys' son you'd have to assume that: first of all, Aerys had a long enough attention span to be infatuated with Joanna for close to a decade and, secondly, that Tywin (who would almost have to be aware of the rumours if Barristan had heard them) wouldn't have acted to keep Joanna away from Aerys. Or, for that matter, that Joanna herself wouldn't have asked her apparently loving husband to help her keep away from Aerys.


    I don't know - Arianne's chapters in AFFC were written before 2005, so way before the t.v. series had got the go-ahead. And, given that AFFC and ADWD were supposed to be one book, Quentyn's part was probably at least partially written by that point as well. I can also imagine the the t.v. producers saying something like, "So, George, you want to add more stuff to make the series better suited to television? YOU WANT TO WRITE ANOTHER BLOODY PLOTLINE? ARE YOU MAD???"
     
  13. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    About Aegon, does anyone else think that not only is Aegon a fraud, but that Tyrion is aware (or at least suspects) that he isn't the real baby Aegon? That was the impression I got when reading the book initially, but I couldn't quite finger why I thought that. Then I was flicking through some of my favourite parts of the book today and I found this, from the scene where Tyrion and Aegon are playing cyvasse.

    The last part struck me particularly; it is just so very mocking and to me reads as if Tyrion is making fun of the fairytale-like story (and he does use the phrase "splendid story" which IMO implies that he doesn't believe it's the truth) of how Aegon escaped. Admittedly, Tyrion mocks everything and anything and I certainly wouldn't suggest that this is anyway conclusive but I think it suggests that Tyrion is at least sceptical about Aegon's origins.

    There's also an episode a little further on where Aegon knocks over the cyvasse table when Tyrion wins the game and Tyrion thinks to himself that "he may well be a Targaryen after all". Of course, he could be speaking figuratively, as in "well, looks like this Targaryen has the renowned Targaryen temper", but he could also mean, quite literally, that "I thought that was a ridiculous story but, you know, I never actually saw Aegon's dead body so maybe he's actually a Targ. But probably not". I'm inclined towards the second interpretation of that remark, personally. I think Tyrion guessed from early on that Varys and Illyrio had set up Aegon as a pretender and used Connington as a means to "prove" his legitimacy.
     
  14. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    I already assumed that, actually. Is that good or bad?

    As for giving GRRM the benefit of the doubt--I am, too. I can't judge an unfinished work, after all. But nonetheless, that's the impression that I got. The plotting sort of feels rushed/shallow (best approximation for how I feel about it), which is quite funny, because it's one of the slower books, and the plots-within-plots-within-plots have reached an all time high.

    Also, I forgot that a spin on the Tyrion/Aerys theory was about Jaime/Cersei. I think that some of their so-called evidence was "they like incest and Cersei likes fire so that means she's potentially a Targaryen." I think my reaction was either a "wat" or a "lol." Don't remember which anymore.
     
  15. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Um...let's go with good? :)

    I do more or less agree with this; I think there's too much plot spread too thinly, if you get my drift. I cared about the Starks from the beginning, and then I learned to care about the Wall, then the people at King's Landing, the characters that we meet in Arya's chapters, even the Greyjoys (well, Theon and Asha) in ADWD, but I just did not, ever, care about the situation in Meereen. My interest in Dany's storyline has declined as the books went on, because it just cannot match the richness and depth of the Westerosi threads of the story despite all its attempts at exoticism (did we need that sex dance? really???).

    I actually prefer that theory to the Tyrion one, mainly for the beautiful irony of Tywin spurning his only actual child while being so proud of Jaime and Cersei. That being said, the mention of Aerys' interest in Joanna in ADWD is the only real piece of evidence in that direction; most of the other "evidence" is as laughable as you suggest.
     
  16. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Yeah, for sure. It's not even just too much plot, it's just like... I don't actually care that much about plot anymore, just the characters. Like at this point GRRM could spring another of those crazy theories on us and I just would not care. Same with all the deaths and mystery characters like Aegon; at this point, I've become so inured that I DGAF. When I first started out reading, Ned's death and the Red Wedding were so shocking, and Cat's resurrection was actually horrifying in this totally awesome way. Jaqen's appearance was "OMG is he Syrio Forel I MISS SYRIO", etc. Now, Aegon is just, "Meh, another pretender," Jon's death is "welp plot armor," Dany's was "look, I get it that all of this is significant, but all anyone cares about at this point is the damn dragons." I was actually more invested in Theon and Asha's arcs, because that was more along the lines of old ASoIaF, focusing on characters with interesting plots. If this sounds like I'm putting GRRM down as a mediocre author or something, I'm not. I enjoy his work quite a lot, but I've also come to the conclusion that I think his short stories are vastly superior to ASoIaF as it stands now.

