The Citadel: SSM

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Private Meeting (Santa Fe, NM)

Driving cross country across the U.S. with my parents (my first visit home in 5 years, and since they needed to make the trip, I figured what better than to experience it with them? It also let me see my siblings and extended family), I noticed that I wasn't going to be that far from Santa Fe. So ... long story short, details were sorted out. Very cool.

The drive to Santa Fe was remarkably beautiful. I hadn't realized how high up the city is -- elevation over 7,000 feet! Parts of it reminded me rather a lot of Monterey, California, which also has its roots as a Spanish colonial town. It's a lovely place, and I can see why GRRM and Parris live there. On arriving at GRRMs homes (yes, homes -- one across from the other; each day he takes his "morning commute" over to the house that serves as his office), GRRM came out to say hello. While my parents took off to dinner, GRRM and I went into the office, where I immediately noticed several things:

Miniatures on display. Foreign editions of ASoIaF. All kinds of books, actually, some which looked like references. And the computer on which all the magic happens. I later noticed that he had a lot of the art from the Fantasy Flight Games CCG hung up on the walls around the work area. Wow! As we went to his den (after he called Parris to let her know I had arrived), I commented that I knew people who'd pay to get a look at his place. He casually gestured to a box on a desk and said with a smile that that's what people would really pay for. "That" being -- you guessed it -- the latest partial manuscript of AFfC, ready to be shipped off to his editors for their perusal. I should have touched it, or something.

We chatted for a bit, then Parris arrived. I didn't know it was possible for someone to be so friendly, but Parris managed it. ;) She was tremendously kind, and generous with her praise of the work Linda and I had done with Westeros.org, as well as how great all the Brotherhood are (with particular regards sent Lodengarl's way)!

From there, we went into the older part of Santa Fe, to have dinner at a place called The Bullring. Wonderful food, suffice it to say, and at a great location. Following are some brief snippets amounting to my recollections:

GRRM and Parris are both really pleased with "The Hedge Knight" comic book adaptation, and the work that the Dabel brothers, Ben Avery, and Mike Miller have done.

Comic books were discussed somewhat, and Wild Cards as well. This connects to ASoIaF because GRRM's response regarding how popular Dorne and the Red Viper were among readers was how it was rather the "Boba Fett" effect. He himself had witnessed this in the WC books, when an extremely minor "red shirt" (in this case, a character specifically introduced early in the series to be killed off later on) was killed, only to have a fan club for that character send him an upset letter to him. The character only had one line in all of his appearances!

GRRM's quite pleased with reports of people spending a great deal of time arguing about characters, rather than just plot details (though that, too, is great). Yes, this came out when I was trying to lure him into discussing Stannis and/or Jaime, but he wouldn't indulge me that far. ;)

There are wyverns in the setting, and we'll learn something about them in AFfC. This came out during a discussion of heraldry.

Long ago, someone (LindaElane?) learned from GRRM that his visit to New Zealand and Rotorura park (full of geysers, natural hot springs, bubbling mud, and the smell of sulfur) had inspired a location that would appear in the books. That location hasn't appeared yet, but it will in time. Linda and I are guessing Valyria, or possibly Asshai.

Parris and GRRM were both enthused with how beautifully the Lord of the Rings films came out. We all shared a particular like for the introduction to the second film, with its gorgeous vista of New Zealand's Southern Alps and then its entering through the window to the scene at the Bridge of Khazad-dum. ("Yeah. Gandalf should have stayed dead." -- GRRM) In connection to LOTR, GRRM recalled how popular it was in his college days, and that an expression of that love was the popularity of maps of Middle-earth. You were likelier to see a map than a drawing of a character or a scene. This, he says, shows how Middle-earth was practically a character in its own right in the book. I think he hopes that Westeros is as alive for readers as Middle-earth is, with its castles, ruins, wonders, and history.

GRRM said he wanted to have the series be done at six books -- then noted that Parris said it'd be seven. She grinned rather impishly, nodding her head.

