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George R. R. Martin
Topic Started: Nov 12 2008, 10:08 AM (2,250 Views)
Cave Hinds
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Destroyer of Virginity
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On even further reflection, calling Martin’s work insanely moral is not sitting well at all. I’m not saying Martin isn’t moral; I believe he understands what we expect to happen based on preconceived moral notions and thus he’s able to play with us. There are very staunch moral characters – most of the Stark clan like Jon, Eddard, and Rob – even though it is ironic that the most righteous and moral character, Stannis, is clearly insane. Yet in a band of murderers, kingkillers, kinslayers, rapists, and liars, I often find I root and empathize with several morally reprehensible characters. That to me speaks less of moral leanings than careful, deliberate characterizations of his wide range of characters.

So defining it as moral is to robe it in ill-fitting clothes. I have this same problem with labeling The Shield and Breaking Bad as moral. It’s obvious they operate under a character’s self-defined moral code, yet the characters are so well drawn you tend to overlook their missteps or even their outright rebellion of their own code. Then it becomes more a matter of perspective than morality.

Tolkien, on the other hand, has sharply drawn morals and clear definitions of right and wrong. Even Boromir, who is able to redeem himself after falling into temptation, falls easily into this classification because of his death. Martin, I feel, rebels against this simple classification.
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nnyhav
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an xkcd riff threadjacked [@ 7] to mansplaining GRRM v grrlz
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nnyhav
Sep 28 2011, 09:32 PM
:laugh: / :(
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Ronak M Soni
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Canox
Jul 24 2011, 10:01 AM
Cave Hinds
Jul 24 2011, 09:49 AM
It’s also a rebellion against Tolkien’s sharply drawn moral fantasy.
i dunno. I find the song of ice and fire insanely moral. because the good guys don't win doesn't mean we all don't know who the good guys are, and by killing them, we are rallied more effectively to their moral side than we would, otherwise.
What, are you going to tell me the Starks occupy some sort of moral high ground in Martin's worldview? The only thing that can be said about them is that they have moral codes they stick to rigidly, but that their codes are fundamentally narrow in conception. Martin goes at their stupidity again and again and again. For the most explicit moment, look at Ned's last conversation, with Varys, where he asks the eunuch what he wants, and promptly gets the reply, "Peace."

Where I am, at the end of the first book, it would seem that the only characters Martin has affection for are Tyrion, Arya and Varys -- hardly what you'd call people of an identifiable moral code. And it would seem that he has some qualified respect for Catelyn, Robb and Dany.
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Ronak M Soni
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Also, to whomever was asking for recommendations, most of the second Dreamsongs volume (only one I've read) is very good. Personal favourite is this other short story called "The Second Kind of Lonelliness" or something similar.
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nnyhav
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http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/george-r-r-martin-the-rolling-stone-interview-20140423
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nnyhav
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http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2014/06/george-rr-martin-is-officially-in-denial/372154/
meanwhile,
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