Guest host Ari joins us once again for the second half of our talk on long series. With such a big topic, even fitting it into a two parter was hard. This week we discuss that bogeyman of long narratives: series bloat. What is it? Why does it hurt a story? How can it be avoided? Also featured is our take on when some book series feel like they should have stopped, but instead they kept on going.
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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.
Song of Ice and Fire (Which we kept calling Game of Thrones)
Generously transcribed by Perspiring Writer. Volunteer to transcribe a podcast.
Chris: You’re listening to the Mythcreants podcast, with your hosts Oren Ashkenazi, Wes Matlock, and Chris Winkle. [opening song]
Oren: This episode was made possible by the support of our patron, Kathy Ferguson, professor of Political Theory in Star Trek.
Wes: Hello, and welcome to the Mythcreants podcast. I’m your host, Wes, and with me is…
Wes: And returning for another adventure in podcasting is…
Ari: Hey, this is Ari. Feels like I never left.
Oren: No, you’ve basically just been here all week.
Ari: I mean, they found me on the street, so now I just live there, I’ve been- claim squatter’s rights and all that.
Wes: We just walked outside and screamed, ‘does anyone know anything about long series?’ And Ari answers, ‘enough for two podcasts!’
Ari: I have enough for significantly more, on the pace that we went in the first one. But I will try to be more brief in my talking; I like to talk a lot.
Oren: That’s not a problem. Alright, so, I want to talk to you both about a serious problem that many of our favorite book series have, which is called ‘series bloat’.
Oren: This is when, as a book goes on, it tends to gather up more and more stuff. And particularly characters, but also setting elements, and factions, and eventually, by the time the book reaches the end, it is so full of stuff that- you know, the books get longer and longer, and less and less happens in them.
Wes: That is a problem.
Oren: Yeah, and like, no long book series that I’ve read has been completely immune to it. But I think that some of the- the worst offender is probably Wheel of Time. Even die-hard fans generally admit that that book, by the end, has a point of view for like, every person that Rand has ever met. And that’s part of the reason why it takes so long to finish, right?
I’d actually say that a book series that avoided it, for the most part- at least for the parts that I read, was the Dresden Files.
Ari: Yes, I would agree with that. I actually think Jim Butcher’s quite good at this. Because the- Codex Alera’s another series he wrote, his high-fantasy series. It’s not quite as long, I think it’s five books. And they pretty much keep a consistent cast of characters through the entire book. They don’t really expand it much past the first one.
And I think something that Butcher is good at is making sure that we- he expands the characters that we have, rather than trying to introduce new characters to kind of fill those holes. And I think that really helps- it makes you more attached to the characters that exist, and also avoids the massive problem that Wheel of Time has, where there’s just so many characters.
And I already have a hard time with character names, so books like that just lose me real fast.
Oren: Well, one of the advantages is, that Dresden Files had, was- first of all, it was first-person. Like, Butcher was never tempted to run off on a long tangent from some other character’s point of view, right, cause it was always Dresden. I mean, if you didn’t like Dresden, that was a problem.
But otherwise, it really helped avoid like, ‘okay, well, now Dresden’s met this witch, and now she needs her own point of view, and now he’s met this vampire guy who needs his point of view,’ et cetera, et cetera. We avoided that problem.
It also helped that, if I recall correctly- Ari, you’ve read the Dresden Files more often than I have, but if I recall correctly, what usually happened is that he would introduce characters for like, one book, and then those characters would often cycle out. And then, over time, a handful of the really important ones would stick around.
Ari: Yes, that would be correct. Pretty much the only character that’s consistent from book one is Murphy.
Oren: She’s basically always there.
Ari: She’s pretty much there for the whole series, and then there are characters like Thomas, who gets introduced in, I think- maybe he’s introduced in the first- either the first or the second book. But he doesn’t show up again and become a main character until significantly later. And he kind of does that for a lot of- so, we get a taste of that character, and then we go without them for a little while, and then they come back.
Oren: Yeah, usually- it helps because most of the books plot structures are based around some one-time event that’s happening in Chicago, and- I mean, granted, after a while, you start to wonder how many one-time super events happen to be where Dresden lives. But at the time, each book is kind of a one-time thing, so it makes sense that this character would show up for that event, and then would leave.
Like, he has other things to do. There’s a whole world out there that needs magic stuff happening in it.
