Ran and others on the AOIAF board are fairly confident that the proofing etc. on ASOS will be finished quickly enough for the July 2000 release date touted by Amazon UK. Do you think it'll be out in England in July?
Yes. HarperCollins has been cracking the whip at me relentlessly, and pushing everything at an amazing pace. The typesetting's done, and I am just about finished with the galleys. Jim Burns finished the cover painting ages ago.
In fact, the British hardcover has a sales ranking of 132 on Amazon.UK the last time I looked, and it's still six weeks away from pubdate.
One interesting note -- we will have two different sets of maps this time. On GAME OF THRONES, Harper used the Bantam maps. With CLASH OF KINGS, however, Harper's pubdate was so much earlier than Bantam's that they didn't get the updates in time, so only Bantam had the new maps. To avoid that this time, Harper will be doing its own maps.
Both sets of maps will be based on my originals, of course, but different artists will be cleaning them up and re-rendering them for publication, so they should have a somewhat different look. There will be four maps: updated versions of the North and South, with new places and details added, and new ones of the Wall and environs, and a part of the eastern landmass.
As for my vacation... I'll be going to Westercon in Hawaii over 4th of July. I hope to be dug out from under my then.
In aCoK, when Renly learned of Stannis besieging Storm's End, he rushed over there with his horse - which comprised of both Storm's End and Reach horse, right?
Right. Most of the horse, anyway. He left some.
And I assumed the Storm's End foot was left behind with the Reach foot, back at Bitterbridge, right?
So, when Ser Parmen Crane and that Florent were sent out after the foot, and never returned, it was because Loras et al appeared there first. What I'm wondering is what happened with the Storm Land portion of the infantry at Bitterbridge. We hear that Randyll Tarly 'seized the stores' and put a great many Florents to the sword, but what about those Storm Lords who remained to lead their infantry contingent? Were they captured, disbanded, or convinced to join against Stannis? Was there a battle?
Most of the actual storm lords went with Renly. They were horsed, after all -- knights and high lords -- and they wanted a share of the glory of smashing Stannis. The foot at Bitterbridge was left in the hands of lesser lords, younger sons, captains, serjeants, etc. It was definitely the less glamorous division.
It would be hugely overstating to say there was a battle, but there was definitely much confusion and conflict when word reached them of Renly's death. At that point -- and in the days that followed, as rival envoys began to arrive -- Renly's foot ceased to be a whole and became more a gathering of feudal levies, each of which had to make its own decision as to what to do now. Presume some fighting. Presume that a lot of people just decided this might be a swell time to go home. But most of them ultimately wound up with the Tyrell/Lannister alliance.
Crane and Florent are presently captives at Highgarden, by the way.
It's been bugging me for a while, so I have to ask... 1) Is Marei (the girl at Chataya's) Tyrion's daughter by Tysha (my only evidence is that she is about the right age, green eyes, and silver-blonde hair)?
If she was Tyrion's daughter, I'd hardly be likely to reveal it in a letter. Sorry.
2) Will we ever see the sea captain's daughter again? I am referring to the one that Theon was unkind to after having had his way with her.
Well, the MYRAHAM and its captain appear briefly in A STORM OF SWORDS. Beyond that I sayeth not...
3) Will you write more Dunk and Egg stories soon?
I want to. It's a matter of finding the time. Right now I have none.
Hello! Hope things are going well with you, and that the wild fires are far from where you live.
Far enough that I haven't been evacuated, but still too close for comfort.
Speaking of fires, while discussing Daenerys and her dragons with some other fans, a question arose. How long does it take a dragon to "mature"?
In what place, if any, has there been an accumulation of dragonlore?
Valyria. The Citadel. Dragonstone. Probably some of the Free Cities as well. Maybe Asshai in the far east.
I'm exited to read Storm of Swords, and I hope I get the chance to catch a book signing or reading somewhere in my area (DC).
Looks like I'll be touring in November, but I don't know what cities they'll send me to.
I have just a wee little question that I hope you can help me work out. If not, that's fine, I realize you're a busy man. In your series of A Song of Ice and Fire, what is the difference between a sellsword and a freerider?
Sellswords are mercenaries. They may or may not be mounted, but whether ahorse or afoot they fight for wages. Most tend to be experienced professional soldiers. You don't have a lot of green young sellswords -- some, sure, but not many. It's a profession a man tends to chose after he's tasted a few battles and learned that he's good at fighting.
You get more sellswords on the eastern side of the narrow sea than you do in Westeros. The Free Cities have made heavy use of mercenaries for centuries, to fight their endless wars in the Stepstones and the Disputed Lands. Over there many of the mercenary soldiers are organized into long-established sellsword companies, or free companies -- the Brave Companions are an example of such, though an especially unsavory one. You'll meet two more sellsword companies in A STORM OF SWORDS, the Stormcrows and the Second Sons. And there are others. The Golden Company is the largest and most famous, founded by one of Aegon the Unworthy's bastards. You won't meet them until A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.
Freeriders... well, that term is both broader and narrower. Narrower in that it excludes foot soldiers. You need a horse to be a freerider. Otherwise broader.
Freeriders are mounted fighters who are not part of a lord's retinue or feudal levy. Some are veterans, sure, but also green and untrained recruits, farm boys on ploughhorses, men dispossessed by the fighting, a very mixed bag. They don't as a rule collect wages. Some fight for plunder, of course. Other to perhaps to impress a lord or a knight , in hopes of being taken permanently into his service. For many it is simply a means to survive. If the war sweeps over your village, your house is burned, and your crops stolen or destroyed, you can hide in the ruins and starve, flee to the nearest city for refuge, take to the woods as an outlaw (the ones who do that are oft called "broken men")... or you can saddle your horse, if you're lucky enough to have one, and join one army or the other. If you do, you're a freerider. Being part of an army at least gives you a better chance of being fed.
There are all sorts of freeriders, ranging from wandering adventurers who are virtually hedge knights (lacking only the knighthood) to the aforementioned farm boys on drays. Most are used as scouts, outriders, foragers, and light cavalry.
Obviously, there is some overlap between the two terms. A mounted man who fights for pay could be called either a freerider or a sellsword.
Both terms carry a certain stigma in Westeros. Sellswords are said to have no loyalty, and freeriders no discipline.
I was wondering if you could tell who is the primary POV in ASOS? For example, Ned was the primary one in AGOT and Tyrion in ACOK.
Arya has the most chapters, but some are short. Tyrion or Jon may actually have more pages, I haven't counted. I don't think in terms of "primary POV."
Why is Oberyn Martell named the Red Viper? For being a warrior of renown? It's a cool nickname though.
The whole story is related in ASOS, but in brief, he fought a duel over a woman when he was young, his opponent died of his wounds, and thereafter it was claimed that he had poisoned his sword.
And lastly, why didn't Lord Tywin ever remarry after his wife died? Surely he would have had ample opportunities to do so? Thanks.
Maybe he didn't want to.