- Response to Jay:
Here's a book question though. The lazy internet argument about TV thrones is that the writing has got worse over time. Is anybody's favourite book either Feast or A Dance with Dragons?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing those books as they're both really good books. I came into Feast with low expectations because I knew a lot of people who were disappointed by its focus on everything Greyjoy and Dornish, but remember thinking it was a cracking read. But the original trilogy in the saga firmly entrenches various "main" characters, and the latter two books divy them up in a weird way.
Much has been said about George's original intention to just have a 5 year gap between Feast and A Storm of Swords, and that this idea was ultimately unfeasible for George. But is this not evidence that the world building is getting away from the telling? At what point is there too much goings on elsewhere?
- Feast/Dance Soilers:
I really like the intricacy George has with all the houses, the politics, and the representation of both Feudalism, tribalism, and the norse like Ironborn. And yet, I'm not sure I know anyone whose favourite book isn't any of the first 3, i.e., the ones that manage a lot of world building but focus on a much tighter cast of characters.
People moan ad nauseum about the show's pacing, its divergence from the books. And definitely there are arcs that aren't done amazingly, such as Dorne or perhaps even Stannis. But if it's taking an author the best part of ten years to finish the book that has to bring Feast and Dance together, maybe, just maybe, the telling in the books is being harmed by the density of the world? And maybe, just maybe, if the telling in the Show followed the books more closely, we'd all start complaining about how it's been going on forever, or that not enough happened in the middle episodes *cough, The Walking Dead.
For me, I'm not implying that the books are going full Silmarillion or anything close to the that! I strongly feel that whereas Tolkien was invested heavily in language, George continues to focus on the human heart in conflict with itself, it's just that although each chapter is from a first person perspective, the telling feels less personal and perhaps more disorientating than it used to.