Game of Thrones Writer Inspired by Breaking Bad's Evil Protagonist

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Game of Thrones Writer Inspired by Breaking Bad's Evil Protagonist

Breaking Bad's Walter White is so impressively evil that George R.R. Martin has been inspired to step up his game. This does not bode well for Westeros.

A Song of Ice and Fire (along with its TV adaptation Game of Thrones) has some pretty evil characters. Arguably, most of its characters fall somewhere on the scale between evil and downright monstrous. And yet, series author George R.R. Martin has been one-upped. After watching the most recent episode of Breaking Bad, he admitted that he'd been beaten at his own game, remarking that "Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros."

Now, anyone can make that comparison and take part in the ensuing argument that will inevitably follow. But remember, this comes from the man who is still actively writing the future of Westeros, and that means he still has time to reclaim his throne. Fans who were shocked by Martin's first comment should be terrified of what he said next: "I need to do something about that." You think Joffrey's bad? Or the Red Wedding? It might be time to buckle down; it's only getting more evil from here.

Despite the grudge, Martin harbors no ill will towards Breaking Bad. He calls it an "amazing series," and is eager to see how it fares against Game of Thrones at this year's Emmys. Breaking Bad is wrapping up its final season, but Game of Thrones has a lot of material left to cover - Season 4 is scheduled to premiere early next year, and Martin still has two novels to finish before the saga is over. If he's serious about one-upping Walter White, I just hope there's a world left to fight over by then.

Source: George R.R. Martin

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As if things couldn't get worse for the Starks. Those poor, poor wolves.

Martin, you've already taken all of my feels. How much more do you want?

It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

Gethsemani:
It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

I actually think Martin should try and do a coalition with another writer. Martin and they sit down every time with Martin just emptying his brain of ideas, plots, characters, developments and the universe with the other party focusing on putting it together in a cohesive narrative.

On top of that when Martin (inevitably but certainly unfortunately) passes there will be a writer to pick up that torch and have an understanding as to where to take the world of Westeros.

One can dream...

And at the same time it's great to see writers feeding off each other as I feel that can lead to some truly complex and amazing stories/settings/characters.

Abomination:

Gethsemani:
It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

I actually think Martin should try and do a coalition with another writer. Martin and they sit down every time with Martin just emptying his brain of ideas, plots, characters, developments and the universe with the other party focusing on putting it together in a cohesive narrative.

On top of that when Martin (inevitably but certainly unfortunately) passes there will be a writer to pick up that torch and have an understanding as to where to take the world of Westeros.

One can dream...

And at the same time it's great to see writers feeding off each other as I feel that can lead to some truly complex and amazing stories/settings/characters.

He should team up with Terry Pratchett, I'd read that.

As someone who's only read 2 books and doesn't watch the show there may be a lot I'm missing, but it seems like Westeros has more than enough evil to go around. In fact I think it could really use Hank.

I'm actually not too happy with how flanderized Walter got by now. Why do they always do that instead of ending a series on a season when characters have not yet become exaggerated caricatures of themselves?

Every time I hear news about G.R.R. Martin I get scared. What the hell is he going to do now to some of my favorite fantasy literature characters? Hopefully Daenerys and Arya won't end up dead.

I don't know much about what happens in the series post season two of the TV show, but given what I keep being told about the various characters, I'm not sure how he intends to out-evil all the bastards already present short of introducing a Stalin'esque guy.

Abomination:

Gethsemani:
It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

I actually think Martin should try and do a coalition with another writer. Martin and they sit down every time with Martin just emptying his brain of ideas, plots, characters, developments and the universe with the other party focusing on putting it together in a cohesive narrative.

On top of that when Martin (inevitably but certainly unfortunately) passes there will be a writer to pick up that torch and have an understanding as to where to take the world of Westeros.

One can dream...

And at the same time it's great to see writers feeding off each other as I feel that can lead to some truly complex and amazing stories/settings/characters.

