I just got home from a GRRM book signing at a Kansas City Brentano's and had a great time. He signed for about 45 minutes, read a Samwell Tarly chapter, and answered several questions. About 40 people were there. He was in town for an area SF convention.
I'll try to relate what I remember, and if I miss anything I apologize, because I didn't write any of this down until after I left. And if I repeat anything from the post two down, well, this is first-hand info.
1) Will FfC and aDwD cover the five-year span that you initially planned to skip?
He said the five-year hiatus is as dead as his plan to finish the series in a trilogy. While he would like to skip ahead to age the children (esp. Bran and Arya), he feels the back-story is too interesting and important. He needs to focus on their development. While he would like to find a time to skip ahead 6 months in the story, it's unlikely.
2. When/how do you decide a new character point-of-view is necessary?
He compared this to LotR. You get a full page map of the Shire. You think it's big, because it takes up so much space, but you realize it's a small part of a big world. He started out with a few PoV and gradually expanded to include more, just as the hobbits in LotR learned there was more to the world than the Shire. He has reached a maximum number of PoV and feels that he needs to narrow the focus, and start eliminating them, which he says, we know he can do by killing off people.
He introduces a PoV to give a different perspective, and also when a character's story needs to be told.
3. Will we see Sandor again, especially in replacing Sansa's lost wolf?
Yes, we will see Sandor (in the next book I think he said) and Gregor. After that, he said he can't comment on the rest...
His Rretrospective is still available, and he says the publisher will consider a reprint when the initial copies sell through. It is too big to publish in paperback format.
Some of the other questions...
Seven books, not six. (Looks like Parris was right)
Book four will be 1100 pages, the size of GoT. As such, he has the 500 pages of book five already written.
He does not do outlines before writing the books, but he will take notes. He feels like the outlines boggle him down. He may write a chapter where, when it ends, he paints himself into a corner, and may back-track as a result.
He discussed RPGs, card games, miniatures. He is not a game designer and has no plans to help develop the games, even though he does like to have input.
He doesn't feel that it's fair to call his work gratuitous. He wants the reader to live vicariously though his books (a function of fantasy writing), feel the characters emotions. If a character is at a feast, he wants the reader to smell the food, experience Dany's discomfort at being served an unappetizing dish. The same with the sex scenes-he wants his readers to feel like they are there.
This is why he kills off his characters. He wants the suspense to be real. When the 'hero' is in a risky situation, you really don't know if he'll survive, whereas in a typical fantasy, you just wonder what will happen to the hero next, because he's never in any real danger anyway.
He has two editors: one in the UK and one in the US. The entire book is in their and the copy-editors hands. He seemed somewhat worried that with the book being published this fall (sep/oct) that they would have enough time to proof-read. He would prefer more time, but if he had finished in 2002, as expected, they would have had plenty of time to edit
What he intended to be one book will be split into two parts: aFfC and aDwD. The book was too long, longer than SoS, which was the upper-limit in size as far as his publishers were concerned.
Crows will deal with Kings Landing area, Lannisters, and Dorne, the South. The Samwell chapter should be the only one from the North.
Dragons will deal with Daenerys and the North. He decided to split by character, rather than in the middle of the story, as he wanted a complete book, rather than FfC part I and II.
We will hear snippets about Lyanna Stark.
He knows more about his created world than the real world
And for you midwesterners, he said the book signing he did in St. Louis for GoT was the worst he ever had, because no one showed up. I meant to ask him more detail but forgot.
I got four books signed, GoT, CoK, SoS, and Fevre Dream. He allowed people to go through the line multiple times if they had more than three books.
I had my picture taken with him and will post it in my profile once the film is developed and coverted to cd.
He was super nice, looked you in the eye when answering questions, answered with much detail, very polite. He was very apologetic about the book taking so long, but as much as he tours, and as much as he does for the fans, he has good reason. He's very personable and I recommend meeting him if you have the chance.
