Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
You might be surprised. Rarely is anything clear cut in A Song of Ice and Fire...
This is pretty much the appeal. The end of Book 1 blew my mind (no spoilers), everything about it was just...wrong, by usual "hack n slash fantasy" rules. Authors just don't do
stuff like that
It hardly slows down from there either. Terrible stuff happens to the good guys, the bad guys flourish, then fall. Shallow villains become unexpectedly complex, heroes become far more grey.
It's far from "great literature," but some of the best fantasy writing out there. Breaking the rules lets him go places nobody else goes.