Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Game of Thrones Halftime Report

I felt it was necessary to write an entry with more generalized comments about the book that wouldn't fit in a standard two chapter entry, and also answer a few common questions that appear in the comments.

* I'm really enjoying the book thus far, and I'd like nothing more than to tear right through the rest of the book to find out what happens. However, when I started this blog, I made a promise to my friend (and myself) to see it through to the end. That means not reading ahead and completing entries on time. But those that worry that I don't love the book and won't finish, fear not, because as I said in my first post, if I've gotten this far, I'm in for the long haul.

* The relatively slow pace of blog posts is not because I don't want to read. As I said, I'd love to just blow through the rest of it. I can read very quickly. However, I'm reading this book differently because I write entries for it. It may hurt my first experience a bit, but after I'm done with the whole series, I'll probably be very happy that I did it this way. Also, there's a million characters in this book and many have multiple nicknames. I don't have the luxury of just shrugging my shoulders and reading on, because if I confuse characters, locations, or events, it's obvious to anyone reading the blog and doesn't make for good entries. Thus, I do a lot of appendix flipping, and often ask my friend to explain things in a non-spoiler way when I don't fully understand. For example, I was at page 300 before I realized Jaime was the Kingslayer.

* I don't read all the comments because I have an extreme fear of spoilers. I have someone who screens them and forwards me the ones that contain no spoilers. He errs on the side of caution, so I might not have read your comment even if you think it isn't spoiling anything.

* To those asking me to focus more on what's going on and make fewer jokes, I'll keep your suggestions in mind, but I can't really change how I write. I'm going to miss things (sometimes important things) and I'm also going to make silly jokes and stupid comments. This blog is as much for me as it is for anyone reading. I know that this book is over a decade old and has been discussed to death, so I'll leave the serious analysis to those that are better than me at it.

*For each book, I'll do one halftime post like this with general thoughts, and one big summary post when I finish.

I hope this clarifies (and reassures) a lot of those who posted comments. This blog already has far more readers than I expected, and I'm thankful for all the feedback. If you want to talk to me directly, feel free to email me at blogoficeandfire (gmail), but make sure you don't spoil anything, or I will hunt you down and kill you, Sandor style.

More Game of Thrones halftime bullets:

* If it wasn't clear already, my favorite POV thus far is Arya by a mile. She's hilarious and awesome and she's the mischevious little kid sister I wish I had. Also, she's basically been leveling up on Nu tech points ever since the Starks landed in King's Landing, and I am excited for what she'll learn next

* My least favorite POV would have been Sansa, but more than half the time she just watches Arya do stuff, so I don't really mind her chapters. Other than her, I find the Catelyn and Eddard chapters somewhat dull. I understand they are necessary for plot exposition, but those two don't have much personality. Even Eddard's super hardcore manly northness was worn away by the bureaucracy of the Hand desk job. I'd say the Bran chapters are kind of boring too, but the kid is already crippled there's no need to pile on him more.

* My favorite non-POV character is GREGOR, and as awful as this sounds, I wish George would cut him loose more. GREGOR rage is always entertaining. But rearrange the letters in "George R.R. Martin" and you get "Restrain Gregor." Free the beast, George. Free GREGOR.

* I also like Littlefinger, because he symbolizes the American dream: person of modest birth works hard and moves up in society, only to creepily stalk the underage daughter of the woman who spurned his advances years ago.

* I like Tyrion's chapters, but I don't sympathize with him. Yes, it sucks to be a dwarf, but I doubt he'd trade his smarts or wealth or powerful bloodline for average height. If you offered Tyrion the choice between being himself or being some dumbass knight, which would he choose?

* My favorite place is the Eyrie castle, despite it being the home of fat Lysa and her annoying kid. I like the Vale's wholehearted embrace of marijuana culture, calling their bastards Stoners and being "high as honor" on the high road. Lysa and little Rob Arryn seem to be heavy users, as the side effects of pot include increased risk of infertility (check), impaired judgment (check), paranoia (check), psychological dependence (check), and intense anxiety or panic attacks (check). They really shouldn't smoke up so much.

* Why are the heroes (the Starks) so dumb? Is it something in the northern air? Most of the decisions that Cat, Ned, Sansa, Jon, and Arya make have been ridiculously stupid. While Jon and Arya are receiving excellent guidance from their peers and teachers, Cat and Ned continue to make idiotic moves left and right.

That's it for now. I could probably go on forever, but this entry is long enough already. The pace of the blog updates should pick up over the next month, as I have less real-life commitments now that the holiday weekend is over. I'll try to post once every two days or so. I hope you guys are enjoying the blog and I look forward to the rest of the books!

42 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this half-time report and it has reassured me greatly as to what this blog's goals are.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to write it.

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  2. Ditto the above

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  3. keep up the good work. and fuck the haters, i like your snarky tone.

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  4. A Halftime Report? :D Hey, I clicked back to check on last entry's comments and I get a free Halftime Report!

    Life is good.

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  5. Lovely. I am completely enjoying this blog and I want MORE jokes. Screw the people with no sense of humour! Your insights have been interesting and have made me reanalyze alot... keep it up.

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  6. If I wanted a summary, I would click to amazon. Keep up the snarky comments and insights. I am reading your blog to see how *you* perceive the books not tell me what happens. I know what happens.

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  7. Melody, you cretin. If you had half a brain you'd realize half the humor is embedded in the summary. It's a writing tool. I get the feeling our blogger has done this before. Go write your own freaking blog.

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  8. Bonus, half-time reports to boot? Very awesome, I am really enjoying your blog.

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  9. I hate to double-post, but I don't think I can edit my previous post to include the following: Love your snarky writing style, I'm voicing my support against all those sour grapes with the broken funny bones.

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  10. By summary, I meant he tells us what happens and nothing else. A high-school level, boring summary of this and that with no opinion or analysis. Here are the facts ma'am, thank you very much, where is my A? That I would find boring. That is *not* why I read this blog.

    Now if he keeps peppering his summary with the comments he does and the insights he believes are there, then *that* is worth reading. That is not, as he puts it above, "focusing on what is goin on." The comments makes this blog worth more, in my view, because it brings his own intelligence into it and lets us see the books through more eyes and learn more from it.

    I was attempting to encourage that and not the plain-jane summary. How my attempt at that failed and thus made me a "cretin", I am at a loss. I am sorry I didn't use enough words for you to follow my train of thoughts. I want him to continue what he is doing. I think he does it very well. Whether he has done it before, or whether he writes it in summary form or in bullet points, I still love to read all the snarky comments that he is willing to share.

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  11. Great blog I check it everyday.
    You are fat and you smell.
    I think you would make an excellent writer as I have to often laugh out loud at your rapier breakdown of many of the events in the novel.

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  12. Just kidding about point 1 and 3.

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  13. Great blog!!

    Just keep reading and posting, it's really fun!!!

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  14. Thanks for the report =)

    But one question - who the heck is Gunthor?

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  15. @ About Yea High

    Next time, before you start calling names to other people, I suggest you learn how to read, troll. And then read more than the first sentence.

    Grey Wolf

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  16. I don't think you can really fault the Starks too much for the decisions they make. We have the benefit of the knowledge of the omniscient reader. We see all sides and can easily see how wrong the decisions they make are.

    The problem with the Stark family is that their decisions seem correct and just at the time they make them. At least from their point of view.

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  17. Love the blog. Keep it up, and damn it, keep the jokes. My favorite part!

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  18. Your jokes and comments are the best part of your blog! Keep it up and thanks for doing it.

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  19. Honestly, you are doing an awesome job and providing much needed entertainment and a new way for many of us to enjoy the books through your eyes - making the wait for the next books much more bearable. Keep it up, this is a lot of fun to read your thoughts on each chapter.

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  20. Best blog of these books I've seen. Keep up the excellent work.

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  21. My beloved Grey Wolf,

    I defended the Blogger's right to summarize after some wackjob comes in and snarkily says, "If I wanted a summary, I would click to amazon." ... But -I'm- the troll?

    What part of her post did I misread, dink? She wrote four sentences, -one- of which didn't come off as condescending.

    I think your girlfriend can defend herself. But it was a gallant effort, ser.

    We can go into the hows and whys of summarization at a later time, if you'd like. I'm going on the assumption you agree with her assertion that people don't want any sort of summary. Which is wrong.

    This blog rocks in all ways.

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  22. Just a quick note to say that I'm really enjoying reading your blog and I think that the half-time report was a great way to answer questions instead of doing so in an entry. And for what it's worth I really enjoy the jokes in your summaries and your take on events as much as I do the plot reviews so keep it up!

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  23. AboutYeaHigh:

    I know that you're not a troll; I've seen you posting elsewhere. But I think there was a bit of misinterpretation here -- I personally read Melody's initial post as 100% supportive of this blog but denigrating other, presumably more events-focused styles.

    Let's not let this turn into another flamefest; you don't need trolls to burn down a comment thread, just well-intentioned people who are sure that they're right...

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  24. Knight of WinterJuly 8, 2009 at 6:36 PM

    @ About Yea High

    You seem to have misinterpretd Melody's comment. I'd suggest rereading her comment and perhaps rethinking yours.

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  25. I'm going to say I'm still sure I'm right when I say this blog rocks.

    If I misinterperpreted what Melody said, I apologize for that. If she meant to say there were -other- ASoIaF blogs she did not like, it wasn't in her four sentences. An example of a bad one would have been fabulous. But if that's what she meant, great. I'm 100% in agreement with her.

    However, this blog -does- summarize, and it does it in a humorous way; it gives us a summary of what happened and inserts within it a running commentary of the modern-day variety. Blogger says what many of us were thinking (but didn't know it) at the time we read these chapters.

    I'm getting more and more of my friends turned on to this thing. Keep it up!

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  26. I want a summary. Yeah, summary. Can we get more summary over here, because I want more. I just don't want a boring, fact one. I want one with his humor all through it. Dripping with it. So thick, I need to take time to read it and relish in it.

    I can see how you are reading my first post, I can see how you are interpreting it, but I also see how I restated what I truly meant in the second post. For my part, I am sorry I wasn't more clear, but that doesn't make me a "wack-job". It makes me tired when I wrote the first post and thus clarifying in my second.

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  27. Fair enough. On with the show!

    Blogger, give us the next chapter, please.

    (Yes, this is merely our way of keeping the Blogger attentive and interested in his newfound hobby.)

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  28. This is unprecedented, two people posting on the internet coming to a common agreement? Impossible I say.

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  29. I've seen people coming to a common agreement on the internet before, but actually realising it instead of flaming each other for 50 pages! They even apologised to each other! I'm not prepared for the world to come to an end.

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  30. The other Anonymous' are total losers, trolls, and hacks. Don't listen to them.

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  31. Lovin' your work Jason! You've inspired me into a re-read. Cheers! :D

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  32. The Littlefinger Summary was dead on.
    That cracked me up.

    I also love GREGOR.
    and agree GREGOR should always be in all caps.

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  33. This blog is a great reprieve from the other ASOIF sites loaded with cronies and sycophants. It's a genuinely entertaining perspective on a great series. Keep up the good work....or don't. You could pull a Martin and stop mid-blog. It is your prerogative as you owe your readers nothing.....sorry .....still bitter.

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  34. I heart the Vale of Stoners. Delightful! And please don't stop joking, you're quite amusing. :)

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  35. Yay for the halftime report idea! Definitely good refreshers on your POV without the detraction from the two-chapter entries :D Loooove this formatting. So glad to see you taking your commitments seriously.

    I'm with you on Tyrion. He IS a very sympathetic character and I enjoy his chapters, but my sympathy only goes so far. I greatly admire his strength of mind though, to live in that sort of society with his obvious liability.

    Love Arya. Maybe it's because she's so young and fierce. Like the kitten I want to squeeze who'll probably bite my face off.

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  36. I'm a longtime fan of the series and am enjoying your blog.

    I'd like to point out that Lord Tywin on the top of your power rankings is just about right...

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  37. Please please ignore those people who want you to tone down the humor. The mix of serious thoughts with snarky humor is what makes the blog!

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  38. So Littlefinger is Jay Gatsby (if Daisy had a daughter). I'll buy that.

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  39. I have to say "Fake dwarf wife" is my favorite power ranking thus far. :)

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  40. Excelent posts, great blog and idea.

    GREGOR is on fire!

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  41. Anonymous 27 posts up, Gunthor is the chief of the Stone Crows.

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Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I love feedback and comments, but please keep them spoiler-free. Enjoy!