Daemon Blackfyre rebelled so many years after Aegon the Unworthy's death for several reasons. One was his growing resentment at having the status of a bastard, and what it meant. Another was that he gained councillors who urged him to it. Among them was Fireball, a knight of House Ball in the Reach, who had been master-at-arms at the Red Keep during Aegon's days. Aegon promised him a place in the Kingsguard, when an opening made itself apparent, but he died before that could happen. When a spot finally opened up under Daeron, Fireball reminded him of his father's promise ... and was not given a place in the Sworn Brotherhood. GRRM said that Fireball was loosely inspired by Hotspur Percy, hence the name (referring to his fiery temper).

There was no discussion about when AFfC would be finished -- it'd be done when it was done. But as already noted, he is sending manuscripts to his publishers, so it's certainly progressing.

Once dinner was done, we went back to his office, where more cool stuff was shown off. I saw his miniatures displayed, including the Brian Rodden figures that the fans bought for him as presents (he noted that the blue serpent of the Dukes of Milan was his inspiration for making Prince Oberyn the Red Viper), having pride of place with the Robert figure that Parris had commisioned for him. I also saw his Prime Collection, as he called it, which was a copy of every single thing he had ever been published in, in their first editions.

Then it was time to go. It was one of the best meals I've eaten in a very long time, but the company was better. :)

Boskone (Boston, MA; February 13-15)

Other meta-information, from the Q&A session: GRRM is at about 1000 pages; he anticipates maybe 300 more. He hasn't decided whether or not Bran will appear in AFfC, but if so will only appear briefly. Jon and Dany will be the two focal characters of AFfC (in the sort of way in which Ned was the focal character of AGoT). He's not averse to writing more stories in the ASoIaF world after he finishes the series (which perhaps may look more like seven books), but won't write direct sequels to the series. Future Dunk and Egg stories will be getting darker. (No detail was given as to when the next D&E story could appear.)

And both GRRM and Parris were wearing the Brotherhood T-shirts. I wish I'd remembered to wear mine.

...

Bran: somebody had asked whether the Starks would appear, and whether they would be a focus. GRRM mentioned Sansa and Arya, and said "of course Catelyn won't appear again" [this was previously known], and said "Jon also, if you consider him a Stark" [this was greeted with a lot of laughter]. He didn't explicitly mention Bran, so somebody asked whether Bran would appear in AFfC. GRRM's response was that Bran is one of the characters in training, and so at most he'll get a chapter or two, but that he hadn't decided yet. (He made a throwaway joke about kung-fu movies at this point.)

So, I think that Bran will play (at most) a minor role in AFfC, but he'll be back in future books. GRRM said explicitly that he doesn't like writing "training" chapters (hence the kung-fu references).

Torcon (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1)

[Note: This report fleshes out details given in Rhelle's report.]

OK, some more info:

That convo that was referred to above went like this:

Q: "Do you know how the books will end?"

GRRM: "YES" (emphatically)

Q: "So do you have it written down somewhere... just in case?"

GRRM: "Nope. It's all in my head. So if I die, you all are shit out of luck"

LOL, I wonder if Parris knows...

On POVs

George said that at first he was just going to use the original POVs from AGoT for the entire series, then he realized that he needed to see what Stannis was doing, but did'nt want to use Stannis as a POV. So he created Davos. Davos was his first added POV. The rest followed.

On writing his POVs, as Rhelle mentioned above, he uses their motivations and desires. What do they want? What do they want to achieve? What drives them? What SHOULD they do? Ethics, morals, ambitions, etc... all part of the mix.

On the 5 year gap this has probably already been discussed before, but here goes. George said that he was writing ADwD and was writing the flashbacks (he confirmed that they would have been flashbacks) and then he realized that he couldn't just skip things like Myrcella being crowned and the resulting dornish problems, for example. Originally he had wanted to skip the 5 years to make the kids older. But he said he realized that he was being impatient, and that those 5 years had too much important stuff to skim over. And as banditski noted above, Rickon will not be in AFfC. George's exact words: "no, he's not old enough yet." Hmmmmm. YET.