Another thing that interested me is that he pronounced Elia as "Elly-uh" (not "Eh Leah") and Doran with the stress on the second syllable (as in the band Duran Duran) (Doh Ran) rather than "Door Ann" which is how I had always thought it.
Pub Dates not yet fixed and don't believe anything you read about pub dates except from George's site or by Ran or my postings here. Right now, the publishers are looking at possible release in mid-fall.
Everything else is just conjecture and speculation.
Bantam and HarperCollins UK are in the first throes of sorting out the issues surrounding the actual FEAST that George is delivering.
The chapters in the booklet being given out at the ABE were chosen and planned back in February. The changes to the structure of FEAST were not even in George's mind a month ago, and there's still a lot of production planning that needs to be done. Bantam and HCUK had already agreed to share the same set of proofs and corrected gallies from George, and that is not a common practise. My impression is that the release dates in the UK and the USA will be very close.
Don't believe anything about publication dates you read any where else. Once George has firm dates they will be posted on his web site, and I'll come by to give the heads up to the Bros.
The publishers want to see FEAST hit the stands as much as you want to see it there, once George comes back from the ABE, he'll devote himself to the final polish of the MS. If you would like that to go faster, please don't send him an email about your personal feelings about the decisions he has made as a writer. There's more than 1,000 emails sitting in his box right now. He'd have to take a year off just to answer all of those emails that are awaiting him then he returns.
Friends, quit angst-ing so much, it's June and summer beckons, there's a thousand great books out there for you to discover, you'll barely notice the next few months roll by.
And as my one of my favorite SF characters once taught:
The best part of the reading for me was at the end.
I came in near the end of the reading, because I knew what George was going to announce that FEAST was finished.
Most of the Bros were listening to the story with intensity. When George started his explanation of the status of FEAST, folks seemed to look a little resigned, as if they were expecting another explanation on why this book was not finished.
As George started explaining the various choices presnted to him as a writer, and the needs and demands of the publishers, people started sitting up a little straighter, leaning forward, and then as it slowly dawned on them that George was telling them the book was finished, well, the smiles stared blooming, and that was a thing of beauty.
And I could finally call the travel agent and tell her to start checking on the availability of hotels and flights for the vacation we've been waiting to take for 4 years.
ConQuest is my favorite convention, almost like home to me, this year was made even more special with George and Joe as guests, with the announcement that the FEAST is ready to serve, and with so many Bros present, so many good times experienced, I am delighted that Bros and KC fans are deepening our relationships, mutually beneficial on so many levels, because there are so many things we hold in common, our friendliness, our openess to new people and experiences, our understanding that what matter most is the fun and joy we create when we gather together.
It was one damn fine time, one fine time.
Thanks everybody, thanks a lot.
Another bit of information that I found interesting- we *WILL* hear about the POVs who will not have front stage as it were, but will have it in ADwD. The reports of those chars will be somewhat garbled and messy as can be expected from any news that has travelled that distance and is that important. ex) Varys' manipulation of the Dany information, or Theon's skinning of the miller's information (we didn't know it wasn't Bran and Rickon until later). *THOSE* are the kind of reports we will see in AFFC about the missing POVs. We will get information on them, but have no idea which parts, if any, are correct.
I have some more things to add about things I asked, but I will probably trickle out things as I sober up and recall them. :p
Bran will have one or two chapters in ADwD, where otherwise he would have been left out of the what would have been the fourth book entirely. He remains one of the most difficult POVs to write due to his youth, crippled status and the magic.
[Note: Description of a spoilerish question regarding unreliable narrators removed. GRRM laughed at the question and gave no answer.]
He did skillfully change the convo to conversation about what would be one of the most fun unreliable narrarators in history- Aegon IV The Unworthy's POV. He sounded very interested and determinded to do a novel about that VERY interesting char. I would beat you all down with a stick to be able to read it.
