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Old 09-01-2011, 02:31 PM   #16
Skibble
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I find reasonably mature children in historical novels quite easy to believe, as people had to "grow up faster" back then, taking on adult responsibilities at an age when most modern children are still watching cartoons.

Last edited by Skibble; 09-20-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:43 PM   #17
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Ooops, Billy did something stupid, he wanted to see the kitty and ended up letting the monsters in.
Of course the kid is going to do something "stupid".
Children do.
Repeated.
Ad nauseum.
Especially after being told not to by an adult.
Or at the urging of another child.
Usually precided by "watch what I can do".
Or "I wonder what would happen if....".

Oh wait... I just described about 75% of the adults I've met as well.....
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Old 09-01-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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Looks like they should be not seen, not heard, and not here....

That'd sort it..........
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:01 PM   #19
Hellmark
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Funny you should bring that up, because ironically, my pet peeve (particularly in Fantasy) is the other end of the spectrum.

I get irritated by the portrayal of kids as people who are far more intelligent, wise, courageous and thoughtful than probably any kid is in the whole world.

As much as I love the series, A Song of Ice and Fire is particularly guilty of this. Danaerys is, what, 14? And Jon Snow is 16 (same as Robb) and Bran is 8 or 9. Arya is only a little older.

Personally, whenever I read about them I picture them as older. I've never thought of Dany as 14, for instance; in my head, she's more like 20. Sorry, but there is no way I can believe that a bunch of teenagers and pre-adolescents can be anywhere near as rational and put-together as portrayed by GRRM.
I think part of it for aSoIaC is that

A: most of the main children characters are Ned Stark's offspring and we all know how he was. In Game of Thrones, when he interacts with his kids he tries to instill his level of maturity in them, even in the younger Arya and Rickon.
B: The main kids are all highborn and held to high standards. Ned Stark wants well behaved kids, and arguably miniadults, and the Targaryens aren't given a chance to be kids because they're being chased and expected to be king and queen.

On the second point, I think it is best exemplified in the polar opposite behaviors as shown by Robert Arryn, Joffery and Tommen. Robert is spoiled by his crazy mom. Joff and Tommen are spoiled by their also crazy mom, given a bad example by their kingly "father", and no one else tells them no because the boys are princes. Nothing is really expected of them, until after they've had their behavior patterns well set.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #20
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Nonetheless, Alexander the Great became king when he was 19. And 19 is not so far from 16 maturity-wise (if I can remember my misspent youth accurately). Life experiences matter more than raw age. And the g factor stabilizes between 16-19 years (and they all have high g).
I knew someone was gonna bring up old Alexander.

My answer would simply be that he was clearly a very rare and exceptional individual. ASoIaF seems to have a few too many exceptional kids.

Also, what do you mean by the g factor? I'm not familiar with that term. The only thing that comes to mind is g-force...

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And to be fair to GRRM, both Jon Snow and Daenerys have their teenage moments, when they make patently stupid/naive decisions that are emotion-driven.
True, but they are fewer and farther between than would be reasonably expected from teenagers. I can actually accept this from Jon; as a bastard and a bit of an outcast in his own home, and knowing he would never get anything handed to him on a silver platter, he has had to mature rather quickly.

But Dany at the start of the series is thirteen. Thirteen! I find that hard to swallow. I'm just gonna go ahead and keep pretending that she's ten years old than what she is.

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A: most of the main children characters are Ned Stark's offspring and we all know how he was. In Game of Thrones, when he interacts with his kids he tries to instill his level of maturity in them, even in the younger Arya and Rickon.
B: The main kids are all highborn and held to high standards. Ned Stark wants well behaved kids, and arguably miniadults, and the Targaryens aren't given a chance to be kids because they're being chased and expected to be king and queen.
But it's not just the Stark kids. Yes, Joffrey was a jackass, but in some ways even he seemed older than his years. Not in terms of wisdom or such, but even his malicious and cruel streak suggests maturity. An evil sort of maturity, but still.

And take Jaime Lannister. He won his first tourney at 13 or 14, became a member of the Kingsguard at 15. And that happened after Cersei convinces him that he should join them so they would remain close. That's some pretty clever scheming from 15 year olds. And Jaime's aunt mentioned to him how his father Tywin had protested against their father's plan for her marriage, even though he was just a kid as well.

Ser Barristan the Bold gained knighthood at 16...

I mean, I can accept an exceptional child or two. There always are a few. But this many defies reality, in my opinion.


Note to those who haven't read the series: Don't worry; nothing I've written above constitutes any sort of major spoiler.

Last edited by afa; 09-01-2011 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #21
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I knew someone was gonna bring up old Alexander.

My answer would simply be that he was clearly a very rare and exceptional individual. ASoIaF seems to have a few too many exceptional kids.
But they are exceptional! They descend from exceptional parents (I don't know where you stand on the nurture-nature debate, but I lean heavily toward nature when it comes to OCEAN personality traits), and in many cases have received exceptional education/training. Plus the quite exceptional life experiences that I've mentioned earlier.

Besides, it stands to reason that exceptional kids will turn out to be main characters. Remind me why there's no chapter for, e.g. Big Walder...

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Also, what do you mean by the g factor? I'm not familiar with that term. The only thing that comes to mind is g-force...
g-factor. Its a general intelligence factor, which correlates to IQ.

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True, but they are fewer and farther between than would be reasonably expected from teenagers.
Average teenagers, maybe. But not exceptional ones. See above.

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But Dany at the start of the series is thirteen. Thirteen! I find that hard to swallow. I'm just gonna go ahead and keep pretending that she's ten years old than what she is.
Dany doesn't really assert herself until the end of the first book. And by then she has gone through a lot. It was either adapt or die, and dying would make for a very poor story

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But it's not just the Stark kids. Yes, Joffrey was a jackass, but in some ways even he seemed older than his years. Not in terms of wisdom or such, but even his malicious and cruel streak suggests maturity. An evil sort of maturity, but still.
Joffrey is a psychopath. And these guys start early
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Old 09-01-2011, 07:43 PM   #22
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I think a good portion of it relates to how we treat kids now. Wasn't that long ago when kids really didn't get a childhood, unless they were rich. I know my own dad, started working a normal full time job at 13, and at 16 he was in the teamsters. Before he started working, he helped on the family farm. Things were expected of him, so he did his part. That shaped who he was, matured him quicker. Part of why I was initially drawn into the series, was because of how much Ned Stark reminded me of him. If you had been reading the books 100 or even 50 years ago, would you have thought things all that bizarre?
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:29 PM   #23
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I find reasonably mature children in historical novels quite easy to believe, as people had to "grow up faster" back then, taking on adult responsibilities at an age when most modern child are still watching cartoons.
Hey! I still watch cartoons.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #24
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Hey! I still watch cartoons.
Actually... So do I. I should have thought that post through more carefully....
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