On Jaime

at a panel:

Q: "Did you know from the beginning that you would flesh Jaime out and make him a pov?"

GRRM: "I knew I would flesh him out, but no, I did not know he would be a pov."

Some pronunciations:

Lyanna = lye-anna
Catelyn = cat-linn
Maester = may-ster (that one's pretty obvious)
Moat Cailin = Moat Cah-lan
Sansa = Saun-sa
Khaleesi = Khal-eee-see
Missandei = mees-anday
Tommen = Toam-in
Davos = Dah-vos
Varys = Var-us

Many of you probably knew those, but they were new to me! So I thought I'd share

Something weird: I THINK he indicated that the dragons are NOT all the same sex. My question was intercepted, but I believe that was the answer. Cool. Reign of fire baby! One of my favorite things that George said: he was talking about how he uses ancient software on his computer and he said something like "no fucking dancing paperclip for me." LOL. we were dying.

Torcon (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1)

I too picked up a few things in talking with him...

In no particular order:

We won't see any (or very little) of Rickon in AFfC.

I was talking with george and the dude from FFG [Fantasy Flight Games] who does the card game, and George asked the FFG guy how he was going to balance the power of the families (Stark, Lannister, Greyjoy, etc) once the dragons are full grown. He said something like "once dany lands in westeros with full grown dragons, they are gonna kickass all over the place" (paraphrasing - it was something more like "they will be tougher than anything we've seen since Aegon the Conquorer.")

We probably won't get the POV from an Other, but we will find out more about them (history, motives, etc.)

Oh, I also asked George if he could say what new map(s) there will be in AFfC. He answered the Free Cities.

Torcon (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1)

[Note: This report fleshes out details given in this report.]

Fleshing out some of the notes Rhelle took on the Q&A:

"George was asked if he would change anything and he says nothing major."

The person asking the question noted that, when Tolkien wrote LotR, he had the advantage of completing the entire trilogy prior to publication, and therefore could revise portions of, say, the first book while he was writing the second. The person asked whether, since George's works are serial, were there any changes he would make? George said that there are a few minor details he's noticed that are inconsistent between books, and these are the only things he would change (and *has* changed in later editions).

"We are completely 'shit out of luck' if George dies." And "George gave out props to Ran and says he checks with Ran for mistakes. (GO RAN!!! Yes, we cheered you)."

I recall these being all part of one answer, but my memory could be faulty. I believe the question was: Did George have an idea how the books are going to end? Is it written down somewhere? How does he keep all the details straight? And what happens if he dies? George gave his, 'sorry, SOL' answer. He said that he does keep some details written down on his computer, but mostly it's all "up here" in his head. "Also, there's a man called Elio in Sweden, and he knows all the details, knows everything better than I do. I can just ask Elio."

I don't recall what the question was, but our Tolkien fans would be interested in a snippet George mentioned. He said one of the beauties of LotR is how the book starts out with a small world, and gradually expands. You start with this huge sprawling map, and it's just of the Hobbit lands, and this is all our hobbits really know of. There's no talk of, say, Minias Tirith [and no LotR fans better come excoriate me for spelling that wrong] at the beginning. Then, when the journey begins, the hobbits -- and the readers -- get this incredible sense of an ever-expanding world, and how they are just a small part of it.

The guy who asked whether Westeros was in the southern hemisphere was really quite certain George was gonna say yes to that one, and seemed shocked when George said, "Ummmm. No."

Tommen rhymes with "omen."

Chataya is shuh-TIE-yuh.

George mentioned over and over this weekend how he doesn't feel that there's really a boundary between fantasy and sci fi. My new prediction is that the Others are actually space aliens, that the "dragons" asleep below Dragonstone and Winterfell are actually space ships, and that we'll end with Dany's dragons in a fight with aliens shooting space lasers. You heard it here first, folks!

Torcon (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1)

[Note: Proofread for clarity. This is in response to a question regarding whether Brandon's duel with Littlefinger was before or after Harrenhal.]