I can see the best advice from the other writer now, "Well yes that does sound good George, but how about you create a character that doesn't die horribly or get their lives ruined and their faces crammed into the muck? Maybe some of your fans would like to garner emotional investment in your story without the fear it will end with them sad and depressed and deciding to just put The Smiths song Asleep on an endless loop and crawl into bed with a plastic bag over their head, rather than just watching their favorite characters get murdered."

What? I have seen the latest Breaking Bad episode and while he's a pretty big asshole to jessy like always, he's nowhere near as bad as the bastard of bolton or joffrey.
I mean it's

toms:

Abomination:

Gethsemani:
It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

I actually think Martin should try and do a coalition with another writer. Martin and they sit down every time with Martin just emptying his brain of ideas, plots, characters, developments and the universe with the other party focusing on putting it together in a cohesive narrative.

On top of that when Martin (inevitably but certainly unfortunately) passes there will be a writer to pick up that torch and have an understanding as to where to take the world of Westeros.

One can dream...

And at the same time it's great to see writers feeding off each other as I feel that can lead to some truly complex and amazing stories/settings/characters.

He should team up with Terry Pratchett, I'd read that.

While it would probably be a match made in heaven... Pratchett is in an unfortunate similar circumstance. What with him supposedly having suffered a stroke that was misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's.

There is -another- Pratchett who could step in though?

GrinningCat:
As if things couldn't get worse for the Starks. Those poor, poor wolves.

Martin, you've already taken all of my feels. How much more do you want?

I know what you mean...

I finished all of the books before the second and third television season came out. So I have had the experience of watching a friend of mines growing horror as he goes through the books and finds out what happens.

The author really seems to hate the good characters.

Gethsemani:
It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

I am not entirely sure I can agree. While he certainly does have a sense of sadism in regards to the characters, he also manages to make characters who do bad things sympathetic. We get people such as Jamie and Tywin Lannister who at first seem to be quite evil, but are shown to not be as bad as they first appear. The characters are not one dimensional at all, even characters such as Sandor Clegane have redeemable features, despite also doing horrible things.

Not many average writers can make you not entirely hate the bad guys.

Vegosiux:
I'm actually not too happy with how flanderized Walter got by now.

Adam Jensen:
Every time I hear news about G.R.R. Martin I get scared. What the hell is he going to do now to some of my favorite fantasy literature characters? Hopefully Daenerys and Arya won't end up dead.

Dany is essentially the heroine (if there is one), and has had so many "kick the puppy" moments done to her that I don't think even George can stand to wail on her anymore.

Dany is tied with Jon Snow with the greatest odds of surviving the series. My favorite character (Cersei) still lives simply because George actively hates his readership's opinions.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Adam Jensen:
Every time I hear news about G.R.R. Martin I get scared. What the hell is he going to do now to some of my favorite fantasy literature characters? Hopefully Daenerys and Arya won't end up dead.

Dany is essentially the heroine (if there is one), and has had so many "kick the puppy" moments done to her that I don't think even George can stand to wail on her anymore.

Dany is tied with Jon Snow with the greatest odds of surviving the series. My favorite character (Cersei) still lives simply because George actively hates his readership's opinions.

Bolded part is what scares me.

Psychobabble:

I can see the best advice from the other writer now, "Well yes that does sound good George, but how about you create a character that doesn't die horribly or get their lives ruined and their faces crammed into the muck?

He did, though. Most protagonists (i.e. the ones with their own chapters who were introduced in the beginning) are still around and I'm sure the majority is going to survive until the end.
And it's as Martin said in an interview - when you know that the hero is going to survive no matter what since s/he's a hero you don't get any real suspense, which I'm fully agree with him on. Besides, since there're quite a lot of protagonists he can afford to kill off a few.

Legion:

I am not entirely sure I can agree. While he certainly does have a sense of sadism in regards to the characters, he also manages to make characters who do bad things sympathetic.

