Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Worst Story Line in the Game of Thrones Universe

*Spoilers for those who haven't read all of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series*

A writer friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting article that reminded me of one of the worst story threads that I ever encountered--the story of Quentyn Martell. I had great hopes for it and was enjoying it until suddenly Martin just killed it all off as soon as the characters arrived at their destination. So what was the point? They travel over many chapters, seeming to have some vague future connection to the plot, but then they are dead. So if all of their chapters had been excised, nothing at all would have changed in the overall story arc.

I didn't know where Martin was heading with that story arc, but I at least expected he'd go somewhere with it. After all, why devote so much page time to it if not to use it in some manner? I even thought Quentyn might blossom and turn into one of the three future dragon riders.

The article writer even moaned about how homely and average Quentyn is. I find this hilarious given that I believe this character was a direct result of people moaning for so long about how attractive and above average characters always tend to be. So Martin finally does what many people seem to want, make a character normal, and people then moan about that. Anyway, I liked that he was normal, since it gave him that much more room to grow and change...except Martin decided not to bother.

What are your thoughts of the Quentyn Martell sequence? Do you see some deeper meaning there that will actually impact the plot going forward?


  1. I am firmly convinced that GRRM has no idea of the overall story arc, and he's making it up as he goes. With the result that things are taking far longer than they need to and taking twists that are painting him more and more into a corner.

    1. I believe him when he says he knows the entire arc for the major characters, but I think he likes to flesh out new smaller arcs within the larger one, and that's where he sometimes gets into trouble.

  2. Completley agree! I was a fan of that storyline and when it finally concluded I was a bit puzzled. It all felt really bizarre. I'm not a huge fan of Tyrions quest anymore either.

  3. I would argue that the importance of the Quentyn arc is not so much about Quentyn, but to give us a clear idea of where Doran Martell stands on Dany, which is pretty important, since he's one of the most clever men in Westeros.

  4. Yeah, I think he had a plan for Quentyn and then changed his mind. I was also disappointed there, though Matt has a point. Still, I would have liked him to be some sort of ally. MAYBE his companions will now hook up with someon else (Tyrion?), but I was frustrated about Quentyn.

  5. I disagree, I think. Quentyn was there to fail and to be seen to fail, because there's another prince in the game now as a wild card that changes the direction of play (and arguably his presence may determine Jon Snow's fate. Could it be that Jon is properly dead after all?). I don't think it's chance at all that both turned up in the same book.

    I don't like it that a wild card showed up so late in the game, but we're playing by Martin's rules and so what can I do but shrug?