And when I asked him your question, Ran, about Brandon, he said he couldn't be 100% sure without checking his notes but he thought it was after Harrenhal.

Torcon (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1)

Frey rhymes with "Day"

Jonquil is pronounced John-Kill.

Dolorous is pronounced Dollar-Us

Tobho rhymes with Bobo

Torcon (Toronto, Canada; August 28-September 1)

This chapter was originally part of the prologue, of which was 250 pages. Now the material will be spread throughout the book. POVs are listed and George says "Meeren with Dany" and it sounded to me like she was going to stay there throughout the book.

George was asked if he would change anything and he says nothing major.

We are completely "shit out of luck" if George dies.

Regarding the size and geography of Westeros: it is about the size of South America. It is Not in the southern hemisphere. Stop asking George about distances and travel time. Measuring the realm by the reference of how long the Wall is NOT valid.

George says he is drowning in POVs and will have to start killing some off soon. (said with laughter)

AFFC is getting longer and more difficult to fit the entire 5 years in.

Some people will never be POVs: Littlefinger, Varys, Howland Reed, and others who know too much.

George gave out props to Ran and says he checks with Ran for mistakes. (GO RAN!!! Yes, we cheered you)

ASOIAF is loosely based on the War of the Roses and the 100 year war.

Politics: look at all people, not just POVs and he thinks through what these people want-what they are after, what is in it for them.

No regrets about killing of chars.

George talks about nutty fans, and related a story about a woman who contacted him complaining that he killed her daughter, who was named Kathryn (Beauty and the Beast).

Boskone (Boston, MA; February 14-16)

[Note: There is a very large potential spoiler contained herein. We must note that there are contradictory claims from those who say GRRM addressed the issue at ConJose the previous year. It is entirely possible GRRM changed his mind between one point or the next, or that one person or another misheard him -- although the present reporter has said in a later mail that she is 99% certain that she heard correctly.]

I just came back from a weekend book convention in Boston at which George R.R. Martin was present. I went to several panels where he debated many issues with other fantasy authors. He talked about the difference between sci-fi and fantasy (or the lack thereof) and several other things. My husband and I got to go to an event called a Kaffeklatsche where about 10 people get to sit around a table with an author and ask questions. I will detail some of the questions that I recall.

"IS A FEAST FOR CROWS DONE YET?"

(Pointing to his hat that says, "No, AFfC is not done yet") He has several hundred pages of manuscript but he is not finished yet. This one is taking a lot longer to write than he expected. He hopes to be done with the manuscript this fall. He said that he started writing the book set several years after the events of the last book but after he was several hundred pages in he decided that that just wasn't working; that he had to leave too much out. He is doing a different type of prologue this time. It has chapters. He says that he is also planning on adding Theon (I think that was who he said) as a viewpoint character.

"DO YOU HAVE CULINARY EXPERIENCE?"

(asked since he has a wonderful knack for describing food) No, he doesn't love to cook, but he loves to eat. (a direct quote I swear!) He just thinks that in in order for something to seem "real" you have to describe the sights, smells and tastes of everything around you.

"DO YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN HERALDRY?"

Yes, he does. He in fascinated by heraldry though the "tossed out" one of the major heraldic laws, the tincture rule.

"HOW MANY BOOKS WILL THERE BE"

He says there were only supposed to be three but he couldn't fit everything into three books. He says that he hopes there will only be six (but where have we heard this before?).

"WHY DO YOU KILL OFF EVERYONE?"

Because wars don't care who is "good" and who is "bad"

"WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER"

Tyrion

"DO YOU HAVE THE LANGUAGES ALL PLANNED OUT?"

No he'll make up a word here and there but he does NOT have the whole language written.

