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The Others (Dance spoilers)


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#1 JerusalemJones

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:13 PM

Is there anyone else who was disappointed at the lack of Others in this book? Don't get me wrong, I loved Dance. I love this story, I love reading where it is going, this book moved so much better than Feast and I'll have to wait a few weeks to determine if I love it more than Storm, but DAMN why all this crap about the others if they could have done most of the story without them.

Sure, without the Others there would be no need for the Night's Watch, the wildlings and all kinds of other cool stuff that is in this series. But to be honest, I wanted the Others in this book. I wanted a real and tangible threat on the POVs from them and their kin (though the whole "dead things int he wood...dead things in the water" was great). And I really, really would have loved if, while Jon lay dying in the yard we heard a horn blast, followed by a horn blast, followed by a horn blast as the last thing that Jon heard.

Maybe this is why Storm was one of the strongest books. Because although the story did not end, it tied up so many loose ends. This book tied up nothing, moved everything farther and farther along, and we STILL have yet to engage in what is the real enemy of the series.



#2 Skowza

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 08:38 AM

I was a little surprised as well; it seems like the last 2 books have so much ground to cover, and I hope we dont have another "oops I need one additional book to finish this off" issue.  Also, with all the new characters and POVs I feel like he's going to have to do another Red Wedding or SoS character-wipe in Winds just to cut the character list back to a reasonable number, i.e. Westeros Bleeds is in order...
~Maybe Stannis & Co. really are  all dead.  If so, maybe Mel will finally figure it out...

JerusalemJones said:

And I really, really would have loved if, while Jon lay dying in the yard we heard a horn blast, followed by a horn blast, followed by a horn blast as the last thing that Jon heard.

+1



#3 madkasel

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 04:18 PM

The threat sure is mysterious, isn't it?

And now with news of "dead things in the water" we have another glimpse into the terror they can spread.

Maybe we'll learn more of them through Bran.



#4 Chipsdtown

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 01:14 AM

I think the bigger picture is Jon Snow death could mean the end of the night watch. The wildings at the wall were following the Jon not the Night watch. So if Jon Snow dies and stays dead then the Night Watch is doomed cause they will rebel and kill them all because they are passed the wall and out number them like 50 to 1. Also were is the horn of Winter and who has it. My thought is the Sam has it and the horn is the black one Jon found with the dragon glass dagger and arrow heads left for him to find. Though the Others threat is reaching its climax and hopefully it will happen in the next book.



#5 madkasel

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 04:01 PM

Chipsdtown said:

I think the bigger picture is Jon Snow death could mean the end of the night watch. The wildings at the wall were following the Jon not the Night watch. So if Jon Snow dies and stays dead then the Night Watch is doomed cause they will rebel and kill them all because they are passed the wall and out number them like 50 to 1. Also were is the horn of Winter and who has it. My thought is the Sam has it and the horn is the black one Jon found with the dragon glass dagger and arrow heads left for him to find. Though the Others threat is reaching its climax and hopefully it will happen in the next book.

 

The young wildling hostages held by the NW could keep things relatively in line so the NW isn't cut to pieces.



#6 LordofBrewtown

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 06:11 PM

 As much as I thought I liked this book, JJ's post has really made reflect on this (& Feast), and led me to think GRRM has lost his way a bit.  As stated, nothing really gets wrapped up.  I liked Quentyn's chapters; but, really what did they accomplish?  Did they really make things any more unpredictable?  Likewise with Brienne in Feast.  I'm not saying cut them altogether.  However, it's like GRRM is stringing us along/building things up too slowly - both books could have been just as effective with a hundred to two hundred less pages.  

 

Specifically the Ohters - I can't see how George can wrap this up in two books - unless the Others prove to be a far less formidable opponent than we've been led to believe



#7 JerusalemJones

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 11:43 AM

I think that about half-way through Winds the Others are going to show up, and something is going to have to happen so that they can get past the wall. Or perhaps all those Dead Things in the Water ™ come across and make things terrible for the Watch. Otherwise, Winds is going to involve moving all the pieces towards the final battle with the Others, with Dreams being the war itself.

Somehow, though, I think it jsut might be that the Others are not the final enemy, that their story might talke place the last half.first half of the next two books, that the final struggle for the throne will follow the war. The story has been so much about the machinations involving the throne, and the Others are taking so long to appear...well, who knows what GRRM has in mind. I could be way off here.



#8 madkasel

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 03:20 PM

I see what the LOB is saying. We've had two books, one of them MASSIVE, and the story Has. Advanced. Very. Slowly.

I mean... just look at the machinations to get the Wildlings south of the wall. Or Dany to where she is. And now in TWO BOOKS he's going to resolve the Others. The Throne. The North. Etc.

He's going to have to change speeds dramatically or add another book or three. Or, I suppose, have some hook (like with the prior abandoned plan to jump 5 years) that'll kick things ahead.