The POV chapters help a great in that, I think. If you know the intent and thinking behind someone's actions it makes you actually understand the person instead of going "Hurr durr, they're evil".

Legion:

I am not entirely sure I can agree. While he certainly does have a sense of sadism in regards to the characters, he also manages to make characters who do bad things sympathetic. We get people such as Jamie and Tywin Lannister who at first seem to be quite evil, but are shown to not be as bad as they first appear. The characters are not one dimensional at all, even characters such as Sandor Clegane have redeemable features, despite also doing horrible things.

Not many average writers can make you not entirely hate the bad guys.

I totally agree. As I said, my problem is that he feels like a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination. The setting, the characters and the events are all fascinating and captivating. The problem is that more often than not you have to see past the plodding, drawn out pacing, the "author masturbation"-sections of sex or naked women thrown in for little reason other than that Martin seemed like he was getting horny and had to rub one out or the never ending sections of Martin telling you the entire menu of a feast or describing individual people passing by on a street. I know some people love details like, but for me it makes for a series of books that at times are unbearably slow.

Couple that with how A Feast for Crows went literally nowhere and how Martin sometimes seems uncertain off where he is going with the story and throws around idiot balls and deus ex machinas (Stannis attack on King's Landing is a prime example, the Stark's at the Red Wedding being another) to get himself out of the corner he writes himself into and you've got an extraordinary setting in the hands of a writer that just isn't up to the task to make stories to match the setting.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Adam Jensen:
Every time I hear news about G.R.R. Martin I get scared. What the hell is he going to do now to some of my favorite fantasy literature characters? Hopefully Daenerys and Arya won't end up dead.

Dany is essentially the heroine (if there is one), and has had so many "kick the puppy" moments done to her that I don't think even George can stand to wail on her anymore.

Dany is tied with Jon Snow with the greatest odds of surviving the series. My favorite character (Cersei) still lives simply because George actively hates his readership's opinions.

Dany is essentially the heroine (if there is one)

...

Eddard Stark

Robb Stark

Catelyn Stark

I think your argument is invalidated.

Also have you read the books, because

Also I think Arya and Dany are two of the MOST likely characters NOT to survive the coming winter, but that's just my opinion.

Gethsemani:

Couple that with how A Feast for Crows went literally nowhere and how Martin sometimes seems uncertain off where he is going with the story and throws around idiot balls and deus ex machinas (Stannis attack on King's Landing is a prime example, the Stark's at the Red Wedding being another) to get himself out of the corner he writes himself into and you've got an extraordinary setting in the hands of a writer that just isn't up to the task to make stories to match the setting.

I disagree with you. And while you are welcome to your opinion you don't seem to know what Deus ex machina means, or you don't got what happened in the story.
A Deus ex machina means that a conflict is solved by either sudden Events, which come out of nowhere, or an external power, like a god or something.
Neither of your examples is a conflict being solved.
Besides, Stannis attack on Kings Landing wasn't sudden at all. It was what the whole second Book, or season, was all about.
The Red Wedding was a sudden Event, but it wasn't a solution to a conflict either. It didn't came out of nowhere too, you could tell that something was about to happen. You didn't guess what it was, but you can't tell me you didn't expect anything extrordinary to happen at this wedding.
You know what that kind of thing is called? A Twist.
Neither of those qualify as Deus ex machina. You're welcome to your opinion of not liking his work, but please educate yourself before you start throwing terms around without knowing what they mean.

Gethsemani:

Legion:

I am not entirely sure I can agree. While he certainly does have a sense of sadism in regards to the characters, he also manages to make characters who do bad things sympathetic. We get people such as Jamie and Tywin Lannister who at first seem to be quite evil, but are shown to not be as bad as they first appear. The characters are not one dimensional at all, even characters such as Sandor Clegane have redeemable features, despite also doing horrible things.

Not many average writers can make you not entirely hate the bad guys.