There were a whole bunch of other questions that I don't recall well enough to rewrite their answers. He did a signing on Sunday and after his line disappeared I got to go over and schmooze a little bit with Him, Alex Irvine and Tamora Pierce. And, the crown jewel of the weekend was the reading that he did. an hour and a half (two chapters) from AFfC that won't be in DRAGON magazine this month (for those who don't know, there will be four chapters from the prologue in DRAGON magazine this month and these were not two of the four). Martin seemed way more "down and dirty" with his fans that Jordan was. Jordan was a very pleasant individual but he seemed intent on keeping himself wrapped in a cloak of mystery. With Martin, what you see is what you get. In general, a way cool individual to chat with!

Wow, Jordan and Martin in three weeks! I don't think I'll get to Terry Goodkind until this summer. My mom is hoping to have him come and sign at her bookstore when his next book comes out. I will give you a full report after that happens as well. Have a wonderful evening!

Boskone (Boston, MA; February 14-16)

The visit to Boskone was fun. I got there around 11:00 am and paid my fee and then went over to the book signing. There was about 35 people in line and it moved pretty quickly. I was one of the last people to get an autograph. I thought he was real nice and you can tell he has a pretty ggod sense of humor. I intro'd and asked him where i could track Parris down. He pointed me over to the art exhibit so i left GRRM to finish signing and met Parris.

She was looking at some exhibits (she and George were bidding on some art) along with 2 gentlemen. She remembered me from the board so that was pretty cool. She introduced me to her 2 friends who turned out to be Les and Ernst from Roaring Studios so we talked about the progress of the Hedge Knight for a while and they made me promise to go on their site and check out The Battle of the Trident picture they did (Robert vs. Rhaeghar). They are really hoping the Hedge Knight does well so they can hopefully do some comics of ASOIAF. We talked about how difficult the skope of something like that would be but they were confident it could be done. They were great guys. Parris said a lot of nice things about Ran (as did Les and Ernst). She dropped Lodengarl's name too. She told me not to asked Trebla's question about Bill Parcells. George is pretty pissed that Parcells is coaching the Cowboys. She said George spends time on the Usenet groups talking Jets and Giants. She reiterated to me that he does not go on this board.

After speaking with them for awhile i went back over to George and hit him with a few question even though i felt like a total geek:

1. Who owns the Sept at Dragonstone?
Stannis does, the owner of the castle owns the sept within his grounds if it comes down to a question of actual ownership.

2. Why did Stannis sit silently on Dragonstone for months when he had reason to believe that Robert may have been in danger after Jon Arryn was murdered?
Stannis did not have a strong enough base of power but more importantly Robert and Stannis were just not close enough. They did not get along so Stannis may not have been considering the threat to Robert as much as he would have if they had been close.

3. Is Ned Dead?
Ned is dead.

4. My follow up question was "is he definately not coming back?"
He said Nothing is definate so the whole faceless man getting his head chopped off in Ned's place is still a very remote possibiliy (i can Dream right? )... He went on to say he does not give away specific plot details...

After that it was wrapping up and i really could not get anymore questions in at that time. Plus he was kind of stuggling to answer the questions i asked so i just felt weird. I did get one piece of info at the signing that i am not sure people know about. He is doing a story for Legends 2 that is about Dunk and Egg a couple of years after the Hedge Knight. That should be cool.

After the signing i went to the panel discussion about "What should good Fantasy do?" It had GRRM, Ellen Asher, Ellen Kushner and Beth Meacham.

It was alright but not really my cup of tea. The only parts that interested my was George's take on writing and Fantasy. Here are the details:

Sci Fi versus Fantasy - George does not see a big difference in the genre's. The main difference is in the "furniture" ie. Is there a sword in place or a space ship? Everything is story and character driven. He compared a couple of books which would be considered Sci Fi but were actually Fantasy and vice versa - "Metropolitan" by Walter John Williams and "Born to Exile" by Phyllis Eisenstein (sp?)

He was asked his favorite book and he said Lord of the Rings with no hesitiation. He went on to discuss Tolkein's use of magic as he has done in interviews in the past. The main theme was Tolkien's use of magic, or lack of "onstage magic". He thinks it is an effect way to write fantasy. Magic in writing does not have to be explained. Once it is explained it ceases to be magic.