    As for the sex: At some point in time I was reading one of the over 9000 iterations of "sex in writing" threads on Westeros that people really enjoyed the way GRRM handled sex because, well, it was important in developing character. I completely agree with Tyrion/Shae scenes, etc. but recently it's just... dunno, it comes off as kind of gratuitous. I also don't enjoy it when you're able to begin to pick out the author's preferences (Robert Jordan's such a prominent example of this, because he claims he's only writing PG13 stuff without sex, but it's like... how are the spankings etc. NOT sexual), and there's just been wayyyyyy too much sex. And this is coming from someone who enjoys Jacqueline Carey quite a bit. I suppose my problem with it is that it's not necessarily the content, but it just seems so tacky atm.

    Ditto. Then again... Bloodraven is alive was def. one of the looniest theories for me, and, welp, look at that. >_>
     
  17. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    I have to say; I actually enjoyed the Aegon storyline, particularly Jon Connington's POV. Mind you, I would probably have quickly grown to hate him if he had gone east instead of to Westeros but as it is I'm OK with that plot. Aegon's arrival actually had an immediate impact on the plot, as we saw the epilogue, which is a far cry from Dany doing something in Meereen and then no-one in Westeros even hearing about it for three damn books.


    I get your point. Personally, I don't bother arguing about mediocre authors; I argue about the ones who are good but not perfect.


    This is probably close to my objection; I don't really have a problem with the sex per se. I think that in most cases it serves a plot point (I could argue a few exceptions here like the Dany/Irri scene but I don't want to get into that). That being said, some aspects (like the sex dance I mentioned) do seem both tacky and completely pointless. I also think the way the "Eastern" continent (for want of a better description; the Free Cities remind me of the RW Ottoman empire) is exoticised is, well, kind of problematic. It's like Westeros reminds me of RW medieval Europe, but the Free Cities come across as how a RW sexually-repressed Victorian gentleman, whose knowledge of the East derives from society gossip and reading the Arabian Nights, might describe the Ottoman empire to his peers in hushed, scandalised tones at his club while secretly enjoying every minute of it. Does that make any sense?

    BTW, you subscribed to the Syrio=Jaqen theory? My respect for you has (slightly) decreased :p.
     
  18. Liadan

    Liadan Insert Title Here

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    Well, it was certainly interesting to see the interactions between Aegon and Connington. At the same time, however, I didn't have the same sense of investment that I had in his character that I'd had in newly introduced PoV characters (this counts for Arianne, etc. as well). Jaime, I obviously loved; Cersei, I hated, but I still was incredibly invested in her character, because I'd known a lot about her. Barristan's another good example of a minor character I grew to care about. Aegon, however, was 0 warning and then he suddenly shows up, etc.

    Pretty much. Mediocre authors are "entertaining but not as good."

    Yeah, it completely does. It's unrealistic and just... ugh, yeah. I totally get you.

    I was 15 at the time, give me a break. :(
     
  19. LyannaWolfBlood

    LyannaWolfBlood Ella Dictadora

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    Yeah, that's not far off what I feel. I'm interested in Aegon's impact on the plot but I don't know him as a character at all.

    OK, I guess that's forgivable :).
     
  20. DeLeyne

    DeLeyne New Member

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    I agree with most of the things all of you have written up to now about your opinion concerning ADWD. I have listed up here some of the things that I found remarkable...some in a good and some in a bad way...

    1. I couldn't believe until I read it that Quentyn really dies! Of course, another storyline might have been too much, but still? I don't understand why a character, which was introduced just in the end of AFFC and seemed to have quite some importance for the Dany-related plot in ADWD, suddenly disappears just like that!

    2. Can't believe Jon is dead! Still, I agree with those who think Melisandre might bring him back to life...that seems quite probable to me, as she definately has great powers. I also think that maybe Bran could have something to do with that later on, but it's just some kind of feeling as I still don't know HOW that could happen.

    3. I was terrified to read that my favourite character Beric Dondarrion has finally died and STAYED DEAD, but instead of him Catelyn/Stoneheart has returned! It already became clear before ADWD that he would disappear sooner or later, but still...

    4. The Dany plot in Meereen didn't convince me at all. Her trying to save the freed slaves etc. bores me quite a lot, she should concentrate on going back to Westeros at some point!

    5. I am curious to know more about Aegon...is he really Rhaegar's son or some pretender?


    That was it for now, at least the main points! Can't wait to read more in one year!