• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[ASoIaF] I finished reading Fire & Blood - light spoilers

johnnype

Emaciated do gooder
Validated User
I still call it Blood & Fire half the time...

Anyway, I won't go into spoilers much mostly because it's difficult to do with a book like this. It's not a novel in the traditional sense but a history tome covering the first 150 years of Targaryen rule (300 to 150 years before the events in AGoT. As the book is still fresh in my mind I want to write down a couple thoughts. Warning: not much insight here. At all.

The book provides something the TV show severely lacks: perspective. If there is anything on the TV show that left you scratching your head chances are the truncated number of episodes are much to blame. I read somewhere that the cast was tired of working on the same show for years on end and ready to move on. That's fine but if the actors lose interest in their current project then it makes sense that something would have to suffer for it. OK, but how does this relate to Fire & Blood? The one example that most sticks in my mind is that in F&B we get a clear picture of how incest makes the Targaryen's unstable. This is mentioned a few times on the show but not so often that it didn't take a number of viewers by surprise in the end. My guess is that when and if the last two novels are published, Dany's "turn" won't be such a surprise.

GRRM has a way with words. After almost a decade of not reading any new material from the man, F&B is a refreshing reminder of why I enjoy the series so much. Supposedly, it took George 4 or 5 months to write Fire & Blood. It's a sizable book so that's quite an accomplishment but it also shows just how easily the words flow. His command of the universe he's built is amazing. Anne Rice (of Interview with a Vampire fame) has a couple of assistants who help her out with her series. I can only imagine that GRRM must also have help. The number of characters is dizzying. Moreso than any of the other novels in the series as it covers 150 years across Westeros and touches on parts across the Narrow Sea as well. The number of dragons alone is difficult to keep up with, each with their own name, colors and personalities. At times I had trouble following who some of the smaller characters were. Every person gets a name, a family, a city of origin and often a nickname to go along with it. The Targaryen Family tree alone takes time to understand as there's incest, and many second and sometimes third marriages not to mention quite a few offspring. I also love the names he gives to the various cities, towns and villages. Nightsong, a city in northern Dorne, is perhaps my favorite example.

Am I the only one who thinks F&B seems written almost like a TV series bible? There's enough material here to make at least 3 shows.

I enjoyed F&B. Too bad the sequel is likely 20 years away.
 

Randall

Registered User
Validated User
Martin is roleplauer, this tome is what his GM would receive when asking for a little background for his character. :D
 

Vault Dweller

Bard of Hope
Validated User
The book reminded me just how reckless the Targaryens (and occasionally their Velaryon cousins / allies) could be in throwing away dragon lives in their civil wars. Given that said Houses Targaryen and Velaryon were two of the rare Valyrian clans who could empathically and emotionally bond with their dragons, rather than have to bind them with blood sorcery or brutal conditioning, you'd have thought they'd be a little more parsimonious in using and discarding their living, reptilian WMDs.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
I read somewhere that the cast was tired of working on the same show for years on end and ready to move on. That's fine but if the actors lose interest
My impression is that it's the showrunners D&D who were bored and wanted to move on. The acting remained solid. The scriptwring had its moments. It's the overall direction that caused a plunge in reception.

Given that said Houses Targaryen and Velaryon were two of the rare Valyrian clans who could empathically and emotionally bond with their dragons, rather than have to bind them with blood sorcery or brutal conditioning
Where's that from?
 

Dave999

Registered User
Validated User
My impression is that it's the showrunners D&D who were bored and wanted to move on. The acting remained solid. The scriptwring had its moments. It's the overall direction that caused a plunge in reception.
A bit more, HBO threw Scrooge McDuck levels of money at the actors and showrunners who said they couldn't keep the show going for more seasons so they did....just with shorter ones.
 

Qwa'ha Xahn

High King of the Known Worlds
Validated User
Loved this book. It’s like a Game of Thrones Silmarillion- not a narrative so much as a history. But boy is it ever a history. I don’t know how the man kept it all straight. Hell, for that matter, by about halfway through, I halfway suspected that the Targaryen marriage system existed solely to help keep the character roster under control.
 

Dave999

Registered User
Validated User
Loved this book. It’s like a Game of Thrones Silmarillion- not a narrative so much as a history. But boy is it ever a history. I don’t know how the man kept it all straight. Hell, for that matter, by about halfway through, I halfway suspected that the Targaryen marriage system existed solely to help keep the character roster under control.
I think it's a critique of THE LAST SURVIVING HEIR trope.

Because, realistically, Isildur should be related to like 90% of Gondor's nobility
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
After 3000 years Isildur should probably be related to 100% of Gondor.

Though the Dunedain of the North inbred more than the southern cousins, so they're more Dunedainy, and Aragorn is the heir through unbroken father-eldest son succession.

Plus I don't think genetics was all that relevant; Elros may have been more than half elvish but the Edain of Numenor didn't start living past 200 because of any blood heritage.
 

Gareth3

Registered User
Validated User
It's actually suspicious how few Targaryen and Baratheon heirs are left by the time of the main books, you'd think there'd always be a cousin or two somewhere. Speaking of bloodlines, reading Fire and Blood has convinced me that either
a) Half of all the Targaryens are bastards with random non-Targaryen fathers or
b) Genetics plays absolutely no role in personality in Westeros
You can argue over b) in the real world, but in the book we keep getting groups of allegedly full siblings with no more in common than your standard rag-tag adventuring party.
 

Vault Dweller

Bard of Hope
Validated User
Where's that from?
I had thought it was in The World of Ice & Fire official world guide somewhere, but I may be recalling off-hand comments about Old Valyria either somwhere in the text of the novels, interview comments by GRRM himself, or information from the main Wiki - it's been a while, I'd have to do some digging when I have the time. Anyway as I recall, some of the Great Houses of the Freehold had the Targaryen / Velaryon natural talent to bond with their dragons empathically - or at least attempt to, as even then certain dragonrider candidates would still be rejected and possibly die in the attempt. Other more ruthless or less gifted Valyrian Houses reputedly used sorcery or sorcery-enhanced conditioning to force the bond on their dragons instead.
 
Top Bottom