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  1. #1
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    I LOVE ASoIaF ... but...

    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. #2
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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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. #3
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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. #4
    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. #5
    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. #6
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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. #7
    The Wandering Eye Jop's Avatar
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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. #8
    Saturn Comes Back Around Evil Agent's Avatar
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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. #9
    Lemurs!!! Moderator Erfael's Avatar
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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 by Erfael; July 30th, 2011 at 02:23 PM.

  10. #10
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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. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Agent View Post
    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.
    Nuncle was awful. I also hated "this knife is my suckling babe lol" in AFfC.

  12. #12
    the Thirsty thirstyVan's Avatar
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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 by thirstyVan; August 1st, 2011 at 09:16 AM.

  13. #13
    Registered User oasis seeker's Avatar
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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. #14
    ''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. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmethystOrator View Post
    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."
    "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 .......".

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