Ari: I think the best example of this was probably Michael, who’s one of the Knights of the Cross, and Dresden even specifically mentions, in some of them, where he’s like, ‘Michael is at his strongest when he’s dealing with devil stuff.’ Stuff that touches on his religion. So, he doesn’t want to call him for like, spooky normal magic things, because he doesn’t want Michael to get hurt, cause Michael has less protection when he’s dealing with that stuff.
Which I think was a nice way to say, ‘why don’t you just call the dude with the broadsword over every time you needed some muscle?’ Because- that’s a big part of Dresden’s character, is that kind of thinking.
Oren: And because it’s first-person, there was like, an easy way to understand all of it. And a lot of the side characters in Dresden, they- many of them fulfill a very specific purpose. It’s like, ‘hey, I need a corpse examined. I’m going to go talk to Butters.’ Right? You don’t call Butters if you need to fight vampires; that’s not what he’s for. [laughter]
Wes: Butters is for examining corpses-
Ari: Well, Oren, you have obviously not read the later books, cause Butters does become a main fighting force by the end.
Oren: I stopped reading at the end of- what was it? Changes was the book that I didn’t read.
Ari: Changes was actually really good. I think Changes is probably my favorite book of the Dresden Files. It very much lives up to its name. But I can understand why you were done at that point.
Oren: I didn’t read Changes, and I remember Changes had the title, because you would give me unrelenting amounts of crap for not reading Changes, I remember this much.
Oren: Maybe one day I’ll get back to it. My biggest issue with the Dresden Files was that, even though it’s very tight plot-wise, it’s- Dresden as a character is a little too static for me. But maybe that’s different after Changes?
Ari: They do go through- I’m not sure if he would change enough for you. I know you have a lot of critical opinions about Dresden as a character. Which, I share some of them, definitely. But I felt he really- the book did a really good job of gradually piling things up on Dresden. Until, literally, he has to do- I don’t want to spoil that, for folks who are interested in the Dresden Files.
But, he has to do a bad thing, to basically give himself the ability to continue fighting. And that’s why I love that book so much, is cause it really lives up to the name of ‘Changes’. And it’s kind of a turning point in the series. Which, if we want, we could talk about some of the cons, cause we’ve been talking a lot about the strengths of series?
One of the ones that I noticed, it’s present in Dresden Files, it’s present in the Honorverse- which are the two ones that I’ve read the most; it feels like we reached a point in the series where- we got to the end of what the author originally intended to write. In the Dresden Files, it was the end of the war with the vampires.
And in Honorverse, it was the Battle of Manticore, where Honor was supposed to have died. That was supposed to have been the end- she was based off of some real life general who basically died on the eve of his greatest victory. I can’t remember-
Oren: Nelson, probably.
Ari: Yeah. She was based off of that general, and she was supposed to have died there, but- according to the author, it was because people responded so negatively to her dying that he kept her alive. Basically, the stories continued after those books. And I do feel like the quality suffered.
Dresden Files- cause I just don’t really know if Butcher had planned to write anymore, whereas David Weber had planned to do a big time jump, and pick up the story in the same universe with Honor’s kids and the next generation, it was kind of a pressure valve to reset the power creep that had been going on with Honor’s character.
But, because she was still alive, they didn’t do that. So, they continued along with her as the main character, but she was already like, a top-level admiral at that point, so there wasn’t really anywhere for her to go. And I still think the books are good, but there’s definitely a noticeable gear shift that would have made a lot more sense had there been a time jump and a new cast of characters.
Wes: We really need to look into reviewing books and character that like, the fans refused to let die. [Oren laughs] We brought up Sherlock Holmes in the previous podcast, and here we are again. So, like, ‘no, I want to be done with this character!’ And all this hate mail comes in, and it’s like, ‘[gravely] you have to keep this one.’
Ari: Gul Dukat, is that you? [Oren and Wes laugh] Tell me more.
Oren: Although- quick refresher: the vampire war ends in the book right before Changes, right? Cause I’m pretty sure I read to the end of the vampire war.
Ari: Um… oh, crap, I can’t remember. I want to say- no, I think it ends in Changes.
Oren: Okay, well, I must have read Changes at some point, then, because I read the end of the vampire war. And I agree, that feels like the end of the series. Even though, there had been like, a secondary bad guy that was being built up in the background, the vampires were just much more of an immediate, interesting antagonist.
