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madkasel

Shifting names for chapter titles - like or dislike? (ADWD spoilers)

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I felt Martin went well overboard with this. I didn't like "Cat o' the Canals" in Feast, as Arya has always held true to her self (and people she needs to kill) and it's ramped up presence in Dance was largely unwelcome by me.

It worked sooooo well for the Reek to Theon shift, but I found it distracting and useless with Asha, Victarion, Barristan, etc. The ones that shifted for plot points rather than the person changing were, for me, the worst. It seemed especially egregious with Asha, who was always Asha. 

In fact, the over- and unnecessary use of it with other characters lessened the impact of what he did with Theon.

What does everybody else think of this? They mostly gave me the sense that Martin was bored and coming up with them was a nice little distraction, but I'm willing to be swayed to liking them.

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madkasel said:

I felt Martin went well overboard with this. I didn't like "Cat o' the Canals" in Feast, as Arya has always held true to her self (and people she needs to kill) and it's ramped up presence in Dance was largely unwelcome by me.

It worked sooooo well for the Reek to Theon shift, but I found it distracting and useless with Asha, Victarion, Barristan, etc. The ones that shifted for plot points rather than the person changing were, for me, the worst. It seemed especially egregious with Asha, who was always Asha. 

In fact, the over- and unnecessary use of it with other characters lessened the impact of what he did with Theon.

What does everybody else think of this? They mostly gave me the sense that Martin was bored and coming up with them was a nice little distraction, but I'm willing to be swayed to liking them.

 

 

I like it. I view it as more representing the notion that while we are always the names we are given, those are not the names we chose for ourselves. Thus the chapters deal more with roles and the hint at the whole masquerade of life factor. Every one is their name and yet plays different roles throughout their life.

 I always forget to not read the table of contents and dont want to have a clue as to the ordering of the plotline in the chapter titles. For instance in reading Dance, i ended up seeing "The Queen's Hand" as chapter title as i quickly clicked past the table of contents yet I had no idea who that was. That was better than reading the character's name at the start. Anyway thats a minor factor. I like it anyway.

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 He had already done it several times in Feast, so it wasn't an issue for me, except for the Theon chapter. My wife had finished before me, so when I got to that chapter I showed her an let out a little squeal of delight. Selmy's chapters could very well have been titled Barristan, but I liked them as they were.

But I have to agree with Laughing Tree. Often they were more about how the person saw their role than themselves. Quentyn's especailly. He was more about who he wanted to be, rather than who he was. And Victarion was always a follower, until he named his own chapter. And Arya is losing herself as she goes deeper into the Faceless Men's group.

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Good thoughts, all.

I still don't think it's really needed, but it's not like it ruins the books or anything. Just seems overused by George... being clever for the sake of being clever.

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madkasel said:

Good thoughts, all.

I still don't think it's really needed, but it's not like it ruins the books or anything. Just seems overused by George... being clever for the sake of being clever.

I'm inclined to agree with that, Drew.  It seems "cute" more than functional, and there's no real benefit to giving us a "preview" of the character's self-definition.  I'd sooner find it helpful at the end of the book when I'm looking back at the storyline.

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Maester_LUke said:

 

I'm inclined to agree with that, Drew.  It seems "cute" more than functional, and there's no real benefit to giving us a "preview" of the character's self-definition.  I'd sooner find it helpful at the end of the book when I'm looking back at the storyline.

 

Well put, good ser.

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