I'm glad that people are delighted that the next book is on the way overall. GRRM and Parris themselves were worried about the reaction on the board. GRRM even mentioned yesterday that he heard that people weren't happy here. But flicking through a couple of threads I think that, ignoring a few, people are just glad that the new book is finally on the way. :D
GRRM will tell you himself its not an ideal situation. But its definitely the best way to go IMHO. (The ideal situation is that he spends years working on the whole series until it is completed. And not be pressured by publisher and fans' demands. Because of course he feels a certain obligation to his fans. :)
Just to cover a few things that I saw mentioned...
The focus in FEAST will be on Westeros, King's Landing, the riverlands, Dorne, and the Iron Islands.
GRRM said he is unsure why he has kept the Mystery POV hidden all these years but he isn't going to reveal it now. ;) But i'm thinking we don't have a POV directly set in the Riverlands so the quote above may be a hint. Of course, Sansa, Jaime and [Note: Redacted spoiler POV] can give us info on those areas. But we can assume that it is a southern POV anyhow (It isn't Theon for example but definitely could be Brienne or Sandor).
AFAICT the only Iron Islands chapters in aFfC will be the Arms of the Kraken story. Asha will feature in at least one chapter in aDwD (which is already written).
Arya will have 3 or 4 chapters (I can't remember exactly) in aFfC. But she will be one of the characters that will also feature in aDwD. We don't know how many chapters because he hasn't written them.
He says he has currently 600 pages written for aDwD. He is expecting a 1100 page book. (All in manuscript pages.) Which is just over the size of aGoT. He probably is underestimating again. But that gives you an idea. Tyrion's story arc required 4 chapters but he thinks with another 3 chapters he can have a far more satisfying story. In other words, he is just continuing the existing story.
Other POVs characters may also feature in both books. I get the impression he doesn't want to give away too much info about aDwD or he will end up feeling straitjacketed again. That he wants to avoid feeling he has to do something because he has already commented on it. Thus he is mainly commenting on what is already written.
This is actually one of the potential benefits of the books being done this way, but because it wasn't planned this way from the beginning, I'm not sure how much he can take advantage of it
GRRM himself stated this is an advantage of this book. That we will get some hints of what is going on in the North and East but we wouldn't know what is true and what not. We may learn that Stannis is killed for example but that could easily be a red herring. :p Look how Varys often manipulated the truth.
I asked GRRM about the title no longer referring to the Nights Watch and as people explained already, the title always had multiple meanings. So it merely loses one level of significance. And when I think about it, the Crows on the Nights Watch are unlikely to have much of a feast. Except of death. :p
GRRM did mention late September/October as a publishing date but nothing has been finalised. He has to meet his publishers. I think he is doing so this week in NYC. It sounds like they are trying to publish asap. His editor has read the new version of aFfC and has not come across anything obviously wrong with the new format but is currently rereading to make sure nothing is missed. GRRM did admit that a few lines may require tweaking to ensure he doesn't give away too much.
He has suggested there will be 3 or so extra Tyrion chapters, a couple of Bran chapters (he originally wasnt going to appear in the old version of aFfC) and a few more Arya chapters (to go alongside those that will appear in the new version of aFfC). They are not going to add up to 500 pages. He could be expanding a few other POVs that we know will be appearing in aDwD. Or perhaps others from aFfC will be appearing. I wouldnҒt be surprised if GRRM isnt sure himself yet. He probably has a few ideas but isnҒt ready to commit publicly.
Was Baratheon the house name of the last Storm King?
NO. Baratheon is Orys' surname.
Where was Lord Rickard when the news arrived that Brandon had raced off to King's Landing?
GRRM did not say. He gave us very little information on this.
5) Is there a Lord Selmy, or are they just landed knights?
They are landed knights. Would not go into detail.
Arya WILL be in Feast. I asked GRRM specifically and he said, yes.
