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2. The Essential Facts

2.1.1. What is A Song of Ice and Fire?

A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantasy series by George R.R. Martin, a well-regarded and lauded science fiction and fantasy author. Novels in the series have been nominated for various awards (such as the Hugo and Nebula Awards), and have won their share of them (such as the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel).

2.1.2. How many books will there be and what are their names?

In its initial conception, Mr. Martin supposed it would be a trilogy, but part way through A Game of Thrones he decided it’d have to be four books. While working on A Clash of Kings, he came to realize that the story would require at least six novels, and for a long time he stuck to this. However, with the announcement of A Feast for Crows being completed in May 2005 (in part by splitting off some POVs to appear in the fifth novel), GRRM has started to state that seven books is the new target for the series. As recently as July 2011, he’s reaffirmed his intent to finish the series in seven novels.

According to GRRM’s official website, official titles for the books are: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons, The Winds of Winter (forthcoming) and A Dream of Spring (forthcoming). A Time for Wolves is a possible title that GRRM has stated is in his contract, but it was one that he wasn’t happy with at the time.

2.1.3. What is the name of the next book and when is it due?

The Winds of Winter is as yet unscheduled, as it has not been completed. However, in a recent interview Martin hoped (we must emphasize, hoped; he makes no promises) that the book would be done in 3 to 3.5 years.

2.1.4. What happened to the five-year gap that was supposed to follow ASoS?

Mr. Martin’s original intention was that there would have been a five or six year gap between the events of book 3 (A Storm of Swords) and book 4 (A Feast for Crows). However, during the initial writing of A Feast for Crows, Mr. Martin realized that it would not work as intended, and thus he scrapped his plans for a gap after a year of attempting to make it work. The problem was that he found it impossible to jump that span of years without too many flashbacks or expository text, which would break up the narrative too much and leave readers unsatisfied with the result.

What he has now determined is that the events he planned to happen after the five year gap will largely still take place as planned, but will be happening without having to cover those proposed five years. This does mean that some characters will be doing things at an earlier age than he supposed (meaning the children—Bran, Arya, and Sansa—in particular), but it’s an unavoidable problem. He has previously remarked that in hindsight, he should have made the children two or three years older so as to avoid that problem.

2.1.6. Where can I find out more about ADwD?

Mr. Martin has read several chapters that will appear in A Dance with Dragons (Amazon: US, UK), and reports on a number of them can be found in this forum. Please note that this forum, and in particular the chapter report topics, contain a lot of spoilers. Some of the recent contributions to the So Spake Martin collection (both emails as well as chats & interviews) also contain information about the next book.

2.1.6. What are Blood of the Dragon, Path of the Dragon and Arms of the Kraken?

"Blood of the Dragon" is a novella drawn from Daenerys chapters from A Game of Thrones. It was published in Asimovs July 1996 issue. "Path of the Dragon" is a novella drawn from Daenerys chapters from A Storm of Swords. It was published in Asimovs December 2000 issue. "Arms of the Kraken" is a novella made up of four chapters with PoVs from the Iron Isles from A Feast for Crows. It was published in Dragon Magazine #305.

2.1.7. What are The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight?

"The Hedge Knight" is a ‘Dunk & Egg’ novella published in Legends, an anthology edited by Robert Silverberg which contains original short stories and novellas from major fantasy authors in their various famous settings. GRRM’s contribution takes place around the year 209 during the reign of Daeron II, and has no apparent direct bearing on the novels. It’s also available in Dreamsongs II, a collection of Martin’s short fiction that we very highly recommend—besides “The Hedge Knight”, it contains a number of his award-winning short science fiction and horror stories.

"The Sworn Sword" is a ‘Dunk & Egg’ novella published in Legends II, a follow-up to the original Legends anthology. Like the first one, this one is also edited by Robert Silverberg and contains original short stories and novellas from major fantasy authors in their various famous settings. GRRM’s contribution takes place some time after the end of "The Hedge Knight", and it too has no apparent direct bearing on the novels.

"The Mystery Knight" is a ‘Dunk & Egg’ novella published in the Warriors anthology, released in March 2010.

2.1.8. Will there be any more Dunk and Egg stories?

The fourth "Dunk & Egg" story, currently untitled, had been announced by Martin as in the planning stages. It will feature Ser Duncan the Tall and Egg at Winterfell, where they will meet the “She-Wolves” as Martin first hinted at here. Martin had also stated it was to be published in an anthology he was co-editing with Gardner Dozois, titled Dangerous Women. However, plans were changed as Martin put aside the story and replaced it with other material he had written.

Martin indicates that Bantam has signed a deal to republish the first three novellas in a collected edition. The fourth Dunk and Egg novella’s publication date remains unknown.

2.1.9. What are The Hedge Knight and The Hedge Knight II comic books?

"The Hedge Knight" comic book is an adaption of GRRM’s novella, produced by Dabel Brothers Productions (formerly called Roaring Studios). The series has been collected into a graphic novel. Since joining with Marvel Comics, DB Pro began to publish an adaption of “The Sworn Sword”, which was completed by Marvel Studios and published in graphic novel form. The same team of Ben Avery and Mike S. Miller handled the creative duties, while Westeros.org and other knowledgable fans consulted on the production for the first several issues.

The same creative team adapted "The Sworn Sword" for Marvel Comics.

2.1.10. What is The World of Ice and Fire?

The World of Ice and Fire will be a source book for A Song of Ice and Fire. Joining Mr. Martin in creating this work are Elio M. Garca, Jr. and Linda Antonsson (the founders and maintainers of Westeros.org). The book will a lavishly illustrated, in-depth guide to the history, geography, cultures, religions, and characters featured in the series.

It is currently scheduled for publication in 2014.

2.1.11. What is the Princess and the Queen

Forthcoming.

2.1.12. What is the Game of Thrones TV series?

Game of Thrones is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, produced by HBO. The first season, consisting of 10-episodes based on A Game of Thrones, premiered on April 17th 2011. It was filmed in Northern Ireland on Malta during the autumn of 2010.

The intention is that each book will be covered in at least one season. GRRM is a co-executive producer and will write one script a season but he will not be involved in the day-to-day production of the series.

We have set up a separate Game of Thrones site to cover news and information about the series.

2.1.13. What is the A Game of Thrones comic book?

This is a comic book series adapting the A Song of Ice and Fire series, co-published by Bantam and Dynamite Entertainment. Adapted by writer Daniel Abraham and artist Tommy F. Patterson, the first twenty four issues are devoted to adapting A Game of Thrones, the first novel in the series. The first collected volume is available (Amazon US), as is the second (Amazon US).

2.1.14. What is A Feast of Ice and Fire?

Annonced in 2011, A Feast of Ice and Fire (Order: Amazon US, Amazon UK) is a cookbook featuring recipes from and inspired by the novels, written by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, maintainers of the Inn at the Crossroads.

2.2.1. Who is George R.R. Martin aka GRRM?

George R.R. Martin is a well-known author of science fiction and fantasy. More information can be found at his official website.