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Old 07-18-2012, 01:28 PM
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I've just finished a reread of "Storm of Swords," and with the idea of splitting it between two seasons in mind.... whoa, the script writers are going to have to really work at making next season satisfying. As in, minimizing the time spent on a lot of things, and either add or move stuff forward.

IMHO, that first 500 whatever pages -- almost half the book -- is DULL. Okay, there are a handful of exciting or interesting scenes: The battle between the Rangers and the Others, and Sam's killing one with an obsidian weapon. The duel between Dondarian (sp?) and the Hound. The Wildlings scaling the Wall. The Tyrian/Sansa wedding. Daneyris's buying the Unsullied/destroying that city. But each of those only takes up a dozen or so pages, and what else do we get? Hundreds of pages of various characters slogging around, or stewing mentally, or BOTH slogging and stewing.

Looking at the 'main' characters:

- Rob is mainly offscreen. He makes a few strategic decisions (to be carried out off screen) and canoodles with his new wife.

- Catelyn mainly sits and stews: Over her dying father. Over whether Brienne will be able to get Jaime down to King's Landing and traded for ... who? Arya, I guess. She learns Sansa is married, so she doesn't expect to get her back. Over the aftermath of Rob's breaking his vow to marry a Frey girl.

- Stannis just grumps and stews on Dragonstone.

- Joffrey is utterly off screen.

- So is Cersei, basically.

- Jamie and Brienne slog down through the country, squabbling in a way that gets really tiresome. (Jaime: Yadda yadda yadds, wench. Brienne: My name is Brienne! Jaime: Yadda yadda yadds, wench. Brienne: My name is Brienne! and on and on.)

- Tyrian is recovering from his wounds, and being humiliated time after time by his father. Oh, yeah, and he gets married to

- Sansa, to her (utterly passive) displeasure and more humiliation for Tyrion, who seems to have fallen somewhat for her, though heaven knows why, since pretty much all Sansa does is stew over how bad her life is compared to what she'd dreamed of.

- Jon marches along with the Wildings from somewhere above the Wall to somewhere below the Wall, then escapes and trundles back north TO the Wall.

- Oh, and Sam and Gilly slog towards the Wall, seperately.

- Bran, Hodor and the Reed kids slowly trudge their way north towards the Wall, while Bran practices living in his wolf's mind.

- Arya slogs around. And around. She heads for Riverrun. She gets captured by one group and slogs south. She gets taken by a second group and slogs...some direction. She falls in with a third group and slogs... well, it doesn't matter. The point is, she doesn't do any of the exciting, clever, active things she did in earlier books. She slogs along, dirty and hungry, and stews. She occasionally threatens to kill people or wants to join in battles, but she is dismissed as a kid and shoved aside.

- Rickon headed off with Osha for ??? and basically vanishes from sight.

- Danyris, well, she's not my favorite character, but Martin actually advances her plot: she gets the Unsullied, and becomes the leader of a mob of freed slaves.

... And that's pretty much it. IOW, that a hell of a lot of slogging around for the reader to slog through.

Worse is that some of the favorite characters (like Tyrion and Arya) stop doing the things that made them favorites. Tyrion has few witty lines and his schemes just fail or don't even manage to get started, and Arya is shoved around by fate without really shoving back.

Of course THEN Jaime gets his hand chopped off, and the Red Wedding, and after that things move and move and move.

Somehow the writers are going to have to get the exciting stuff moved up, because while book readers hooked on a series WILL slog through a dull stretch, I don't think a tv audience is anywhere near as forgiving. Saying "next series will be a doozy" won't keep them tuning in.