I LOVE ASoIaF ... but...

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Twinner, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    I am an old grumpy guy and have really enjoyed the writing and stories of GRRM every since I read Fevre Dream so long ago I can't remember when it was exactly. I found Game of Throne about 4 or 5 years ago and books 1-4 were already written and I was able to pour through them. I loved them! It is an amazing story with a lot of depth and different points of view. This quickly became my favorite series I have ever read, but not to the point that I dote on the the guys every written word (unlike some of the more doe-eyed lovers of Rothfuss' every word for example). Here is what has begun to drive me crazy as I read ADWD (and admittedly enjoyed it a great deal!).

    In another thread someone mentioned the phrase "Words are Wind" as being used a bit too much in ADWD. I remember thinking... it's a good phrase... I like it. I began to think of it as I listened to members of Congress talk about the national debt. Then I began to read ADWD. After a long and frustrating wait, I have really enjoyed the book but since someone planted that seed I am stuck hating Martin's overuse (IMO) of these things..
    1) "Words are wind"
    2) "Little and less"
    3) "Much and more"
    4) "useless as nipples on a breastplate"
    My problem is the number of times these are used, but also the wide variety of people... of different parts of that world... of different backgrounds ....different dialects ... high and low born alike.... who use these same phrases. Not saying this should bother anyone else, and I liked the book, just saying these were used too much and that I may not have even noticed if one of you jackwagons here hadn't planted the seed in my mind! :)
     
  2. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    Can't say most of these bothered me. I did notice 4 happening a few times, but did it come from any non-Lannisters? I remember it in a Tyrion and in a Cersei, but not otherwise.
     
  3. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    None of them bothered me until someone pointed out the frequent use of "Words are wind" by so many characters in so many different places and situations. I could be mistaken but I think Dany used the "Nipples" phrase once a world away and before coming into contact with any Lannisters. I will need to re-read that though because I'm questioning myself on it since you asked. :)

    Incidentally, none of them bothered me enough to make a dent in my enjoyment of the story and the book in general.
     
  4. molybdenum

    molybdenum Analyze That

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    Yeah. Everyone seems to have their own little catchphrase that they use over and over and over again:

    Like:
    Jon: "You know nothing, Jon Snow." It was cool when Mel said it, but then it kept on coming over and over and over again.

    Dany: "If I look back, I am lost." I can't even remember where she got that from.

    Tyrion: "Where do whores go?"

    Jaime: "She's been %^&#$%@ Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack and Moon Boy, for all I know."

    Everyone: "Dark wings, dark words."

    There's probably way more. It's just part of Martin's writing style. I can see how it gets annoying though.
     
  5. mshnd06

    mshnd06 the Rake

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    these bothered me as well. I understand the repetition of some for thematic and/or plot purposes but the degree often seems heavy handed. I also get that he's trying to establish idioms to flesh out the world-building but I feel it's overdone. My only real complaint with his writing.
     
  6. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    I guess these two:

    Tyrion: "Where do whores go?"

    Jaime: "She's been %^&#$%@ Lancel and Osmund Kettleblack and Moon Boy, for all I know."

    don't bother me (yet) because they are words that are rattling around in the minds of these two characters and have a direct impact on their decisions and actions in some ways. But they do recur...

    I feel a little silly for bringing these things up since I enjoyed all the books so much, just a pet peeve I guess. I can live with it since it means I get to enjoy such interesting and complex characters as I read such a good story.

    So let me end by saying two things....

    "Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor" and
    "Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn Corn"

    Neither of these two bothered me at all when I read them myself, but when I listened to the audio versions they sounded way different that when I read them. I guess I just skipped over the repetition and moved on while Roy Dotrice has to read every word out loud.
     
  7. Jop

    Jop The Wandering Eye

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    What annoyed me in ADWD was how often Dany reiterated that she "is only a young and inexperienced girl" or various versions thereof...And I agree that Tyrion asking, "Where do whores go?" was beginning to become tiresome.
     
  8. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I noticed more repetition starting around Book 4 (overuse of the word "nuncle" and "jape").

    What can you do? When someone is writing books that are nearly 1,000 pages long, this type of stuff happens. I'd almost blame his editor more than GRRM himself, who probably does it subconciously.
     
