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02 June 2013 @ 10:53 pm
So tell me....  
people who have read the Game of Thrones books,
This show is just so unremittingly violent, and more than that, hopeless. They kill off almost everyone who you even give a damn about, in the most brutal way possible, and I wonder why keep on with it? Is there a point, when you finally get to the end? Or is it just one long relentless blood bath? Because if that's all it is, I think I'm done. Tonight's episode was just horrible, upsetting, and I just would like to know if it ever gets better?


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spiffikinsspiffikins on June 3rd, 2013 05:31 am (UTC)
Yeah...that sounds like my vague memory of reading the first book. I never picked up the second book, and other than my initial squee of "ooh fantasy novels making it as a tv show", I haven't really had any interest in watching it.
bookaddict43: dontmakesensebookaddict43 on June 3rd, 2013 06:44 am (UTC)
I haven't seen the episode yet - waiting for someone with a computer to download it...

The books haven't finished as yet, despite everyone waiting for ever for book #5. The glimpses of people's humanity keep me going, but at the end of book #5 - things hadn't improved at all.
(Deleted comment)
Jhava: GoT_Tyrionjhava on June 3rd, 2013 09:24 am (UTC)
I've stuck with the books because there are a few characters who I've become invested in who *do* stay alive. The episode you just watched is probably the darkest point in the series; it's the point in the books where I just went, seriously? Did he just do that?!?
cincoflexcincoflex on June 3rd, 2013 11:01 am (UTC)
heh, you're talking to someone who gave up on the series by the first book, here. Hubby has read all of them (so far) and assures me that things do not get better. I myself can't understand the appeal--Martin seems to glorify rape and violence against women in particular, and showcases the worst of human excesses and vices in all his characters. It's just depressing as hell to me. I prefer books that have *some* faith in our species.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: guhidontlikegravy on June 3rd, 2013 11:56 am (UTC)
That episode will air here tomorrow (although I won't see it til Thurs because of reasons) so thank you for the heads up! I have been feeling much the same lately; it was what prevented me getting into it the first time I tried to watch. I gave it a second chance and got attached to some characters who were promptly slaughtered one by one and there are now two left and if either of them die I'm out.
I will call her George: Cake or Deathstrangevisitor7 on June 3rd, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
I quit reading the books when my 2nd favorite character got killed (well he could be alive he was only significantly woulded at the end of the book). I couldn't take the sad hoplessness of it all. Hubby loves it because he thinks it's more realistic then a happy ending but I like my TV to at least have hope.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: marmiteidontlikegravy on June 4th, 2013 12:03 am (UTC)
I like my TV to at least have hope.

This.
lillie: grrm winter is cominglilliew on June 3rd, 2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
I didn't watch last night's eps yet but having read the books, I know what's coming in the last two eps, so I know what you are referring to. There is one more event coming up that isn't as violent but just as shocking.

One of the best things I've like about the series is the change of perspective you get as you get to know various characters and see how their decisions make or break them. Characters I hated, I learned to like, and ones I loved, I learned to dislike.

I think because it's HBO, they do alot more with the nudity, sex and violence. Yes, it's in the books but not as much in your face like it is on screen. The event you are likely referring to is probably the worst of the bunch in the books.

Does it get better? Yes in ways, and in other ways, no. Some people get what's coming to them, and others don't. It is a very brutal world here and it will be interesting to see it through to the end, especially with the knowledge that Winter is Coming and Westeros is too busy fighting to notice.
arhyalonarhyalon on June 3rd, 2013 01:24 pm (UTC)
Red Wedding, was it? I have not read beyond the end of book three...I own the others but just haven't gotten to them yet.

But when I left off, at the end of Book Three...people had started coming BACK from the dead...
I will call her George: Punctuationstrangevisitor7 on June 3rd, 2013 02:40 pm (UTC)
The hopelessness is why I stopped reading the books after #5. And when hubby (who read the last book) told me one of my favorite characters "might" be dead, I gave up on thinking I might come back to them. The books are unrelentingly violent even more than the show.

There appears to be no end in sight and I feel like things just keep getting worse for the stark family. For me they were the only honorable family and the books just kept crushing them - so unfairly.

The violence continues and as far as I could see there was no happy or satisfying resolution to be found for anyone!

I know what incident happened last night and it upset me greatly when i read the books. I watched the first season just for Sean Bean and I've reluctantly watched more and I don't know why I do. I feel like it's very stupid of me especially since I know what happens and it doesn't make me happy and typically that's the way I like my TV.

