Friday, April 3, 2015


I know, I know, I'm slow these days. Rest assured, the next re-read post is forthcoming, but the Easter holiday has thrown some delightful wrenches in my plans. The biggest time-stealer is Obsidian Entertainment's Pillars of Eternity, a game that feels made especially for me, in the sense that it is everything I love when it comes to computer games. A great story, with fantastic atmosphere, lots of things to do and read and figure out, all in an exciting fantasy setting. It is, at least now after 11 hours of logged gametime, quite possible that Pillars will end up on the very top spot of my favorite computer games of all time, bypassing even Baldur's Gate. So as you can imagine, with a game that so strongly tugs at my geek sensibilities, it is hard not to play.

That being said, I've also been away for a while, and currently I'm attending a big music festival, which is a punishing ordeal for a family man - but extremely enjoyable at the same time. I even met my favorite band, quite by accident (except for the fact they will do a show tonight), last night, which was icing on a metal cake. Good times, good times.

Minor spoilers for the new The Winds of Winter chapter after the break.

Speaking of good times - what the heck! I'm offline for a couple of days and George deems it necessary to spoil us with another chapter from The Winds of Winter. Just like "Mercy" preceded season four last year, now we have a new Alayne chapter to precede season five. And though it's nice, obviously, to get some more Winds in our sails, I can't help but think that this is Martin wanting to spoil something before HBO does - and right on, in this chapter we read about a tournament to be held in the Vale, and we've seen pictures from season five showing Sansa and Littlefinger in what looks to be, you guessed it, a tournament. The chapter, then, confirms that we'll get into Winds territory with regards to Sansa, although of course there will be many details that will differ (such as Sansa having revealed her identity in the show while still being Alayne in the books). The chapter also finally introduces us to Harry the Heir, and we get to see how Sansa, sorry, Alayne, is growing as a character into someone more cunning and manipulative. A little of it, anyway. But still, the new chapter leaves something of a bad taste in my mouth (mind?) because it feels so obviously thrown up to kind of forestall the show revealing his story. This can mean, however, that the actual novel isn't all that far off....we can hope. Man, has George made a mess of it or what? It's unfortunate, but reality doesn't care. HBO is charging ahead with full steam, and soon we'll all be scratching our heads at the many changes, and possible spoilers revealed.

Right, the chapter itself is fairly entertaining, if a bit "dry". I like it, but I found a lot of typos that I hope will be fixed by some editor who is better at fixing typos than the editor(s) of Dance. Also, I found some of the dialogue to feel...not as natural as Martin's dialogue tends to be (natural in a narrative sense, that is). Especially Sweetrobin doesn't sound like the kid he was before, his dialogue feels too...advanced? I don't know. I guess I have to read it all over again to properly let it all sink in. I do like the notion of another tournament, though, it's been a while. And what's with all the new Houses - didn't George feel there were enough of them already? Or have we heard of House Shett before (in the novels, that is)? Not that it really matters. I like to see the descriptions of House sigils back in the limelight, they were always an intrinsic part of the medieval fantasy setting of Westeros, and so much cooler than all the Grizbaz Hazdans of Essos. And of course we get a proper look at some food as well. In this sense, Alayne feels like a proper part of the overall story, a part I can latch onto, unlike, say, the story of the roasted prince of Dorne or, indeed, the Meereen chapters. I noticed Martin claims, on his blog, that he put it up because this and that and such and so, but I am not fooled. Martin wants to keep us ahead of the HBO show, and I am actually thankful for that even though I'm also skeptical.

I'm still reading The Red Knight, and I'm reasonably sure that if you like Martin, Abercrombie, Rothfuss et al you'll like this one. But now I need to lie down; only three hours of sleep last night isn't enough, eh. I need to conserve energy for tonight's festival action. Rockin' and rollin' while waiting for the winds to rise.


  1. oooh another "Pillars" fan. Just an FYI, on steam there are 'enhanced editions' of "Baldur's Gate" I & II, as well as "Icewind Dale".

    Haven't read the chapter yet, and most likely won't until Book Six is out there. Glad to hear that George is giving Book Six all the attention that he can muster. At the latest, I'm guessing we'll have it shortly before Season Six (to give a sense of 'time') at the latest.

  2. Jeff, again thanks for reading, and oh yes, "Pillars" is bloody good isn't it? Yes, I have the BG:EE. Not the second one though. I've been playing the origina/EE warming up for "Pillars".

  3. Man, the moment I saw the post of this new chapter on TOTH my fingers moved faster than my mind could process the whole thing. I really liked this chapter, is good to see Sansa again, specially since she hasn't had that many chapters since Storm.

    Is it bad to wish for Sweet Robin to somehow survive? I really don't want him to die, lil' sh*t that he is. He was really pitiful this chapter. Martin really messed up by making them characters really young, Robert feels a lot older here, I will always assume all characters are at least 2 years older than in the books, that way they make more sense to me.

    The last line made me think that Sansa might not end up marrying Harry. Lots of hidden stuff going on behind the scenes.

    Did you see Martin's last interview? Now Martin has finally gotten his sh*t together! He will be done before season 6 is out, and if HBO extends season 7 into two parts, Martin might just finish the books on time. You can do it George! Push that pedal!