  9. Erfael

    Erfael Lemurs!!! Staff Member

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    Than again, in the oral bardic tradition, which a lot of epic fantasy mimics, repetition is part of the game. Something is much easier to remember if similar formulas and patterns are followed throughout.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  10. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    I found this statement by GRRM on his NAB (Jul. 18th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)) interesting in regards to this:

    "My editor has tried to take out "must needs" several times. I always put it back in. I like the phrase, and the archaic flavoring it gives."
     
  11. End Of Disc One

    End Of Disc One Registered User

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    Nuncle was awful. I also hated "this knife is my suckling babe lol" in AFfC.
     
  12. thirstyVan

    thirstyVan the Thirsty

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    Am I the only one that wasn't annoyed by this? I like Nuncle. And the repetition by pretty much every major character, i dunno. It didn't bother me at all. Everyone has their little mantra.

    EDIT: I looked it up out of curiosity and got this, thought it was interesting.

    An uncle: "Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?" (Shakespeare). [From the phrases an uncle, mine uncle.]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  13. oasis seeker

    oasis seeker Registered User

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    It didn't bother me either. I just looked at it as dialogue quirks, like how nowadays someone might say "man" alot or "bro" or use all kinds of words and phrases repeatedly throughout their speech.
     
  14. mars

    mars Registered User

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    ''Words are wind'' ironically sums up ADWD for me, all that talk about deeds, and the actions truly matter yet the book is almost completely filler.

    I thought these phrases the books they appeared, or subtly fade from notice cause would want to entertain the reader by inventing new ones. No, Jon Snow even goes into deep thought about how he knows nothing, Tyrion asks pointless questions like some drunk.
     
  15. TheEvilKing

    TheEvilKing Registered User

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    "Must needs" is awesome. I also enjoy "leal" and "jape".

    Not a fan of "nuncle". Or the new way of telling the time that everyone in Westeros (and Essos) has discovered, "the hour of the .......".
     
  16. Evil Agent

    Evil Agent Saturn Comes Back Around

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    I agree that "must needs" is good. But I don't like "nuncle". I'm also getting sick of "nipples on a breastplate". And I'm even getting tired of "much and more" because it's used so...many...times!
     
  17. TooNice

    TooNice Banned

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    words are wind was said waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many times, even if it is a saying of the world, but other than that nothing bothered me about GRRM's writing.
     
  18. heapdogg

    heapdogg New Member

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    In the spirit of this thread...

    I, like Twinner caught on to TSoIaF after they were written and loved the character development and point-of-view writing style. Now that I have to wait for the last book (or two) to come out I want more of that style!

    The one thing I didnt like throughout the series was the graphic detail that GRRM went into while describing the sex scenes and twisted violent acts (Reek and the two boys in ASOS). Dont get me wrong, I like the dark aspect of these characters, I just wish it could be more left to the reader's imagination. Can anyone out there help me find such a series?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2011
  19. Twinner

    Twinner Registered User

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    Dark characters, shady dealings, terrible things happening but not right out in the open but left to the imagination.... When I want that I turn on C-Span to watch the House of Representatives here in the US. :)

    When I went looking for things fill the gap after I had read all the Ice and Fire that had been written the things that filled the void best for me were:

    Anything by Joe Abercrombie, but I liked Best Served Cold the best.
    Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora.
    I also really enjoyed The Name of the Wind but don't really count it as being in the same style. Martin is more meat and less flowers while to me Rothfuss is more flowers and less meat. (I realize that this last statement might only make sense to me.)
     
  20. kged

    kged Gloriam Imperator

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    I would have no objection to "words are wind" or "the hour of the X", if they'd been in the books from the start. It's perfectly reasonable for this world to have its own proverbs and cliches - "a game of thrones" rather leaps to mind - but to suddenly introduce new ones feels a bit off. It breaks continuity. "Dark wings, dark words" goes back to the earlier books IIRC, and is a perfectly acceptable phrase for me.

    You what I am sick to death of? Summer Islanders being described as having "skin as black as coal/midnight/maester's ink", and wearing a cloak of coloured feathers. It seems like it's every single time one of them crops up, even the most fleeting peripheral character, he wheels that one out again. WE KNOW. BLACK, WITH FEATHERS. GIVE IT A REST.