good knight

i've been reading the "song of fire and ice" series recently (aka "game of thrones" for all of you hbo buffs), and last week, i finally finished book 4 of 5. i loved the first two books, but the last two have left me perplexed and tired. before i take on book 5 and become even more jaded, here's some constructive advice for author george r.r. martin:

1. stop killing the good guys (namely ned and king robb). and stop screwing over the still-living good guys (namely, the rest of the stark family). it's really hard to root for someone when it feels like they'll be stuck in some mildew-infested, dank old castle for all of eternity, being forced to smack lips and tangle tongues with their is-she-or-isn't-she-dead mother's sort-of-ex-and-very-creepy-friend-slash-boyfriend.

2. "must needs" may sound all britishy, but it drives my brain crazy. please reduce your verbage to what you need.

3. your continent of westeros is sunk in a medieval mindset where children are married off at the onset of puberty, sisters and brothers get jiggy with it (albeit quietly), rape is more common than baths, and the rights of women include nothing worth mentioning. as a woman reading your books, i keep hoping conditions improve, but i continue to be offended at every turn. and yet i keep reading, hoping one day women's lib comes to king's landing.

4. if you send your knights and what-not out on a quest (or a journey. or a supper run. or a sprightly walk through the godswood), please give them maps. it would save everyone lots of time and, maybe ONE DAY, they just might arrive at their destination. because, dude, none of us (including you) are getting any younger.

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