George's take on bad fantasy was that bad fantasy often feels like someone is writing in the perspective of a lame D&D game. The more typical the worse it tends to be.

That was the panel. After that the readings were done.

When asked about the progress of his writing he said AFFC is not yet finished and it is taking a long time. He has Dany pretty much done and most of the Lannister chapters. He is still not done with the story on the Wall. He does not write in order but works on different POV's as it suits him.

ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2)

I can confirm that GRRM did mention that Aerys was captured at Duskendale. But GRRM didn't go into much detail about how he was freed. Mainly he gave the background to the defiance. A wife with Free City ideas and Aerys wanting to prove that he was good as Tywin. That incident was the beginning of the end for Aerys.

What I would like to know was what Tywin would have done against the lord and how Aerys was actually rescued, ie. did Tywin seriously embarrase him by coming to his rescue. But GRRM did mention that it will be explained in the next book.

. . .

But one thing I did remember when reading the start of the Tyrion thread was that GRRM mentioned that Dragonstone was taken by the Valyrians not long before their doom.

. . .

Maia, I think GRRM said the defiance at Duskendale was the first time the split between Tywin and Aerys became so bad that he acted on his own. The jealousy that knawed at his heart finally caused him to act.

As for Illyrio. He was wealthy but not near as powerful as he is today. Only with the help of Varys did he reach a position where the daughter of a magister was willing to marry him.

ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2)

Now, a lot of these I had heard before and are in the interviews so I'm not going to belabor those points but here are some tidbits of info I gleaned:

(1) In regards to Aggie's question, there are monkeys named in the series; a monkey was named at BITTERBRIDGE, apparently, in ACOK, I believe.

(2) MAPS: GRRM probably won't be doing maps of the whole world. REASON: in medieval times, they knew of no such things so he wants to keep it the same.

(3) AGGIE QUESTION: why are there no viewpoints of generals or cool swordsmen in the battles. Why are they always not so good warriors?
ANSWER: people in the trenches are more interesting than generals standing on Hills; GRRM considers it a tightrope to do it either way but seems to prefer the local soldier in the thick of things. Also, he implied that chaotic battles are more interesting to write.

(4) SOHP QUESTION: will we see Hot Pie in book #4.
ANSWER: No, but perhaps in later books.

(5) SOHP QUESTION: will we learn more of Rhaegar and will it be more than a paragraph?
ANSWER: Yes (I knew this already but was hoping he would expound which he did not).

(6) SOHP QUESTION: will we learn more about the Sword of Morning? And, can you tell me anything of Ashara Dayne to sock it to the R&L group?
ANSWER: Yes (regarding Sword of Morning); no comment about Ashara; and "Have some more cheetos." *GRRM grin*

(7) TREBLA COMMENT OF R&L THEORY TO PARRIS: Trebla proceeded to talk about the R&L theory and how he believes it, hoping for a tidbit.
HER REPLY (paraphrasing): Do you really think George would do something so basic as Jon being the son of R&L? *Trebla's jaw dropping open*

(8) LODENGARL ASKED: what made you NOT do the five year gap.
HIS ANSWER: mainly that the death of the Red Viper demanded an immediate reply. More importantly, he was doing too many flashbacks and couldn't get away with saying that nothing interesting had happened.

(9) DUNK AND EGG: there will probably be two more novelletes (his favorite medium).

GRRM noticed dealers getting him to sign and making hundreds at Ebay; he was charging regular retail; so, for AGOT, it was remaindered (means not all the books sold and went to him); he had over 500 hardcovers; he's got four left in his cellar and each is about $550.

As far as current popularity of fantasy series go, GRRM is very high; second; but a distant second to Jordan . .. heard that Tor marketed the first RJ book by giving out the first third for free .. . gutsy; but great marketing ploy, methinks.

ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2)

A few questions I asked for Ran and a few I asked myself.

Can any noble have a paramour regardless of gender, rank, or marital status? For example, an unwed young heiress having a paramour.
No comment.

