"Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros."
My sister’s jack russell puppy, Willie, is staying with me and Georgia. It’s not going well. Georgia is pretty cranky.
To soothe her, I gave her a duck stick. She trotted off with the treat, but instead of nomming down, she dropped it behind her. And then peed on it.
She left a peed-on duck stick for Willie.
Euron’s gifts are poisoned.
"At some point, I stopped and I drew a map, and by that time I think I knew it had to be at least a novel. Probably had to be a trilogy. In ‘91 trilogies were still the form everyone was working in in fantasy. It was Jordan was the one who broke that mode by going beyond the trilogy concept, and I’m not sure that’d happened yet, by ‘91."
George R.R. Martin
(As a friend reminded me yesterday, it is the very opposite of encouraging that GRRM cites Robert Jordan as an influence on his unfinished magnum opus.)
"The Dothraki storyline is just a stepping stone for Dany’s overall storyline which is more deeply racist - essentially, a liberal white woman who goes around saving and civilising brown people." — Aamer Rahman at io9
Rahman seems to nail the plot, but miss the point. Dany’s story is precisely the story of a white liberator of non-white people, but it is about how troubling that image it is and how endemic it is in fantasy.
George R.R. Martin is a revisionist epic fantasy author, rewriting and altering some of the tropes and themes that spoiled most post-Tolkien fiction in the swords n’ sorcery genre. Just as he did with the story of the warrior son avenging his father (murdered at a wedding) and the single honorable man saving the realm (beheaded by the king), Martin is unraveling the white liberator mytheme.
I’m not going to go into detail about future books, but I’d say that A Dance with Dragons is first and foremost about the problems of hegemony and disrupted power structures (both at the Wall and in Meereen). Dany’s storyline is exactly about what Rahman says it is not, which brings me to something I see too often.
The inability to separate depictions of social ills from social ills themselves is a barrier to meaningful criticism. The author’s tone and the reactions of readers and viewers is too often sucked out of the equation. While I’d never say that works like ASOIAF or Buffy the Vampire Slayer are without their problems, it’s either asinine or foolish to say Martin and Whedon are not aware and deliberate of their actions.
Dan and David added a “crowd surf” scene to the television show. It’s a pretty little white girl freeing a bunch of darker skinned people and then getting raised above them in an act of parental fealty (they’re actually chanting “mother.”) I know some people have read that purely on the surface and thought it a quaint hero moment, but it’s so on the nose that I’d bet most viewers noticed the irony dripping off the screen. While most of the complexity in Dany’s plotline has been scoured on the TV show, this moment worked for me on both levels, as I imagine it was intended.
Rahman goes on to say he is troubled by what he thinks he is supposed to do— i.e. root for Daenerys as a fantasy hero, despite all of the problems inherent in her story— when what he is actually doing— feeling troubled— is the actual heart of the story.
It is no accident that the most psychopathic, banal lord in Westeros shares his name.
The Akin political fracas reminds me of Ramsay Snow and Roose Bolton.
We’re just over here trying to figure out how to imbed the Game of Thrones theme song on our wedding website.
Obviously I can’t let her do this, but I don’t wanna be Spoily von Spoildersen. Quandary! Advice?