Couple that with how A Feast for Crows went literally nowhere and how Martin sometimes seems uncertain off where he is going with the story and throws around idiot balls and deus ex machinas (Stannis attack on King's Landing is a prime example, the Stark's at the Red Wedding being another) to get himself out of the corner he writes himself into and you've got an extraordinary setting in the hands of a writer that just isn't up to the task to make stories to match the setting.

The Red Wedding was NOT a deus ex machina. It was heavily foreshadowed as early as A Game of Thrones, and several times much more obviously in A Clash of Kings. Same with Stannis's defeat at the blackwater.

AFFC is incredibly important when combined with ADWD for world building and resetting the stage for more epicness to unfold in TWOW.

If I had more time I'd explain more but simply put, you're wrong IMO.

Amaror:

I disagree with you. And while you are welcome to your opinion you don't seem to know what Deus ex machina means, or you don't got what happened in the story.
A Deus ex machina means that a conflict is solved by either sudden Events, which come out of nowhere, or an external power, like a god or something.
Neither of your examples is a conflict being solved.
Besides, Stannis attack on Kings Landing wasn't sudden at all. It was what the whole second Book, or season, was all about.
The Red Wedding was a sudden Event, but it wasn't a solution to a conflict either. It didn't came out of nowhere too, you could tell that something was about to happen. You didn't guess what it was, but you can't tell me you didn't expect anything extrordinary to happen at this wedding.
You know what that kind of thing is called? A Twist.
Neither of those qualify as Deus ex machina. You're welcome to your opinion of not liking his work, but please educate yourself before you start throwing terms around without knowing what they mean.

I should have been clearer, so here we go:

Stannis attack on King's Landing: Idiot Ball. "Hey, let us sail our fragile ships into the harbor area where siege weapons can leisurely destroy them". Even without Tyrion's cunning and tricks that's a stupid strategy, especially when coming from the guy that is constantly propped up as one of the best and most careful commanders in Westeros.
It also doubles as Deus Ex Machina because Tywin's host shows up at just the right hour to repel the attack (granted, this is partially dramatic effect) and even in universe a forced march from Riverrun to King's Landing shouldn't be that quick, given that only a few days seems to have passed from his departure from the siege of Riverrun. We also have Tyrion suddenly becoming a super-warrior (a sort of deus ex machina), whereas the books prior have established that he can barely wield a weapon he is suddenly cutting down knights in open combat.

The Red Wedding: Idiot ball. Do I really need to spell out why Robb suddenly seems to have lost all his wit and that everyone around him seems to have found a massive shipment of idiot balls to carry around? I appreciate the twist, but the whole chapter was so hamfistedly written that I almost felt like throwing the book away with great force.

For those interested in further reasons why I feel Martin is a mediocre writer, I think Film Crit Hulk says it better than I do:On Feast For Crows On Dance With Dragons

I don't know... Ramsay Bolton is pretty damn evil. As is Joffrey, Tywin etc. And honestly the more this season progresses the more I feel for Walt again. He's still a gigantic douche that caused all this himself but I think he genuinely wanted to remove him self from the criminal life but now he can't. He has lost his family forever and gotten Hank killed, all because of his own actions.

toms:

Abomination:

Gethsemani:
It is at times like these that I get confirmation of my prejudice that Martin is a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination and world building skill. Either that or simply a sadistic man who gets off on letting bad things happen to good people in his works. Or maybe both.

It would be easier to be smug about this if I wasn't waiting so eagerly for Winds of Winter.

I actually think Martin should try and do a coalition with another writer. Martin and they sit down every time with Martin just emptying his brain of ideas, plots, characters, developments and the universe with the other party focusing on putting it together in a cohesive narrative.

On top of that when Martin (inevitably but certainly unfortunately) passes there will be a writer to pick up that torch and have an understanding as to where to take the world of Westeros.

One can dream...

And at the same time it's great to see writers feeding off each other as I feel that can lead to some truly complex and amazing stories/settings/characters.