So In Conclusion:
Still Violent & Hopeless
No Happy ending for anyone
No resolution on the horizon



Edited at 2013-06-03 02:41 pm (UTC)
Jenn: layersjeymien on June 3rd, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
The Red Wedding really is one of the darkest parts of the overall story so far. It's horrible and violent and even George had a tough time writing it originally in the books - his blog at grrm.livejournal.com has interesting stuff in it. I stuck with the books afterwards and I have to admit I have not watched the episode yet. When this season began, I had expected them to put it off till season 4 since they split the book into 2 seasons... but I knew it was coming.. and I knew it would be one of the harshest scenes/episodes of television I'd ever watch... still sort of.. waiting to watch.
George does have a higher kill count than many other authors/television writers I've read/watched. He makes Joss Whedon seem like an innocent baby next to a serial killer. But even at his worst, his deaths always add to the overall story... and the horror of the story.
It may seem like a fantasy story universe.. but over reading the series, I've decided George is actually writing horror.
I don't know if this will help:
http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/06/02/game-of-thrones-author-george-r-r-martin-why-he-wrote-the-red-wedding/

Edited at 2013-06-03 06:48 pm (UTC)
Taxicab Messiahdonna_c_punk on June 3rd, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely agree with this. GRRM's deaths are at least to push the story forward in some manner than for shock value like Whedon's.
Becca: Aidan's Kili by beccadgbeccadg on June 4th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
It may seem like a fantasy story universe.. but over reading the series, I've decided George is actually writing horror.

Thank you! You maybe the first person I've seen honestly place the novels in their proper genre. I've never read one of the books or watched an episode of the TV series because I got that clear impression early on. It wasn't just hearing spoilers for the first book, or the third. It was from hearing what GRRM thinks a story should be like. I will always HATE Lev Grossman for calling GRRM "The American Tolkien." He is sooo far from Tolkien it isn't even funny. I mean the man has said he believes Tolkien shouldn't have had Gandalf come back as Gandalf the White. That's no "JRRT." It takes more than using a fantasy setting and having an RR in your name to be Tolkien.
I_llbedammned: readi_llbedammned on June 5th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC)
I rather like the low fantasy horror feel to it. Hearing it identified as horror makes the book easier to describe to be honest.
Becca: Vampires Button by beccadgbeccadg on June 5th, 2013 06:47 am (UTC)
Horror is how it should be identified. One of the cues is the fact it, "makes the book easier to describe."

Don't get me wrong. I understand how some people get confused. They figure the setting, the trappings so to speak, are what determine the genre, but that isn't how you identify a horror story. Horror isn't a matter of where the story is set, or what kind of creatures it has in it, but what the story has to say and how it says it. That's why some people say that Frankenstein is a sci-fic story and some say horror, or Aliens.

Those disputes equally happen in fantasy. There are stories I enjoy that some classify as "dark fantasy" because of their having elements in them that people consider horror elements. I simply consider them fantasy because I don't see them as telling horror stories just using vampires, werewolves, etc. Then you have something like this series that might possibly have some zombie like things north of the wall, but not much that people think of as horror trappings and so some people call it fantasy. This series however isn't about magic. It's about horror. I don't believe GRRM has been very subtle about it either. I think "winter is coming" says how its all going to end. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Edited at 2013-06-06 03:19 am (UTC)
Jenn: crossover junkiejeymien on June 7th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
Since I figured that out, it hasn't bothered me, though really, he's subverting a lot of genres in writing it. I mean, I *like* horror. It's not the type of horror you expect nowadays - but it's horror in how it acts - from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horror_fiction), "is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, scare or startle viewers/readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of Horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society."

This definition perfectly describes A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones. He's mashed up the fantasy (gods/magic/dragons), historical fiction (settings/politics/culture) and horror (the white walkers, character behavior) and subverted it very well. But I think that people need to know it's horror. The gruesomeness in the story leads to major storylines, it's not gratuitous, and that's a trait of good horror. It should evoke an emotional response, it should be an integral plot point. I think he uses it very very well - in fact, using events from our own history for horror purposes, not something people think of.

He's definitely not Tolkien. I can think of many fantasy authors more Tolkienish than George. George fits more into the ranks of gothic horror writers - I'd put him more into the groupings of Lovecraft or Poe.
Becca: Vampires Button by beccadgbeccadg on June 7th, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
I mean, I *like* horror.

I wouldn't say I don't read horror, but I think it's fair to say I'm more particular about what I read in that genre. Because horror is about intent, as that definition begins with, "...a genre ... intended to...," it can be very hit or miss. To be a successful entrant in it's genre it has to succeed at, "inducing feelings of horror and terror."

