The Citadel: SSM

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November 2001

Concerning Baby Aegon
Submitted By: Calibandar

Long time fan of the series here, I obtained your e-mail at the Westeros messageboard and thought I'd try to get this question answered. There's so much speculation about it, partly because of a comment of you that seems to imply that he's not dead. So, is Aegon dead or has he survived somehow? I'm not asking if he will be the new POV in book four, but I sure would like to know if he's still alive or not.

Any thoughts on what's going on with him?

Plenty of thoughts on Aegon.

Milk Brothers, Dragons, and Foreshadowing
Submitted By: Wethers

I wanted to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading A Song of Ice and Fire. What's more, every friend to whom I have recommended the books, from engineers to athletes to writers, has felt the same way. I am amazed at how such an intricately-constructed story can be so compelling.

Thanks for the kind words. And I'll gladly take all the recommendations I can get, so do keep spreading the word.

After reading the books for the second time a couple months back, I have to get a few questions off my chest. I know you may not have the time or inclination to answer them, but I just can't help myself, so here goes ... =)

1. How could Edric Dayne and Jon Snow be milk brothers if they are several years apart in age - 12 and 16 or so? Can a nursemaid really produce milk for so long a stretch, or perhaps did Wylla have a(nother) kid of her own when Edric was born? Or if Edric was lying, and why didn't Arya call him on it?

Edric is stretching the term a little... "milk brothers" more usually refers to two infants of different parents who were nursed simultaneously by the same woman, but Jon had long been parted from Wylla's breasts by the time Ned came along.

2. At the beginning of the final chapter of A Clash of Kings, Summer appears to see something strange above a burning Winterfell - the description makes it sound an awful lot like a dragon. Is it meant to be a dragon, a vision of a dragon, or something else entirely, say Summer's misinterpretation of the comet in the sky? But if the latter, why would Summer bare his teeth at it when he's seen the comet for quite a while at that point? Moreover, why would it vanish when Summer looks again?

No comment. I like it to my readers to make sense of signs and portents.

3. In Arya's first chapter, before she knows about Needle, Jon admonishes her to run back to Septa Mordane if she does not want to sew through winter: "When the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers." Is this foreshadowing? I really like Arya despite her dark path, and am now terrified at the prospect of her being turned into a wight, potentially the first Faceless wight at that! Aaargh!!

Again, no comment. Foreshadowing is another area where you're on your own.

And finally, I have to say that when Tyrion shot Tywin, I felt this immense surge of somewhat twisted satisfaction. I think I need professional assistance. Of course, I'm looking forward to the next installment of said assistance when I read A Dance with Dragons.

The fourth book is now called A FEAST FOR CROWS. I had to scrap my planned five-year gap, which just wasn't working. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will be book five.

Thank you very much for your time. I plan to continue finding new people to whom I can recommend your wonderful books!

Please do.

A Multitude of Questions
Submitted By: Krafus

Hi! I am a member of Ran's board and a curious rumor has sprung there, one I hope you can clarify. It seems that at amazon.co.uk, there is a book written by you called "A Feast for Crows" that will be published November 4 2002, with 704 pages. The number of pages matches that of "A Dance with Dragons," but ADwD is now listed August 5 2002. What's going on? Have your publishers there decided to split the book in two parts?

No, I changed the game plan. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will now be the fifth book. A FEAST FOR CROWS will be the fourth.

And while I'm at it, I might as well ask a few (well, okay, more than a few) questions, if you don't mind...

1- Are you still holding to your "six books, no more no less" vow?

That's my intent, yes.

2- Will ADwD come out later in the US than in the UK (I hope not!)?

Based on the past two books, the Brits will probably get theirs out first again.

3- I know you've answered no to this question before, but it could have changed... Will there be a new PoV in ADwD? (A new thread speculating on who it would be springs up from time to time on the board.)

Two new viewpoint characters. One of them will be Cersei.

4- How is ADwD progressing?

A FEAST FOR CROWS is coming slowly.

5- Do you expect that it will reach bookstores before Winter 2002?

About a year from now, I hope.

6- Do you still aim at making ADwD "slimmer" than ASoS (I hope not - I want all ASoIaF books to be as fat as possible! :-)

I'd like a book the size of ACOK, but whether I achieve that remains to be seen.

7- When will Dany and her army arrive on Westeros in ADwD (beginning of book, middle, end)?

No comment.

8- If Jon wanted to, could he continue the training regimen he had set for himself at the end of ASoS despite being Lord Commander? I ask this question because I hope Jon will be one of the best swordsmen around come ADwD. Some people have argued against it on the board, but it has been pointed out that Ser Barristan was a Lord Commander, too (and thus had to take time away from training to sit on the small council), and did quite well at the Hand's tourney.

Jon can train as much as he wants, though he will have some real fighting to do as well.

9- Just where is Tyrion's ship taking him (some people think he'll end up in Dorne)?

No comment.

10- Will there be more important weddings (and funerals) in ADwD?

A big funeral right to start with in AFFC.

11- The Crown owes a lot of money to the Lannisters. Now that they've have taken power and the war is over, will they start squeezing the land dry to recover on that debt?

The Crown owes money to a lot of people. It's the debts to the Faith and the Iron Bank of Braavos that should concern them, not the one to Casterly Rock.

12- Is it a valid possibility that Littlefinger might covertly support the Brotherhood without Banners to harass the Freys to get back at them for Cat and get them in line (Littlefinger is now Lord Paramount of the Trident IIRC, and the Freys aren't likely to be the most obedient of subjects)

With Littlefinger anything is possible.

Keep reading.

Fantasy Online Interview

[Note: The following interview is made available through the Internet Archive. The precise date, beyond November 2001, is unknown.]

http://web.archive.org/web/20020611214017/www.fantasyonline.net/cgi-bin/newspro/101242423282166.shtml