He should team up with Terry Pratchett, I'd read that.

Stop reading my mind, i'm just reading 'The long earth' at the moment which is Pratchett and Baxter(loving it). No idea what we'd get but it'd probally blow my mind.

Gethsemani:
For those interested in further reasons why I feel Martin is a mediocre writer, I think Film Crit Hulk says it better than I do:On Feast For Crows On Dance With Dragons

I would love to read someone's opinions on those books, but there's no way I'm slogging through walls of all-caps in that stupid Hulk gimmick. Do you know if the same points are made elsewhere in a form more easily read?

Since when was Walt evil? Wasn't he doing all of this to raise money for his family? Hasn't he avoided killing in the past?

Teoes:

I would love to read someone's opinions on those books, but there's no way I'm slogging through walls of all-caps in that stupid Hulk gimmick. Do you know if the same points are made elsewhere in a form more easily read?

No idea, but it wouldn't surprise me. The quick summary is that Martin doesn't seem to understand proper pacing, fails to resolve his plots in a satisfactory manner and often seems to confuse shock value with emotional investment. If you can't get through the Hulk-gimmick you could just look around for someone that presents the same general ideas.

Gethsemani:
[

I totally agree. As I said, my problem is that he feels like a mediocre writer with an excellent imagination. The setting, the characters and the events are all fascinating and captivating. The problem is that more often than not you have to see past the plodding, drawn out pacing, the "author masturbation"-sections of sex or naked women thrown in for little reason other than that Martin seemed like he was getting horny and had to rub one out or the never ending sections of Martin telling you the entire menu of a feast or describing individual people passing by on a street. I know some people love details like, but for me it makes for a series of books that at times are unbearably slow.

There's actually more sex in the TV series than there is in the books. It's not as prominent as you think it is.

Makabriel:

There's actually more sex in the TV series than there is in the books. It's not as prominent as you think it is.

Considering that the series throws in at least 2 sex/nude women scenes per episode, I am not surprised. The problem isn't really whatever or not there's lots of sex, it is that whenever it shows up (and sex or the shape of a woman's body/breasts shows up about once a chapter, minimum) it often feels jarringly out of place. As Film Crit Hulk says: The prose and tone takes a wrong turn and changes into something that sounds more at home in a teenagers slash-fic than in the solid prose that Martin otherwise exhibits.

The fact that I, and many others, might think there's more sex then there is is the entire problem. Because it just shows that we register it because it takes us out of our "groove" when reading those particular parts. Even if they aren't prominent, they are indicative of poor writing since they seem to be what people remember.

But... but... Walt isn't evil...

I mean, I get that he's not exactly a good person (doesn't prevent me from rooting for him), but evil?

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Dany is tied with Jon Snow with the greatest odds of surviving the series. My favorite character (Cersei) still lives simply because George actively hates his readership's opinions.

George said he is fan of the bitter sweat ending.

With that in mind I expect Jon Snow to survive all the way to the end and do everything big and prophesied (aka becoming the champion of the fire god and defeating the white walkers with the sword of dawn ... possibly even commanding Dragons assuming that theory of him being half Targaryen is true).

And then right near the end of the series once he has saved everyone and ensured the safety of the world ... BAM dead.

Sight Unseen:

Also have you read the books, because

And that is not confirmed, the book made it look that way, but it was never 100% confirmed.

Gethsemani:

I should have been clearer, so here we go:

Stannis attack on King's Landing: Idiot Ball. "Hey, let us sail our fragile ships into the harbor area where siege weapons can leisurely destroy them". Even without Tyrion's cunning and tricks that's a stupid strategy, especially when coming from the guy that is constantly propped up as one of the best and most careful commanders in Westeros.
It also doubles as Deus Ex Machina because Tywin's host shows up at just the right hour to repel the attack (granted, this is partially dramatic effect) and even in universe a forced march from Riverrun to King's Landing shouldn't be that quick, given that only a few days seems to have passed from his departure from the siege of Riverrun. We also have Tyrion suddenly becoming a super-warrior (a sort of deus ex machina), whereas the books prior have established that he can barely wield a weapon he is suddenly cutting down knights in open combat.

