Spoiler Alert for "A Feast for Crows"
Started on A Feast for Crows this morning. The Prologue introduces a mob of students studying to become maesters at the Citadel in Oldtown. Or not, we have to suspect in the case of Pate, the viewpoint character.
He is, after all, one of the Pates made famous on Westeros.org where a contributor thought of all the characters called Pate (there appear to be six or seven) as cannon fodder. Not that the originator of this theory used those words. I can't remember her/his exact turn of phrase.
If you've been to Westeros.org you'll know the impossibility of finding that comment again. It's a complex and densely written into site. I like it and even have an avatar that I confess I use but sparingly. My haunt tends to be the heresies.
One negative of being a writer is that I can now never read a novel and not be studying how the author solves the problems I encounter while writing. This morning I particularly noticed how GRRM ties descriptive passages (narration) to the viewpoint characters.
I quote, "He has a mocking name for everyone, thought Pate, but he could not deny that Marwyn looked more a mastiff than a maester. As if he wants to bite you." p9 of my 2011 paperback edition. Paragraph then goes into a more extended description of Marwyn the so called Mage without further reference to and by Pate until two paragraphs later. An informative conversation by the students about dragons and dragon-glass candles follows. Pate asks about the use of a candle that casts no light.
The italics are GRRM's. When I first read him, I thought they were a good way of indicating thinking. I did it too for a while, IE italicising thought. It raised the ire of many a reviewer. It seems only GRRM can get away with it. I don't know why.