Just returned from the con. At the reading, George said that he realized that this decision would be upsetting to some of his readers, but it's really the only option that didn't make him writhe in misery. And the more he worked with it, the more he liked it. Switching between POVs is fun and all, but there's only so many unrelated POVs that a reader can keep track of. This way he gets to put in a lot of the details he was having to leave out (like 3 extra Tyrion chapters), and have books that are more cohesive.
I think it's cool because you will probably be able to ultimately read books 4 and 5 in either order and get the same tale, since they take place over the same time period.
And to sum up George's advice to those who are really, really, really upset by this: Buy both books, take an exacto knife, and dismantle the books into individual chapters. Shuffle.
I'm almost certain that at soom point last night George stated something to the effect that the Baratheon name was Orys' family name. He did not take the name of the Storm Kings.
Ok, I was woken up in the middle of the night to post this hot off the presses summary/ answer to questions. Any omissions are purely due to my sleep addled brain :b
1) Does the Baratheon name come from Orys, or did he take up the name from the Storm Kings?
Ro informed me that the Baratheon name has always been there (not sure that is an answer, but it's the one I got)
3) Catelyn recalls that at Riverrun, Brandon told her that he would return soon for their wedding. Where was he going?GRRM refused to answer where Brandon was going.
4) What happened to the last King of Mountain and Vale?Nothing happened to them, they continue to be the lords of Arryn.
6) When, specifically, did Benjen join the NW? Was it a couple of years after Ned returned, or immediately?
It was within a few months of Ned's returning. The reason being that there always was a Stark at Winterfell, so he had to stay there until Ned returned. GRRM refused to say the reason why Benjen had to join the NW.
Now as to the questions of which POV's show up in which book, the following will show up in AFFC:
Jamie, [Note: Spoiler POV redacted], Arya, Sansa, Sam (Jon will be in the first Sam chapter), the Iron Isles, Dorne, mystery POV (we don't know who the mystery POV is yet!). Asha will be in AFFC, in fact, all the chapters in Arms of the Kraken will show up in AFFC.
The following will show up in ADwD:
Arya, Bran, Jon, Dany, Tyrion, and Asha (she will be in both books, as she gets involved in affairs of the North)
Other tidbits: [Note: Spoiler POV redacted] has the most number of chapters in AFFC, while Dany has the most in ADwD. Also, the number of Tyrion chapters is going up from 4 to 7 in ADwD (his storyline is basically beinbg expanded).
[Note: Next is a clarification from a later post.]
Davos is in ADwD, according to Pod and Ro from last night. Also, I didn't mean to imply that Benjen "had to " join the NW. We don't know because GRRM wouldn't elaborate on the reasons for Benjen joining the NW.
Well GRRM explained it as follows.
The book was still incomplete and it was 80 (book) pages longer than aSoS. He thought it would take an extra 100 manuscript pages to finish it fully. His publishers were really anxious to get it published this fall so he was left with 3 choices.
1) Find a quick way to wrap up the remaining chapters and try to sweat the stuff he has already done to reduce the size of the book. Even though it was unfinished, it was already too big for them.
2) Cut the book in half by timeline, publishing the first half this fall.
3) Cut the book in half by POV.
The first option was a bad one in my opinion. You don't want the author to cut chapters, or characters because of the publishers. GRRM didn't like that either.
The second one has advantages in that it updates us with all the POVs but OTOH it leaves the stories all unfinished. Everything just suddenly ends.
Option 3 means a tighter book. We get 7 or 8 POVs like aGoT, rather than 15. We don't get lost by the huge number of plotlines.
GRRM said Dany and the Wall is excluded. That removes Dany and probably Tyrion plus the Wall which presumably means Jon and Davos. Probably Sam too although he may be going south. This leaves the Dorne chapters, Jaime, [Note: Spoiler POV redacted], Sansa in aFfC. Arya is hard to say. Similarly the Iron Islands. The latter seems more like the North to me. But I haven't read them. And who knows where the mystery POV falls into.