Whereas the shadow bad guy was like, they’ve been around for so long, and they’re so- they’re still really undefined, that it’s- I’m a little bit out of patience with them by this point.
Ari: Yeah, I think Changes- cause Dresden has to basically make the metaphorical deal with the devil to have the strength to confront the vampires.
Oren: I did read Changes, then.
Ari: I could be wrong; if someone who knows the Dresden Files book names by heart- you know, yell at me in the comments or e-mail Oren and-
Oren: Yell at me.
Ari: They’ll yell at me before you guys.
Oren: Right. Another book series, if we want to talk about when they should have just ended, that really comes to mind is the Belgariad series.
Wes: Oh, I barely remember those. Weren’t they the ones with the chess titles for all of their things, like ‘Queen’s Gambit’, and ‘Something’s Pawn’, or something like that? Was that that series? Or is that the Mandalorian series which came after the Belgariad series?
Oren: Okay, so, there was the Belgariad series, and then there was the Malloreon series, and I remember the first book of the Belgariad is called ‘The Pawn of Prophecy.’ So, you could very well be right, they might all be chess titles- the books really blend together for me.
But it’s a pretty formulaic fantasy story, where like, you’ve got your single-trait fantasy kingdoms, and- you have Knight Kingdom, Archer Kingdom, Money Kingdom… Sneaky Kingdom [Wes laughs], and like, Berserker Kingdom. If I recall correctly. Oh, and there’s like, Nice Guy Kingdom.
Ari: I like Nice Guy Kingdom. Can we be friends with them? They seem reasonable.
Oren: I think there was one more that I’m forgetting. So, the first book is basically them going around and collecting one party member from each kingdom. And so, like- okay, sure. It’s not a great series, but it’s entertaining enough, especially if you’re new to fantasy.
But then at the end, they have the big fight with the dark god, and they win. And then you have the Malloreon series, which is basically the same story. Cause it’s like, ‘now we have to fight, not the dark god again, but it turns out the dark god was actually a tool of a bigger, darker god.’ I think they’re called ‘the Prophecies’, or whatever.
Ari: ‘The Biggerest Darkerest.’
Oren: Yeah. And so, now they’ve picked another one, and the light prophecy just gets to keep Garion, cause he’s like- he’s still alive, right?
Ari: Sure. Why not? [Oren laughs]
Oren: So, that’s definitely a series that feels like it could- it probably should have just been standalone. I mean, granted, I can’t begrudge the author too much; if someone is like, ‘give me money for more of what you just gave me,’ I’m like, ‘okay, sure.’
Ari: I would be a total sellout. I would make just, the worst sequels as long as it gave me money. [Wes laughs] I can’t judge too harshly on that account.
Oren: I do enjoy money, this is true.
Ari: All this talking- there’s just more and more series that I want to talk about, like series bloat and stuff like that. Cause you’re just talking about generic fantasy, and I’m like, ‘let’s step on a landmine here, let’s talk about Game of Thrones.’ [laughs]
Oren: Oh, boy, Game of Thrones.
Ari: Because- I think Game of Thrones has a real bad case of world bloat as we get farther into the series. And I know a lot of people love that series, I was in love with it when I first read it, I’ve read all of the books twice. So, I am a dedicated fan of the books- at least, I was.
But that series has some problems with how big its world gets, and, I think, pretty poor use of multiple POVs as we get deeper in.
Oren: Especially in the fourth, and the fifth book even more so. The fifth book really feels like- I don’t even know if I would qualify it as series bloat, it just feels like it’s killing time. It’s like, I can’t think of another reason for an author to do this, but it feels like, ‘there’s a plot thing that’s going to happen later, and we can’t have it happen in this book, so let’s just have a bunch of random travel montages.’
Ari: Walking simulator. I think the real answer is that it starts with printing and ends with money. [Oren laughs] But from a story perspective- maybe that’s not the case, maybe George R. R. Martin just feels like there’s really, something’s there to tell.
I feel like there’s a good way to use multiple POVs in these big worlds, to kind of make the worlds feel richer? Which is something I wanted to touch on that I think Honorverse does amazingly well. And then I think there are poor ways to use it, where we- you end up feeling like- I felt this way a lot in Game of Thrones, where I just wanted to skip portions of the book, because we got to a character that was really boring.
In the early books, it’s like, ‘I want to skip ahead, I want to see what Tyrion’s up to, I want to see what Ned Stark is doing, I want to get to the characters that see those actions.’ And see, it’s worse in the last book, because he split the POVs into two different books, so the books cover the same period of time, but from different characters perspectives.