Could each partner in a marriage have their own paramour?
Yes, but it would depend on the rank of the partners.

Is homosexuality tolerated to an equal degree for women as it is for men? If so, can one's paramour be of the same gender?
One's paramour can be of the same sex.

Is Waters the noble bastard name for KL and the immediate region (such as Stokeworth and Rosby) around it?
Yes.

Are Prince Duncan the Small and Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies one in the same or are they different people?
They are one in the same.

King Maekar I Targaryen died in battle against an outlaw lord. Was that outlaw lord a Blackfyre Pretender?
No.

ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2)

Here are the questions I asked:

1. Who is over lord of the Riverlands? (Since the Freys have Riverrun yet Littlefinger was named Lord Paramount). George says that Littlefinger is the Lord of the Riverlands but that he is going to run into trouble. I commented that Littlefinger is really powerful now that he has the Riverlands and supposed control of the Eyrie. GRRM laughed and said that I need to remember that for all his power Littlefinger has no army. (I thought that was interesting). GRRM also commented that (I forget which Frey, Emmon?) the Frey given Riverrun really wants to be Lord of the Riverlands and has dreams of having his father be his vassel. (I thought that was interesting also)

2. The Greatjon has more sons than just the Smalljon. GRRM commented that we will see more of Crowsfood and Whoresbane in AFfC. I wonder whose PoV we will see them from, Jon? Perhaps when Stannis calls the Northern lords to him?

3. Have you publishers been on your case for falling behind or are they cool? GRRM commented that Bantam (American Publisher) was very large and that they were not pushing him to produce the books at a strict schedule. The British publisher is smaller though and has been more concerned with getting the books out. GRRM did mention that it doesn't matter which book you buy, he still gets the same cut.

4. How does the Citadel get financed? Lords pay for the service of the Maesters and the Citadel collects some of the revenue of Oldtown via taxes.

5. When armies are described as destroyed, does that mean they are annihilated or are they mostly dispersed? GRRM commented that when an army is destroyed lots of things happen to the men. They become outlaws, they go home, they find new homes, they become mercs, they join other households, they become"broken men" ( I took this to mean wanderers and semi-outlaws). GRRM also mentioned that certain battles were much more brutal than others. The battle at the Freys was very bloddy, while the battle in front of Winterfel was not.

Hmm, thats all I can think of right now.

Oh, and he did mention that he put lots of legends into the books such as Bran the Builder. Bran the builder is supposed to have built the Wall, Winterfel, and Storms End. GRRM mentioned that he has become a legend so that people will look at a structure and say "wow, it must have been built by Bran the Builder" when it actually was not. This is GRRM's attemt on creating a world with myths and legends so if at some point you see, "They say it was built by Bran the Builder or Lann the Clever" realize that its part of the mythos.

. . .

Bolton didn't lie when he says that the Karastark men were sent to Duskendale and they then were with him at the Twins...Bolton split the Karstark host. George seem confused by my question and I think this is really a non-issue for him.

ConJose (San Jose, CA; August 29-September 2)

I got a couple of "Excellent cheese"s and many "Have another cheese doodle"s as well as one "Wouldn't you like to know" (When I sat down next to him and said "So. Who put the raven in the pot?") I also got a few answers of "That's an interesting theory." And Parris is no better. She just said "I'm not going to tell you that!"

My questions were:

Who put the Raven in the pot? (Wouldn't you like to know)

Did Mormont warg himself into the raven when he was killed? (That's an interesting theory)

Did Ilyrio think that Dani would be the mother of the Prince who was promised? Is that why he gave her the eggs? (Have another cheese doodle)

So. Are the Seven choosing champions from the Seven Kingdoms? (Really, these are excellent cheese doodles. Have some.)

So what's Stannis going to do when Mel decides to sacrifice Shireen? (Now, that actually startled him a bit. He said, well, yes, it is the blood of a king. Then he just handed me the bowl of cheese doodles. I'm not sure if that meant anything at all...)