#9 Marlow

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:23 PM

One of the complaints I've seen is that 5-year gap plan being scrapped in the first place. GRRM's reasoning was that as he started to write after the 5-year gap, he had to do too many flashbacks to cover the important things that happened over that 5-year period. Now readers are questioning what exactly has happened in these two books that would have caused that problem? What happened that needed all those flashbacks?

I think he should have stuck with the 5-year gap, aged the kids, got their "training" out of the way, and kept the pace going. Instead we got what? 11 real world years of waiting for something to happen.

If he quickens the pace, Feast and Dance are really going to stand out in the series after it's finished as a bit of a bog that newcomers will have to wade through halfway through.

The fact that Dany seems to be back at the starting line again really irked some fans. It's like stalling. Some people think she'll quickly gather up the Dothraki and head back to Meereen. That would take quite a while. They can't all ride on Drogon. Getting there as a Khalasar will be like reading her chapters in AGoT again. Something else has to happen. Maybe they reject her and she just flies for Westeros.



#10 AegonTargaryen

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 05:46 AM

In my opinion the Others have made a big appearance in Dance with Dragons. While everybody is looking for pale, gaunt creatures that can be easily dispatched with a dragonglass dagger (even by the "great warrior" Samwell Tarly) or a Valyrian Steelblade, the true power of the Other (no plural "s" here) has been demonstrated throughout Dance with Dragons. The relentless, icy grasp of Winter has descended on the North. From multiple viewpoints, we see how the "mighty" armies of men are brought to a grinding halt.

The irony is, men are still oblivious to the doom that descends on them. Instead of truly preparing for Winter, they are still plotting and marching against each other, no matter the cost in human life. They continue to claw their way through ever increasing amounts of ice and snow to fight, burn and torture each other for titles, wealth and territory. The one man who tries to mobilize the forces of humanity is brought down by members of his own order. "homo homini lupus". This is obviously an essential part of this story.

But for some reason, a lot of people appear to have expected this to be your typical "young-hero-finds-some-dragons-and-saves-the world-from-the-great-evil-Ice-Overlord" scenario. Dany taking her Dragons, conquering Westeros and saving everybody at the wall ? Excuse me ?  Why would you expect this after reading books 1-4 ?



#11 AegonTargaryen

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 02:03 AM

Quote Marlow: "Instead we got what? 11 real world years of waiting for something to happen. If he quickens the pace, Feast and Dance are really going to stand out in the series after it's finished as a bit of a bog that newcomers will have to wade through halfway through."


There is nothing to "wade through" here. Dance with Dragons is a huge, epic and sprawling book with a lot happening, possibly more than in any other book of the series, except Storm of Swords. I really enjoyed it and I am sure many others do aswell.

Tyrion digesting the murder of his own father and his exile and finally returning to his old self. A journey into the heart of the old world. Daenerys the Conqueror struggling to become a "good and just" ruler and failing in it*. The horrors of Ramsay Bolton. The appearance of a Targaryen Prince long thought dead. A journey into the cold wastes of the north and the fate of Bloodraven. Bran whispering to his father - such a beautiful scene ! "The north remembers" and Lord Manderly's Frey-pie. The Dragons growing into truly fearsome beasts. Comic relief: Yunkai forces assembled. The madness of war and pestilence. The memories of Ser Barristan, which will be key to resolving several important questions of the past. The harsh grip of Winter descending on Westeros. The hall of faces in the Braavosi temple. Information on the Doom of Valyria. Jon Snow showing he is a true heir of Eddard Stark**. Dragonlore. The cult of R'hllor and Prophecy. Cersei's walk of shame. The start of what you could call the "third Blackfyre rebellion" and the return of Targaryen forces to Westeros. And much more.

Dance has added several layers to the story, geographically and historically. Persons and events described in the Duncan & Egg storyline are connected to the Game of Thrones storyline. The events in Summerhall appear to be at the centre of things. The story of Dunc and Egg will probably find its resolution there. The present Song of Ice and Fire (Rhaegar's song ?) might well have started there. In the end, we will have one big epos that can truly compared to Tolkien's Middle Earth.

------------
*Sidenote: It is quite interesting how many people despise Tywin Lannister but apparently want Daenerys just to become like him.
** In every way, from "The man who passes the sentence ..." to being blind to the machinations of those around him, to paying a terrible price for doing the right thing.



#12 Marlow

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 04:39 AM

AegonTargaryen said:

There is nothing to "wade through" here. Dance with Dragons is a huge, epic and sprawling book with a lot happening, possibly more than in any other book of the series, except Storm of Swords. I really enjoyed it and I am sure many others do aswell.

We'll have to agree to disagree.

I'll be interested to see if our views change when the series is complete and we do a reread. I predict I'll still openly groan when I get to Feast and Dance and I'll be skipping entire POVs.






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