So, some of my favorite characters just weren’t in the fifth book. And it’s just like, ‘Tyrion’s in here, but he’s really boring.’ I won’t spoil anyone, but they managed to make Tyrion boring, at least in my opinion.
Oren: I second that.
Ari: I don’t want anyone to kill me for Game of Thrones spoilers in the books. They managed to make Tyrion boring, and when you make Tyrion boring, there wasn’t a whole lot of characters left that I was really particularly interested in.
I think the most interesting was probably Arya; I think she was in that book. Maybe she wasn’t. But it did feel like her storyline was kind of killing time while everyone else had to catch up to whatever’s gonna happen at the end. I have a pretty solid idea of how the book series is going to end, but I could be wrong. George R. R. Martin has surprised me at least once in that book series.
Oren: Well, I have a pretty strong opinion that the book series will never actually end.
Ari: They’ll get someone to ghostwrite for him if he dies first.
Oren: That’s possible. I would be really- at this point, I would be surprised if the sixth book is ever published, let alone the seventh. What really confused me about the fifth book- and I do have to give some spoilers here, on the bright side, I don’t think this character’s even in the tv show, so, don’t worry about that.
But in the fifth book- so, in theory, we’re accelerating the grand politics, right? We are getting closer to the- everyone knows it’s coming, the return of Daenerys to Westeros. And- so, here’s what we’re going to do:
In the fifth book, we’re going to introduce a completely new character, who we’ve never met, he’s a Dornish prince. And he’s going to have his entire journey in the fifth book. And then at the end, he’s gonna die. And it’s like, having made basically no impact on the story. Why was that character even here?
Ari: It also felt that his group was like, a D&D party. Like a Fifth Edition D&D party set off to go fight a dragon, and then the dragon murders them. Well, that was fun. I’m glad we used up book space in these massive books on this guy, whatever his name is. I don’t even remember what his name is.
Oren: It’s like, ‘Dornish Man.’
Ari: One of the weirdest inclusions in a story that has so many characters that are important. You need to know who these people are and what they’re doing, and then they just threw in this random element that just felt so out of place.
Oren: It’s also just- like, book four essentially ends on a cliffhanger for Brienne. We don’t actually know what happened to her. From the tv series, I know that she’s okay, but at the end of book four, she might have been dead. It was one of those- like, it fades to black right before she’s executed, and then it’s like, ‘okay, what happened to Brienne?’ And book five doesn’t have Brienne in it.
Ari: You just have to wait. Although, I do feel that George R. R. Martin has traded too heavily on the first book’s surprise of- spoilers, once again, you probably shouldn’t be listening to this portion if you don’t know anything about Game of Thrones, but- they kill Ned Stark. That was a big surprise to me. That was, I think, a very good piece of, ‘gotcha!’
Because we all expected- it was all set up, ‘Ned Stark’s going to take the black, he’ll go join Jon Snow, we’ll have bonding between those two characters, and we’ll reveal Jon Snow’s secret past at a-’ And then he’s dead. And it’s like, that’s really cool. I was really a big fan of that, it subverted all the fantasy tropes that I expected, in a good way.
But I feel like George R. R. Martin has just been trading on that and kind of re-upped that on the Red Wedding. Just traded off- it’s like, ‘anyone can die.’ It’s like, ‘not really anyone can die.’ Anyone without a POV can die. The only POV character that died, I think, is Ned Stark, or characters that were introduced to die.
Oren: Like, there’s a couple of characters who were introduced in a prologue, who then die in the prologue, with their POV. And then there’s the Dornish Guy in book five, right? He’s introduced in book five, and he dies. He was a POV character, but he’s also- I don’t think there were that many fans of Dornish Guy. I could be wrong. But I don’t think a lot of fans were really clamoring for him.
Ari: But it’s like, ‘Jon Snow, oh my god, is Jon Snow dead?’ No, Jon Snow’s not dead. Of course, he’s not dead. He can’t die at this point in the book, that just wouldn’t work. And also, George R. R. Martin’s not going to kill off Tyrion, at least until the very end, and he’s not going to kill off Jon Snow. We know those two characters are pretty much safe until the finale.
Oren: Also, he was standing next to a lady who we know can bring people back from the dead.
