Posts tagged ‘g r r martin’


So I’ve been reading George R R Martin’s series (its called A Song of Ice and Fire, if you’re feeling masochistic) and the rant demon has possessed me. Since my rage is of an orderly compulsive sort,  I have decided to vent in numbered points.

I should add here, that for all its faults, the actual plot of the series is quite excellent. I know I will keep reading it obsessively just to know what happens next. And when Martin forgets to make people thoroughly miserable, all kinds of exciting things happen, mainly involving Daenerys and her dragons, and Jon Snow and his awesome friends. Which makes the rant slightly redundant, but who cares.
1. I don’t mind grittiness, in a general way, when it consists of a lot of non-bathing and death, but when it starts rolling around in the mud with torture and ruthlessness, and the writer in question starts making a game out of how much he can torture a character before they disintegrate, and then goes on to torture disintegrated people, it makes my head hurt. 
Murders are fine. I just tend to like my deaths clean. And quick. All this four-book long, excruciatingly drawn-out torment really gets to me after a while, and I start thinking wistfully of my thesis. For future reference, GRRM, when all your main characters are hardened murderers and your readers just feel relief with every new death, soon enough no one’s going to care enough to read further. Also you might run out of characters and that would be unfortunate.
2. Note to Sansa Stark, aged maybe twelveish, if that: Your life sucks. I’ve watched you get sold off to a louse by your oh-so-honourable father, I watched you sell out said father, I skipped horrifiedly through your endless list of beatings and strippings, I read on through your family dying/allegedly dying in awful ways, I even kept going when you were married off, and then kidnapped and then attacked by your mother’s creepy sister and her obsessive and dreadful husband. And I’ve had to leave out a lot of the comparatively minor stuff, for brevity’s sake. Stop being polite. It’s driving me insane. Yell. Get up and leave. Set things on fire. Kill someone. Just do something about it. Please.
Perhaps you could consider moving to a Georgette Heyer novel? I can promise you no one will try and marry you for another 2 years, at least, and what with your good breeding and wonderful politeness you will probably get a Happy Ending, and I can stop cringing when I see you in a chapter. 
3. And while I’m giving advice to fictional people:
Dear Brienne,
You are a girl. You’re also large. However, since you are also terribly capable of killing anyone you happen to dislike, please deal with facts a and b; the rest of us are managing quite well. Stop making me have to blush for your issues. Also, keep away from Jaime Lannister, who is a sister-doing, child-killing, lying, all-round louse. Now go kill some more people.
4. Resurrections. I just don’t like them. And resurrecting Catelyn Stark, was just low-down and stupid. She was pretty much played out, and honestly? I was relieved when she and Robb just died so I wouldn’t have to watch her agonise over Dead Ned anymore. Beric being brought back to life was, since it was a novelty then, cool. Bringing Catelyn back to life just trivialises a) her b) Beric and c) all the other people dying in the series (which is a LOT. See point 1 on grittiness).
5. GRRM: Child marriage is just plain creepy. Please stop it. You world is harsh and cruel, we GET it. Now stop with the paedophilia.
6. And Eddard Stark? Is not the paragon you seem to expect me to think he is. He was stupid. He knew almost everything we knew in Book One, and watching him passive-aggressively ruining the lives of a) his wife b) his children c) his stupid dukedom d) poor moronic Robert and e) the whole goddamn kingdom only served to convince me of this. An actual genuine good person, even if he had a death wish for himself, would’ve at least sent his daughters home and away from all the machinations in court, before he begged the evil people to destroy him.

If you look carefully, you might notice that almost everything horrible that happened in book two (and even some of book three) happened because Ned Stark spent book one busily navel-gazing, and whining about his honour, and refusing to actually do anything. Except scattering his family around the map in convenient bite-sized bits for anyone at all to attack.
Having relieved myself of all the rage, I feel obliged to say, again, that for all its many faults the series is thoroughly exciting. A lot of the characters is actual real fun people, some are dire wolves (wolfs? Probably not) and I live in hope of meeting an aurochs
More extinct animals and less torturing of sad people, I always say.
(Irrelevantly: it is very sad that the blogger spell-check cannot spell aurochs)

January 31, 2009 at 2:47 pm 7 comments

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10 other followers

Red Tape

Creative Commons License
This work by Shalini Srinivasan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

%d bloggers like this: