The more I write anything about the troll portion of my novel, the more I struggle. I find myself less and less motivated to write it because it’s awkward and very difficult to write. There’s some severely controversial parts but the real problem is consistency along with endless spawns of ideas.
So as I write this chapter, I’m at a bizarre crossroad where I’m having trouble deciding what items Marialeth discovers in this chest. She’s at an old trading post but there is no indication when it was destroyed nor by whom. We can assume that the responsibility most likely will be from the Arch Lich’s army when they ravaged the region. However, the items in the chest ought to be meaningful and therein lies the issue for me.
The primary driving force behind Cersei Lannister’s paranoia is a prophecy she was given by Maggy the Frog. In the upcoming season 5 of Game of Thrones, the producers have revealed that we will actually see one of the rare flashbacks that will unveil exactly what this prophecy she is haunted by is about. It’s such a crucial element to Cersei’s back story that it has driven the producers to defy one of their rules for the show (no dreams or flashbacks). The prophecy talks partly foretells the coming of a beautiful queen who will take everything dear away from her. But who is this beautiful queen that Cersei fears?
One of the most interesting upcoming story arcs in Game of Thrones is Sansa Stark’s transformation that will be playing out in Season 5. Thus far, we’ve only seen a single glimpse of the physically darker version of her as Alayne Stone with the first moment where she finally engages in the actual Game of Thrones in episode 8 of season 4. This mostly lines up with her ending chapter where she hears about the plot from Petyr Baelish in reclaiming Winterfell. From Sophie Turner herself, she has revealed that her character will undergo a massive transformation from the innocent, naive little girl to a far more politically savvy manipulator in the upcoming season. But what does this mean?
There’s a great series on YouTube where Preston Jacobs does a pretty good job explaining the details surrounding Littlefinger/Petyr Baelish’s debt scheme. However, the main question that has yet to be answered in his series is: what is Littlefinger, indeed, up to?
In reading various sites or checking out videos concerning Game of Thrones with regards to the plot, I noticed that the vast majority of people are very focused on aspects such as Jon Snow’s mother, Tyrion’s true heritage, the Littlefinger scheme, etc. However, as the chapter on the Red Wedding has taught us about George RR Martin’s style of development, most of these things are a distraction away from some of the overarching elements that surrounds the books but periodically and subtly make entry here and there. The one major thing that people haven’t really talked about is the whole “Winter is Coming” part. And that’s what I will cover in this blog post.
There’s some very interesting commentary videos on conspiracy theories within the Game of Thrones/Story of Ice and Fire realm such as the Martell grand plot, Mance Rayder’s scheming, etc. Considering that the series is based around various families and individuals trying to outdo each other for power, none of these conspiracy theories should be considered that far fetched. But what is the end goal or point of all this?
After getting hooked on the TV series Game of Thrones, I decided to supplement my watching material as well as my own writing through picking up George RR Martin’s novels. Part of the decision was to get a better view of his world and delve into the details that the TV show might be missing. Another part was to get ahead in some ways and find out the aspects of the TV show that critics who are huge book fans decry constantly. And the last part was to enter into the verbal world because I, too, am working on my own fantasy novel and, as my writing instructors at UCI once said, “Read while you write.”
Here’s an excerpt from my novel that I wanted to share:
I mentioned that I completed William Gibson’s Zero History last week. The novel is the last part in the triology and marks Gibson’s latest attempt to partake in current fads. The book reads more like a brand label name dropping exercise as opposed to a story. The characters are flat and unremarkable and the dialog often times is just a confusing exchange of thoughts between two characters. Yet this is typical Gibson which is why we mostly read him.
The main plot of the book is an industrial espionage attempt that ends up getting foobar’d when one of the agents for the corporate leader goes awol. Quite honestly, it was really hard to figure out what was going on in trying to disseminate the swath of excessive brand decals that seemed unnecessarily interjected at every corner. In fact, for the most part you really don’t feel as though much “happens” in the story until the end and the car crash. The vast majority of action is just a massive investigation that unravels the links between characters amidst the bloat of brands and descriptions.
For a concluding book, there just was too many things that felt were left unturned. A good portion of the book was entirely focused on the idea of military ware and a certain brand. What happened to that part? By the last part it just disappeared. However, it was one of the few things that felt significant to the plot.
Then there was the bizarre drones. Again I had to ask myself why did Gibson inject them into the story? They talked about it acting as a new mechanism for spying and connected them to possible UFO sightings. While interesting, why make that such a passing note?
But that’s how this book plays out. It’s as if Gibson is inside a big toy store and sees all these cool gadgets. He tries to play with them all without really understanding how they work in detail. Yet like a child with attention deficit disorder, he sparingly puts enough detail on these elements, only showing what is possible but nothing more.
And when you come to characters….well, this is Gibson we’re talking about. Cardboard characters have more flavor and personality than these people. I feel little to no emotional attachment nor investment in any of his characters. The two protagonists seem more like zombies that behave as zombies rather than real characters. They lack wills (well one does due to recovering from a drug addiction) but more importantly voice. I honestly couldn’t tell at times who was speaking. In all honesty, it didn’t matter. For Gibson, as long as it sounds cool, it goes in.
The ending felt like a stitched up Hollywood ending. Good guys survive, get married, fuck. But what was the point of the entire series? I don’t feel like I grew as a person by reading it except for the occasional vocabulary word. It felt like Gibson attempting to remain relevant as he tried out some of the newer technology and read up on some conspiracy sites. Despite this I don’t know why he wrote this beyond trying to appear chic. What kind of social commentary did he want to make?
Again, I just felt frustrated by the end of the novel. There wasn’t any real conclusion. No great epic tale being told about America, just fragments of buzzword culture pieced together to sound contemporary. But I think Gibson has long lost his touch because the future that he was attempting to catch up to for so long not only has passed him up, it’s too much for him to comprehend into something logical.
To read Gibson for me is more about the love of his prose as opposed to plot, character development and social commentary. The one thing I appreciate about Gibson is his knack in creating a certain atmosphere through the type of prose he utilizes. The terse sentences with the heavy description or the cutting edge type of dialog. I find authors who have their own voice to be inspiring to my own sense of prose.
At any rate, next up Murakami….