Ari: Yeah, can we just touch, real quick, on the really bizarre magic system of Game of Thrones? Where like, there was that dude running around resurrecting Robin Hood, and no one thought that was weird?
Ari: It’s just like, ‘yeah, he comes back from the dead. That’s normal.’ And it’s like, ‘what?’ This is a gritty low fantasy setting, where magic is just returning. How is this not noteworthy?
Wes: I was just thinking, you would think all the lords would hear about this. They would go capture that guy, bring him in, and be like, ‘we’re going to keep you on retainer, just in case.’
Ari: Or people would just start trying to like, hoover up the Red Priests, who are apparently the ones who have the power of like, bringing back to life nonsense. Sorry, that was a little off topic, just though it was weird. We can get back to talking about the story- there’s so much to go into here. I have lots of nerd stuff that I like to talk about, and so few opportunities to really get into it. So, I’m just excited to be here.
Oren: I do think Game of Thrones is a pretty classic example of a- it’s a story that starts off really well plotted, and then just gradually, as the world expands, gets bigger than a book can contain. I don’t think it has to be that way, but I can see why it’s challenging to avoid that.
Especially if you’re a big nerd worldbuilder, and you really want to show how everything is connected. And you want to try and dispel the idea that your setting takes place in like, a map, that everything out of it is unloaded computer graphics, right?
Ari: I would like to bring up now, kind of a juxtaposition- a comparison of, I think, how to do POVs well, is the Honorverse. Now, the Honorverse, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is this hard military sci-fi space opera. It has like, thirteen main series books, and I think it has, now- it has this massive compilation of side stories that happen- set in the same universe. I think it’s easily over thirty books now that take place in this universe.
So, this is a big series of books, and a big world. But in the main series, the vast majority of the POV is spent with our main character, Honor Harrington, as she continues her adventures as a member of the navy. The space navy. But the way that David Weber uses alternate POVs, is to really expand the universe and humanize characters that Honor doesn’t really have a chance to meet in person.
Like, for the first several books, we spend the prologue with the leaders of- the People’s Republic of Jerks, pretty much. They’re basically the villains for the first six books. But we spend time with them to learn their motivations, to kind of humanize them a little bit. They’re still evil people, but there’s kind of an understandable reason why they’re doing what they’re doing.
And so, we spend that time with those folks- when the villains start becoming a little more grey, we spend a lot of time, like, at least a couple POVs a book with these folks, kind of understanding what’s going on, because there’s really no way for Honor, as a first person character, to get in there and learn that stuff.
And then, the other part that really stood out to me is, there’s a point in the book where a space station, a really important space station is getting blown up. And this is a super big turning point in the book series, it’s a really good point.
But the- David Weber uses multiple POVs to kind of- he basically does four mini chapters of different people who are standing on the space station as it’s exploding, to drive home the different people that exist in this world, and this tragedy that’s touching on each of them. My favorite was the one who’s like, this father who’s there with his kid, and he sees the explosion coming towards them.
And that kind of thing really just- it makes it feel more like the world is full of real people, rather than like, a cast of maybe ten characters and then a bunch of mannequins. That kind of stuff really- it really works for me, maybe it doesn’t work for everyone. But I think it’s really- it keeps the main cast- the main cast is definitely where most of our time is spent, but we get to see more of the world, and it’s a way to gradually expand into this massive universe.
Like, you think Game of Throne’s world is big, this place- Honorverse is literally its own universe, as far as size and scope. So, I highly recommend anyone who likes sci-fi, check it out. There are some problems with it, if we have time, we’ll go into it. But I- I plan on some point, writing a little post kind of talking about how the Honorverse uses worldbuilding, and maybe other parts- problems that I have with it.
Wes: Well, Ari, you bring up a really good point, that whenever you get a POV shift- I don’t want to ever wonder in a series if I really need to focus on, ‘is this a new main character?’ I like it when main characters are established, and then if POV switches, it’s still in a story that’s complementing or supporting what the main character’s doing.
There’s a series that I read a while ago; kind of obscure, but maybe some people saw the weird movie adaptation. The first book was called Night Watch. Did any of you guys-
Oren: Yeah, I saw the movie version of that.
Ari: I could have sworn I read those books…
Wes: The movie was really weird; the series is called the Watch Saga, and there’s Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, Final Watch, and I think it was supposed to stop there, but I assume he got more money and then he wrote two more. But I only read those four.
