[Note: The following several reports all come from ConJose. Rather than break each indivdual report into its own place, each reporter has all of their statements placed in one entry.]
So, I asked a bunch of questions that got an "excellent cheese" response from George, who was at least amused enough by our observation that he used cheese to change the subject that he went on to use cheese as the *only* subject change...
Anyway, here are the questions that I asked that got an "excellent cheese" response, and others can chime in with theirs. Other questions got outright "No, that's just wrong" (most of them Trebla's!)
Is magic coming back into the world because there are dragons, or are dragons coming back into the world because there is magic?
Is Bran the first of the "undead" champions of the gods? We all think it's Beric, but isn't it possible that Bran actually died when Jaime threw him out the window, and his powerful warg abilities and prophetic dreams are actually a function of being "chosen" by the Old Gods to be their champion - after all the three-eyed crow tells him "fly or die".
Do The Others warg into the bodies of the dead the same way that wargs go "into" the bodies of animals?
I also asked him about more historical stuff about Ghis and Valyria, I talked to him about the fact that in his books, the big combats rarely occur "on screen" and when they do, they're never from the point of view of a character who is a competent fighter - so is that purposeful? I also opined that "A Song of Ice and Fire" might as well be titled "A Song of Child Abuse" since children get such poor treatment. Oh, and I did get another "excellent cheese" when I observed that Arya is incredibly psychotic for an 11 year old girl. Anyone else want to share their "excellent cheese"es?
. . .
1. I asked "Is magic coming back into the world because there are dragons, or are dragons coming back into the world because there's magic?"
George said, "Yes. Hmm, there's excellent cheese on that pizza!" (in combination with some of the stuff he said on a panel this morning, I take it to mean that the seasons, winter and summer, are magical in nature, and he's going to reveal what it's all about eventually, but not yet.)
2. Son of Hot Pie asked about Duskendale. George said that the Duskendale rebellion happened because the Lord of Duskendale demanded certain rights for his citizens and the Duskendale town charter from King Aerys. He stopped paying taxes to demonstrate his anger. George said this was a key moment in Aerys' reign, because until then, he had always worked closely with Tywin to solve the realm's problems, but he and Tywin were no longer seeing eye to eye - so Aerys went off with the Kingsguard and a small force of men, and arrested and executed the Lord of Duskendale. During the struggle, Ser whathisface of Gaunt died, and Aerys did bad things to Duskendale as retribution.
. . .
I'm not sure Aerys was really captured - my impression was that Gwayne Gaunt was just killed during the fighting. Also, George said that Aerys just went off and did this on his own, which was the first sign of his growing distrust of Tywin... and perhaps (though George didn't say it) the first sign of his growing madness.
On one hand, this sounds important - on the other, George was very off-hand about it, and didn't even remember the name of Lord of Duskendale.
. . .
Ran, I asked George about the Ghis/Valyria - Rome/Greece thing. He said that there was no clear parallel, though elements of both are in both Ghis and Valyria. He also mentioned that he sort of had the Mamluk's and Jannisseries in mind when creating the Unsullied. (in that they were slave legions)
. . .
George said at ConJose that the maps are not necessarily accurate and "to-scale" ... precisely so that people won't yell at him when there seems to be a mistake.