He's mashed up the fantasy ..., historical fiction ... and horror ... and subverted it very well.

I haven't tried it in anyway, but given that it seems to have a psuedo-medieval low fantasy setting, I don't think it's much of a mash up. It's just horror with that particular setting. I mean it's one thing for GRRM to say The Red Wedding was inspired by a particular historical act, it's another to actually write about that particular act. Not to mention, having heard which act supposedly inspired the piece, that act isn't the most horrific one of that general place and period. There's a reason people say, "Truth is stranger than fiction."

But I think that people need to know it's horror.

Absolutely! With the pseudo-medieval low fantasy setting to broaden it's appeal to some readers who like history and-or fantasy, it's really important that people know it's horror. I like fantasy, but within it I'm not generally fond of "epic fantasy." I've never managed to finish The Lord of the Rings. So, I'd be inclined to avoid A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones just from it's length before getting to the question of its actual genre. Knowing it's actual genre, and which episodes seem to have horrified the most people, I can't say as it sounds like horror with appeal to me. Not to mention it seems to be headed for an entirely bleak ending.

...using events from our own history for horror purposes, not something people think of.

Being inspired by things from "our own history" isn't at all unusual--especially in horror. Bram Stoker's Dracula was inspired by ghost stories and actual history, and the Horror Writer's Association present the Bram Stoker Awards. The whole serial killer genre frequently draws inspiration from particular actual serial killers. Hell, Stephen King got his idea for his novel Cell from watching how someone talking on a hands free headset seemed to resemble a zombie.

He's definitely not Tolkien.

Thank you.

I can think of many fantasy authors more Tolkienish than George.

And I'd be more interested in hearing about them then GRRM. ;-)

George fits more into the ranks of gothic horror writers - I'd put him more into the groupings of Lovecraft or Poe.

I like a lot of Lovecraft and Poe, but then a lot of it is short stories. Also in Poe's case he wrote mysteries as well as horror. It's the Mystery Writers of America who present the Edgar Awards. 8-)
Jenn: confessor and seekerjeymien on June 10th, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's the only difference with Lovecraft and Poe - George's is writing an epic which is why they keep saying Tolkien for him I think.


I'm not entirely sure on the bleak ending - but I think he's himself has said "bittersweet".

True, most writers write what they know, and I think George has done a lot of research into historical fiction - he's said himself has recommended a number of historical fiction to his fans - Maurice Druon as one of them. Sometimes I think he sees his series as a historical fiction of a fantasy world.

As some one who has read all of the current books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.. there are a lot of up and downs in the future. But it does go somewhere. Just 2 more books to go.

American fantasy writers that I like and will argue some of them deserve a designation of American Tolkien more than George as they actually write high fantasy/epics - for reading suggestions!

Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.
Terry Goodkind's Sword of True series.
Terry Brooks's Shannara novels
David Eddings - imo the Belgariad is practically an American fantasy classic
Raymond Feist - Magician:Apprentice, Magician:Master, Silverthorn, A Darkness at Sethanon (the first Rifwar saga.. then into many many other Riftwar novels/series)
Mercedes Lackey - all the Velgarth/Valdemar books (bit more in a fluff category, but damn good high fantasy, love em all)
Ursula K. Le Guin - hell of a world builder - The Earthsea novels.
Anne McCaffrey - the Dragons of Pern novels
Dennis L. McKiernan - The Iron Tower etc - so Tolkien inspired, he wrote a sequel to The Lord of the Rings that his publisher couldn't get authorized - it was rewritten as an original series.
L.E. Modesitt Jr - everyone loves The Saga of Recluse, but I want to mention The Spellsong Cycle, it's one of my favorites
Melanie Rawn - Dragon Prince and Dragon Star trilogies - if only she's finish the third in Exiles.

And for some Canadian authors just because well, they deserve some Tolkienish recognition:

Guy Gavriel Kay - imo the King of Canadian fantasy: The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy to start
Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen - amazing series, I must push it everywhere I can.
Also - Ian Cameron Esslemont - co creator of the Malazan world - Novels of the Malazan Empire - much darker high fantasy - both these series actually get some GRRM comparisons but I have to pimp them out.
Tanya Huff - all of them, but especially the Quarters series

And yeah, there's my suggestions for American Tolkien..

Becca: Alberich by beccadgbeccadg on June 13th, 2013 07:48 am (UTC)
...George' is writing an epic which is why they keep saying Tolkien for him I think.

