A Hundred Thousand Words Later…

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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20 Responses

  1. Tod Kelly says:

    This comment will make sense to few, but the whole Fire and Ice thing is reminding me of my experience with the X-Files, and for me Feast of Crows is so Season 6 that I find myself unmotivated to dive into the inevitable Season 7 of Dragons.Report

  2. Will Truman says:

    ————————————–GoG Spoiler Prevention Line————————–

    1st) Yes, though that was part of the point, apparently. He had too many characters and too many narrators for a single book, so some of the narrators (including minor ones) were in Feast while others (such as Tyrion) are in Dance. I’m not sure if you knew that, but it was something that helped me understand why Feast was the way it was. Personally? I think that there should have been a better way. I’ve been pondering a post on the subject.

    2nd) Agreed.

    3rd) I didn’t know Lady Stoneheart was supposed to be a mystery. From the second she appeared at the end of the previous book, I saw it coming. But I didn’t think they were trying to keep it a secret. However, I do have to say that her appearance at the end of the previous book did blow my mind. That I did *not* see coming.

    6th) I’m about 2/3 the way through Dance and am wondering the same thing. I don’t mean that to be a spoiler, but it is a warning of sorts.

    7th) I had the same reaction. It struck me primarily as fan service.

    8th) Good question. I would guess because most of the alleged crimes occurred before he got there. Even then, you would think that they would question a confidant. Sharply. They let lady Meriwether go, though, as well.

    9th) Agreed.Report

  3. North says:

    FWIW I enjoyed Dance considerably more than Feast so I’d encourage you to move forward. There’s a better focus on more central and interesting characters.Report

  4. carr1on says:

    I agree about the Greyjoys and Iron Islanders. I simply don’t care about them. Let them sink into the sea, I say.

    In DwD, the only interesting characters are Stannis, Jon Snow, Tyrion, Arya, and Bran.Report

  5. mike shupp says:

    I suspect, the problem a lot of us have with the Iron Islanders is that they’re barbarians. Figuratively anyhow. Ethically, politically, and technologically, they seem to run 3 or 4 centuries behind the major regions of Westros, without any interesting features. They’re Viking analogues. They’re 9th century AD characters stooging around a 14th century world, and whenever we see them they’re destroying rather than building. It’s tedious.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to mike shupp says:

      … except that they’re more a mischaracterization of how the Vikings actually lived.
      FWIW, I care a LOT less about that than RJ’s seafolk not wearing anything on their ample breasts, and running about Rigging. Owchie Owchie Owwww…. I could understand if they were size A, but the way they’re described, it’s at least size C, and that HURTS, man.Report

  6. Ryan B says:

    I am going to dissent a bit from some of the other commenters. For my money, Dance is a significantly worse book than Feast. It is centrally focused on one of Martin’s least-interesting characters (Daenerys) and the utterly pointless continent of Essos. It is more clear than even Feast that he has basically lost the thread of his story. If you’ve read Robert Jordan (God help you), you recognize this symptom well.

    This, of course, is something you’re already picking up on. The Iron Islanders and Dorne are good previews, in that they also don’t appear to matter much and they are really, spectacularly fishing boring. Stick to your main thread, Martin! That’s why we’re here!

    Also, I think you are somewhat too credulous about a couple of the “cliffhanger” events. With the exception of Ned, Martin has assiduously avoided the deaths of major characters (including Catelyn even!), so I am skeptical of pretty much anything he has to say at this point.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Ryan B says:

      Yeah, it’s entirely possible that my assumption of the ending in point 4 is incorrect, and that point 10 may well prove impermanent. Perhaps others — but experience demonstrates that Martin is sometimes … how to put this … ungentle with his characters.Report

    • North in reply to Ryan B says:

      I don’t think he’s in Jordan like territory yet and actually I felt that Feast was the apex of his Jordanism and he started reeling things back in with Dance.Report

      • Ryan B in reply to North says:

        I hold Dance responsible for one major reason: Essos. Essos is stupid. By Martin’s own admission, the series is about Westeros, so why the hell are we wasting our time on Essos? It isn’t interesting and it doesn’t matter. Add to that the fact that we only got these two rambling, time-sucking books because of the so-called “Meereenese Knot”, and my Essos-wrath burns even brighter.

        *spoilers, sort of*

        Plus, two more things: I think the Tyrion storyline in ADWD is boring as hell, the Barristan storyline simply strains credibility, and the Griff storyline is an obvious waste of everyone’s time. Everything that touches Essos becomes dumb or dumber.

        The North storyline in ADWD, however, is very, very good. The North has always been the thing Martin gets absolutely right.Report

      • Ryan B in reply to North says:

        Erm, that’s three more things. Oops.Report

  7. E.D. Kain says:

    Are we certain Brienne is dead? I did not get that impression.Report

  8. North says:

    One thing I recall thinking while reading Dance: The boys at HBO are going to either have to triple their budget or they’re going to go hardcore off the reservation with regards to plot.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to North says:

      I bet HBO tightens it up a lot. In fact, I’m expecting myself to enjoy the show a lot more than the books at that point.

      The real question is: can Martin keep up with HBO? He’s got a few years to knock off the next book, but if we have what – three more to go? – he’s going to have to write a hell of a lot faster.Report

  9. Mike Schilling says:

    I really disliked Dance when it came out, but it improved a lot on re-reading. Not all that much happens in the Samwell and Ariane threads, but they move the story forward in ways I expect to become important. Cersei’s combination of paranoia and cluelessness got her exactly what she deserved. The only completely pointless thread is Brienne’s and the truly annoying thing is that we know from the start that she’s looking in the wrong places. As for Qyburn, he’s only the second most evil Lannister henchman (so far, anyway.)Report