But the point was that the first book primarily had the point of view from Anton Gorodetsky, and then after that, when you got point of view shifts, they were just people kind of on one of the two forces, but Anton was always still involved, like, tangentially, so, you could just learn more about what was going on without losing somebody that you were already attached to.
Instead of just like, shifting- I mean, we talked about that Game of Thrones idea, but I feel like POV is best when it complements the characters that you’ve already invested a lot of time with in a series, and that you want to stick around.
Ari: Yes. I would definitely agree with that. I think it’s also- it’s very important to establish kind of, how- early in your book series, establish what different POVs are going to mean. Cause like, that’s the exact- what you said, that’s the exact problem I had in books like Game of Thrones, I don’t know how invested to get in these characters, or if I really need to remember their names, or if it’s like, they’re there to show me what’s happening where the main characters aren’t.
And Game of Thrones, really, has a problem with that. Cause sometimes, like the Dornish Guy, they’ll just drag him out through a whole book, and it’s like, ‘well, this person isn’t actually important, but I spent a lot of time with them, so…’ I feel like maybe I should like, care about them or know more about them, and the answer’s really, ‘nah, you don’t need to.’
Wes: Well yeah, if you put in all that effort to read, you want to have payoff, you know? [laughs] You want to feel like it’s contributing, and that you’re not wasting your time.
Oren: It also, like, when you’re doing multiple points of view in a long series like this, it’s very important to make sure that they really support what your book is about. And for the most part, in the early Game of Thrones books, they definitely do, because the early Game of Thrones books are about the intrigue and struggles of a group of noble houses. That’s what they’re about.
And so, having characters- like, points of view from multiple houses is really important. Which is, incidentally, why it feels like Dorne just comes out of nowhere; because for the first four books, Dorne doesn’t have a POV character. Whereas I think- Tyrell is the other one that feels like- not really an entity for a while, cause they also don’t have one.
But for- and this is like, your mileage will vary on this, but every time you introduce a new character, especially one who is outside of the main action, there’s a pretty good chance that some of your audience won’t be that interested.
Like, I actually really didn’t like Daenerys. I just found her to be- her chapters to be kind of boring, most of the time, because she was so far away from the action of the story that I cared about. Obviously, Daenerys is, for the most part, a pretty popular character, so I don’t think Martin has to lose too much sleep on that account.
But when you’re writing your own story, I would always recommend to always try to keep your characters as engaged with whatever the thing your story is about as possible. Which, the Honorverse does very well, because in the Honorverse, the scope of the books slowly expands, I would say.
Ari: Yes. I would say- I actually do think you’re not alone there, with the Daenerys chapters of the books; I certainly agree with you. I think a lot of people like Daenerys as a character more from the show than from the books. Because the actress is quite good, and I think- the show does a better job of making what’s happening where Daenerys is feel more important than, I think, the book did.
I think the books did a poor job of making Daenerys feel connected to the main story, so it just feels like we’re twiddling our thumbs while she frees the slaves and then governs very poorly over a bunch of cities.
Oren: Yeah, I had actually kind of forgotten that in the early part of the books, they were talking about sending like, assassins to kill her. Because by later on, it feels like they take place in separate worlds. They’re so far apart, it’s hard for me to imagine they could actually do that.
Ari: Also, like, the advantage of Honorverse over something like Game of Thrones, is just the modes of transportation. It’s very easy to understand how characters can actually get to visit each other if they’re far apart in the Honorverse, cause they have faster than light travel and spaceships.
Whereas in- when someone’s really far away from each other in Game of Thrones, they have walking, horses, and boats. A bit slower.
Wes: Except in the tv show, where apparently, they have jetpacks and hypersonic speed ravens.
Ari: I’ve been told that the show is somewhat disregarding the map, at this point. Just, characters are kind of showing up where they need to; I saw some articles from Polygon about it. I haven’t kept up with the show at all, though, since- I can no longer smugly say that I knew that was going to happen, cause I read the books. [Wes laughs]
Oren: What’s even the point of that?
Ari: My book reading master race policy has been besmirched by these upstart movie- upstart showrunners who dare to do something different.
Oren: So, speaking of upstarts, actually, we are out of time. I’m sure we have more series we could talk about-
Ari: That was a good segue. I like that. [laughs]
Oren: Yeah. Ari, thank you again for joining us for this second episode.
Ari: Of course. It was my pleasure.
P.S. Our bills are paid by our wonderful patrons. Could you chip in?