So aFfC gets published this fall. In October or September. Its likely that the books will be published in the US and the UK at the same time. Although the UK may get a couple of weeks headstart.
The next book will still be called aDwD. (Dany will be in it after all). This is where things get oblique again. Even though he was 100 pages away from finishing aFfC originally, he says he has 600 of an expected 1100 pages yet to write in aDwD. So clearly he feels he is putting stuff into it that he originally earmarked for the old version of aDwD.
This might refer to something he mentioned earlier in May about finding a way to deal with some characters been too young and he wants to skip ahead, while others are too active. He will just drop them.
He has offically announced that the book will take 7 books. I think aDwD will take 1 to 2 years to come out after aFfC. Getting aFfC will relieve a lot of pressure and make things easier to progress.
I think Davos will be in aDwD instead. Sam is the question.
He didn't mention changing the title of the book, so I don't believe it will change.
We all would have liked him to publish when he feels happy, but the publishers were very anxious and he has put them off long enough already. And they said the book was too big to publish as one volume anyhow (since it was still getting bigger). (I don't care if other hardbacks were published that were bigger. That is what GRRM publishers told him. And that is all that matters. Not what other publishers did). I'm happy with that. And making a tight book has a lot of advantages.
[Note: This is a response to a query regarding the publication date of the book, in terms of whether it'd come out first in the U.S. or the U.K.]
Sorry all we are having net problems. We will not have to order from the UK this time, thank god. The dates are supposed to be the same this time.
[Note: The next is from cyranovice, who spoke with Rhelle on the phone and got the following from her.]
Expected release date is Sep-Oct, around the same time in US and UK (maybe slightly earlier in UK but not significantly so).
[Note: Parris is GRRM's SO and official Mud Clerk.]
And no one is more pleased with this announcement than George and myself. There will be an formal announcement posted to his web site Monday, and as he said at the reading, as soon as the publishers have firm pub dates, he'll let you know.
I've read many drafts of the book, and given the complexity of the greter story he is creating for us, this is not only a good solution to the problems of manufacturing such a huge book, it gives us complete arcs for several characters sooner, rather than telling half the story of more characters over a longer period of time. There's enough blood and treachery and gorgeous writing in FEAST to satisfy us for a good long read, I promise.
I hope most readers are happy about this, in the longer view of the strength of the series. I have been saying for several years that ASoI&F would be at least 7 books long. Check with me again in a year and we'll see if that's changed.
This is no hoax.
I swear it by ice and fire. I swear that I will never post again should this prove false. I swear I will never touch wine again, if it is not true.
George said it is done.
But he had to make a major change. It had grown too large.
Daenerys will not appear. There will be little if any action in the North. Those chapters will be moved into the next book, which should come out shortly thereafter.
AFFC will be the size of AGoT.
I swear to you that this is no hoax. I put more details in the AFFC forum.
I assure you that I have told you the truth. And that if it proves otherwise, I hereby request permanent banning.
This is not a joke, unless GRRM himself is lying to the whole room for his reading, and that simply is not so.
As a joke, it would be a lame one.
I am not a party to lame jokes.
You will definitely see the POV bounce around as before. It just won't go to Meereen or beyond.
And we know how close GRRM was to done with the whole book. He wasn't firm about the timeline for book five, but expect it soon.
This is no hoax. I swear it by ice and fire. I swear in the names of the Old Gods and new.
George told us a long tale. His publishers told him the mostest it could be was 1600 manuscript pages. He passed that and a decision was made that it would have to be split in two. He thought about that and rejected it and proposed an alternative.
AFFC will be the size of AGoT. There will be no Daenerys chapters. There will be none of the chapters up North. The chapters in the South are done and in the hands of the publishers - George expects to announce a specific fall publication date. That means he can spend a little more time cleaning up the events in the North and present a coherent tale with a beginning and an end.
He expects some of his fans to be upset when their favorite characters don't appear. But they can take comfort in the fact that the fifth book is now 60% or more done. And they will have the fourth in the fall.