It wouldn't surprise me. I've certainly seen people be confused about some of the stories Stephen King has written, and about some that Clive Barker has.

I'm not entirely sure on the bleak ending - but I think he's himself has said "bittersweet".

Maybe it will be more "downbeat" than "bleak," but I certainly wouldn't read it waiting for a happy ending.

Just 2 more books to go.

Assuming he a) manages to keep to that limit, and b) doesn't die before finishing it. I know Robert Jordan died without finishing the Wheel of Time series.

American fantasy writers that I like and will argue some of them deserve a designation of American Tolkien more than George as they actually write high fantasy/epics - for reading suggestions!

Cool! I adore Mercedes Lackey and Ursula K LeGuin!! I picked books of theirs for my Top TEN F/SF Books by Woman Writers post. Anne McCaffrey only made my Honorable Mention list because I wasn't happy learning how she coded the female dragons, and the way the dragons relate to humans. Tanya Huff isn't on the list at all because I've only ever read her stories that involve Victoria Nelson and-or Henry Fitzroy, and I thought some people might argue that they were horror. I wouldn't call them that, but I wanted to avoid a potential fight. I'm not sure if I've read any of the others. I've certainly heard about each of the first five. I knew someone who insisted The Wheel of Time was better than the Lord of the Rings. I've also heard about Guy Gavriel Kay. I actually learned just recently that he helped Christopher Tolkien put the Silmarillion together for publication. Thanks for reminding me of each of the ones I've only heard about, and for giving me new names to learn about!
Jenn: crazy random happen stancejeymien on June 13th, 2013 02:10 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna have faith in George for now (here's hoping he doesn't go getting something fatal like Robert did!) and atleast George has told the GoT guys his outline for after book 5 in case something happens. Brandon Sanderson did an awesome job finishing The Wheel of Time, but you can't always get that lucky! - Robert also knew his blood disorder was fatal and spend his last few years alive putting together everything Brandon would need too..

Glad to find another Mercedes Lackey fan!
Tanya Huff - yeah, everyone knows about her urban fantasy/horror stuff with Blood Ties - probably because of the tv show. But her other work is wonderful and oddly, it was her other work that I got to know her work from (since high school for me, waaaay before the tv series :)). I follow her LJ andpuff :)
And yep, GGK and Tolkien... definite link there eh :)
Becca: Alberich by beccadgbeccadg on June 13th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
I'm gonna have faith in George for now...

Totally understandable. I've told avid fans of the series I might read it when it's finished. I'm just not picking it up until I know how it ends. I'm not personally prepared to put that kind of faith in him is all.

Brandon Sanderson did an awesome job finishing The Wheel of Time, but you can't always get that lucky! - Robert also knew his blood disorder was fatal and spend his last few years alive putting together everything Brandon would need too.

That's cool! I hadn't heard that.

Glad to find another Mercedes Lackey fan!

The funny thing is, as much as I love all of the Velgarth/Valdemar books I've read, I actually got into Misty through one of her Diana Tregarde books. She's only written three of them, and I only picked it up then (1990, Children of the Night) because I was looking for any stories with good guy vampires in them. I have lots of the Velgarth/Valdemar books. Redoubt: Book Four of the Collegium Chronicles is currently in my "To Read" pile.

Tanya Huff - yeah, everyone knows about her urban fantasy/horror stuff ... it was her other work that I got to know her work from (since high school for me... :)).

I picked up the first of the "Blood Books" in 1991. I bought it for the same reason I bought Children of the Night. I was looking for good guy vampires. People who think of them starting with the Buffy TV series, or Twilight have no appreciation of how Joss first tried to tell Buffy's story in 1992, or that series like Tanya Huff's, and The Vampire Diaries started in 1991.

I follow her LJ andpuff :)

I generally try not to follow writers I like personally, though I definitely fail with Misty, Jim Butcher and Neil Gaiman. Do you know how the authors you've mentioned besides Misty feel about fan fiction? I know Misty allows it under Creative Commons License, and Anne McCaffrey was fully accepting of it before she died, but that's all I know. x_x

Edited at 2013-06-13 10:26 pm (UTC)
I_llbedammned: readi_llbedammned on June 5th, 2013 03:02 am (UTC)
There are a lot of bloody moments, but at times I can see potential for someone greater to seize power. Honestly it is very bloody and the last book had several people lose their way that I did not see coming. I still enjoy it, but it is not happy.
Robertarobi_travels on June 6th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
I love the show and as long as the "three bastards", John Snow, The Imp, and the kings bastard blacksmith boy are around I'll watch. I kind of hope they end up running everything.