Stannis sails his massive fleet into the harbor area because he knows his fleet will outmatch Joffreys. Also, it's quite clearly explained that the Mud Gate is the easiest point of entry into the city. Siege weapons are expected and probably entered into the calculated acceptable losses of a city sacking. Finally, he needs to take the city quickly, so that he can defend it from the incoming Lannister host that Tywin is leading.

It's not an "Idiot ball" to charge a known weak spot with a superior force at an opportune time.
Also, noteworthy, Stannis had no reason to expect that he would be attacked by enormous quantities of wildfire. Noone knew there were so much of the stuff still around.

Deus ex Machina = "seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved, with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

Tywin abandoning the war against the north in order to march his army back to kings landing is not a "seemingly unsolvable problem", nor is it contrived, unexpected, a new event, ability or object.
You say "that quick" as if you know how quick it was. Apparently, it was quick enough, or long enough, to arrive at just the right time.

The Red Wedding: Idiot ball. Do I really need to spell out why Robb suddenly seems to have lost all his wit and that everyone around him seems to have found a massive shipment of idiot balls to carry around? I appreciate the twist, but the whole chapter was so hamfistedly written that I almost felt like throwing the book away with great force.

For those interested in further reasons why I feel Martin is a mediocre writer, I think Film Crit Hulk says it better than I do:On Feast For Crows On Dance With Dragons

Granted, I haven't read that far into the books, but the red wedding makes perfect sense within the context of the world. It's foreshadowed throughout the entire series up until that point, and there are perfectly reasonable explanations for everything that takes place in that chapter.

Gethsemani:

Considering that the series throws in at least 2 sex/nude women scenes per episode, I am not surprised. The problem isn't really whatever or not there's lots of sex, it is that whenever it shows up (and sex or the shape of a woman's body/breasts shows up about once a chapter, minimum) it often feels jarringly out of place. As Film Crit Hulk says: The prose and tone takes a wrong turn and changes into something that sounds more at home in a teenagers slash-fic than in the solid prose that Martin otherwise exhibits.

The fact that I, and many others, might think there's more sex then there is is the entire problem. Because it just shows that we register it because it takes us out of our "groove" when reading those particular parts. Even if they aren't prominent, they are indicative of poor writing since they seem to be what people remember.

Just to clear the air, I understand your point of view. I can see where you're coming from.

You can't judge it from the HBO show though... It's a cable channel it's what they do, heh. I agree that there are moments in the book where it is mentioned frequently as well, but it is in the tone of the story. I never was pulled out of the story by the mention of nudity or sex or whatever.

I dunno, I suppose after reading things like Laura Hamilton, or even Anne Rice.. the mention of nudity in a book just doesn't jar me as much as someone else.

I'm really surprised by how many people that actually like the Starks, wait... no I'm not.

It's not out of sadism that Martin does this... he might enjoy people having the reactions they do, but that isn't why. It's all part of the trope subversion. In pretty much every other story a family like the Starks walks around with plot armor and does things that would get you killed in reality. Rob Stark and his father got what was coming. Nobody is safe walking around in Westeros with a +10 morality shield and a sense of ahem* "honor".

OT: Not surprising, good guys are becoming too good, and by extension unrelatable. Very few people are paradigms of humanity and virtue, its way easier to relate to an antihero or villain than some paladin-esque hero.

Thing I've learned today: a lot of people don't consider Walt outright evil. There's probably a good article about media distorting our views of morality.

Ya know, considering all the awful stuff Gregor Clegane does in the books, or is at least stated to have done, I think he may take home the prize. It must be said, though, that Vargo Hoat and his organization get an honorable mention.

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