I will confess that the 60% number is mine not his. He said '600 manuscript pages'. For a shorter book, I guessed 1000 manuscript pages.
And I don't think he'll be tempted to extend the fifth book. He knows he is letting down his fans of those POVs that will be excluded.
One of George's comments when he made the announcement was that he was surprised just how easy it was for him to split the book into two along POVs. It seems that the more he looks at it, to date he has been writing several novels at a time that interweave but really do stand alone. He assured us that in the end, it would all tie together nicely.
Whoa. I haven't posted here in a very long time. I also happened to be at To Be Continued, attended the various panels that George was at, and also got to attend the Koffeklatche on Sunday (which was pretty cool, there were only five or six of us there).
George was very gracious. He used to live in the town that my husband and I currently live in, (Dubuque, IA) so we updated him about some of his favorite old haunts. He said he once helped organize a science fiction convention here.
He told me that Feast for Crows would certainly be out THIS YEAR. He said around November, but could not be sure, it depended on how quickly he got the last chapter out. This was not in a panel, it was when we were getting our books signed by him on Friday when we ran into him in the dealers' room.
The panel was pretty much as described. I had asked the Harrenhal question--it was more to find out if there would be more backstory about the Grand Tourney at Harrenhal. George said there would be, a lot happened at that time that was important.
At the koffeklatche, George said the two favorite characters [of readers] were Tyrion and Arya. The least favorites were Sansa and Catelyn. (This annoyed me to no end, as Sansa is my personal favorite.)
When asked about the Clegane's mother ("Where the heck was she when Gregor was dipping Sandor's face in a brazier?", one lady wanted to know), he said that he didn't know. Probably dead by that time.
Sandor actually admired knights as a child, but was greatly disillusioned when his brute brother was actually knighted, by Rhaegar, no less. Hence his bitterness. He really hates Gregor.
Gregor is extremely dim.
I asked about the previous day's panel, when George had mentioned intentional mistakes. Was Sansa's memory of the Hound kissing her when he actually had not an intentional mistake? Why would she think that? He said it was in fact intentional, but he would not tell us why. I said he was mean, and he laughed at me.
I also asked if Sandor would be in the upcoming book. He pleaded the fifth. I said he was mean, and he laughed at me.
We talked a bit about the children and their wolves. I mentioned Sansa just having a poor old crippled dog (the one in the Aerie) because she lost her wolf. He got a queer smile about his lips when I said that and nodded. Make of that what you will.
There will be more tourneys, in the Dunk and Egg books. But first he wants to finish the ASOIAF series.
Westeros is big, about the size of South America. He deliberately does not make a map to scale because he doesn't want people writing saying "Hey, it's impossible for so-and-so to go so far in such-and-such a time." The continent is even larger.
He does not include a world map because he wants his readers to see the world through the characters' eyes. In medieval times, world maps as we know them did not exist. There would be arrows "To Cathay" "Here Be Dragons" and that sort of thing.
That being said, Dany will be presented with a map of the world from a fellow whose name I cannot remember because the pronunciation was very odd indeed.
There was some talk about Eddard Stark and why he made the mistakes he did. People who are honorable cannot always see the intentions of people who are dishonorable.
When asked, he admitted that yes, it is very difficult for him to brutally kill off these characters that he has written for so long. Hence his avoidance in writing the Red Wedding until the very last.
There was some talk about the Targaryen bloodline and how it worked when there weren't enough siblings to marry. Uncle might marry niece or aunt, nephew. There were also cousins in that family at one time. But when Rhaegar was born, the bloodline had decreased and there was no one available for him to marry. The problem Steffon (sp?) Baratheon faced when looking for Valyrian blood was not that there wasn't any left, but that he couldn't find any appropriate females of noble-enough birth. Then, of course, he and his lady died on the way back, a tragedy for Stannis and Renly. Rhaegar ended up marrying Elia of Dorne, another tragedy.
