George showed up, got big applause. Is currently explaining what took so long. The story we all know. Some on his writing process. Sometimes writes several of the same pov chapters in a row. Lots of people are recording this so more complete synopses will be available, doubtless. Comments that he knew it would annoy people to move his most popular characters out of A Feast for Crows but that he didn't realize just HOW annoyed people would get.
Made a quip about his bit at the end of AFFC about the next book being along in a year. "It took longer than I thought, but here we are in 2007 and dance is out!" References the chapbook with the first three Dany chapters from 2005 and that it offers insight as to how much the book has changed since then. Some jokes about football. Shouts of "Go Pats!" from some in the crowd, getting laughs. Oh, Boston. Actively not promising TWOW next year. Hopes it won't take as long as AFFC and ADWD. But "no promises" and "there are lots of other good books". Promotes Abraham, Lynch and Rothfuss.
A dude directly across from me looks like the undertaker's ugly brother. He never smiles. I'm saying right now that if something awful happens, he probably did it. George lauds Gwendolen Christie (Brienne). Says a half dozen other roles have been cast but he can't talk about them yet. They're going to start filming next season. As executive producer he writes one episode per season. Says he'd like to write more than one, but that we'd get to wait twenty years for The Winds of Winter rather than the six for A Dance with Dragons.
Still seven books and favorite character?
Favorite is Tyrion but he loves them all, even the slimeballs. Still aiming for seven books but no promises.
Any potential future for Syrio Forel?
Martin gives no comment.
Aging up of characters in the show?
The prime reason was Dany, since it was felt they couldn't show a thirteen year old girl going through what she goes through. Real medieval culture had no adolescence so he goes with that in the books. Modern society doesn't go with that, so while a married thirteen year old having sex is fine in a book, but moving to tv would necessitate either removal of sex scenes or aging her. In the UK an adult actor can't portray an underage character in sexual situations legally. So by upping her age they ended up upping other kids' ages.
The other factor being that casting child actors is harder than casting teenage and young adult actors. Kid actors recite words but don't act much or else try overact and overemote.
Jokes about why he never wrote a Rickon POV. "I have an inner child, but it's not that young."
What if HBO catches up?
They won't catch up! "I have a big head start."
Any pov characters in Casterly Rock?
Yes, maybe in TWOW.
The first two books were big and written fast, was that a creative spurt?
Parts of A Clash of Kings were ending up in A Gameo of Thrones, so he cut it off and when A Game of Thrones was published a lot of A Clash of Kings was written. He admits that A Storm of Swords was written quickly. Moved a Sansa chapter to The Winds of Winter because it was the beginning of a plot so worked better in a new book.
How are you dealing with the crush of fandom?
"Ask me at the end of this signing". 1500 people here, big but not as big as the 2000 in Slovenia. A Feast for Crows had the first really scary signings for him. Mentions his rules to keep the line moving. Four people in Slovenia fainted.
What's it like having your books translated to tv?
"it's been great for me!" since he worked in tv for so long he knows what to expect realistically from an adaption.
What would you name your direwolf?
Depends on personality. Has a cat named Asha.