Eric told us the story of how they acquired the ASOIAF license. They had been working on an original scifi/fantasy CCG in house, and at first it appeared to be going well, but then they realised nobody in-house was excited about playing it. So they began to look for something to license.
Now, Fantasy Flight is up in Minnesota, and it gets COLD up there. So for fun they started ending their rants with the phrase "Winter is coming", as they were all fans of the books. So then one day they received an email from someone: "You keep using Winter is coming. on your webpage. Does that mean their is an ASOIAF CCG or board game in the works?"
That put the wheels in motion. One day, Eric was called into the office, and asked if he would like to work on an ASOIAF CCG. He just handed them the book he had been reading over his lunch break: A Clash of Kings. :)
George said that he didn't have much input into the CCG, except for the artwork. He's very protective of his characters and wanted the art to be good. He did provide some input into the board game, telling them what kind of games he likes to play (Risk: "I have to play the red pieces. I always win when I play the red pieces"). He said that any kind of licensing inquiry gets turned over to his agents. He has received some inquiries for computer games, but has turned them down because they were all from developers, who wanted the license for free so they could then find a producer/publisher who would pay them the money. George didn't like that, and I don't blame him!
Eric was asked if the CCG would last forever, or if it was expected to be fully complete in a set time frame. He said the plan has always been for it to last forever; because of this, he's had to hold back some of his good stuff for later use. They've received 10,000 card ideas from the card designer section of the website, which he checks nearly every day. They've only used six cards, but have taken ideas from others. He said it's hard for the fans to design a card because they don't know what's being planned for the future.
Each release has a theme. He's got the next two sets planned out, but also has enough card ideas (his slush pile is very,very large) to last until 2010, by his calculations. And that's if George never releases another book, and without them adding another House into the play!
The FFG guys have had a sneak peek into AFfC. Some aspects of AFfC have already made it into the game.
Eric wants George to design three cards for an upcoming release. Someone remarked that George will need to learn how to play first! So George was asking a lot of questions about the mechanics of the game. He found it interesting that a good deck is actually quite small, and not a thousand cards high with every card you own.
I have a few items from the Q&A session. You might know all of this already; I'm not too up-to-date with spoilers and information, but these items caught my ear.
The next Wild Cards book is forthcoming. I'm unsure if it's a re-release or a new one. Wild Cards has also been optioned to the Sci-Fi Channel as a two-hour movie, to potentially become a weekly series.
There was a long discussion about mistakes and inconsistencies. He used the eyes changing color example, and also mentioned receiving an email about horses changing sex. George gets frustrated when there's mistakes in the books--not just because mistakes can be embarrassing, though. He said there are inconsistencies in the books that are NOT mistakes. He believes in the "unreliable narrator" -- you can't always trust what people say because they might be remembering it wrong, or you get two different stories depending on who's doing the telling. He feels that mistakes such as eye color changes can distract from the planned inconsistencies, making them less effective.
Someone asked about the titles of sample chapters that have been posted online in relation to POVs. The person asking the question used the examples [NOTE: Redacted spoiler POV name] and "The Prophet" (Prophetess? -- I missed this chapter). From what I understand, the prologue has grown so much that instead of just one chapter, there are several; instead of being titled with a character name, they have titles such as "The Soiled Knight", etc. It sounds like there are a lot of different viewpoint characters in the prologue. Arianne was specifically mentioned as such a viewpoint.
Tyrosh = tie-ROSH
Lys = lEEse
Tysha = TISH-a
The first parts of the book are already being put through the editing process, so this will help facilitate the rush to publish the book.
The publishers are shooting for a fall release date, and want to do a book tour in Septmber or October.
[Note: This report draws from two separate events at the convention: a reception for GRRM as Guest of Honor on the 6th and a Q&A on the 7th.]
The book is not done, but he did say "soon". He has 1527 manuscript pages done, making it bigger than aSoS. He says he has about 100 pages left to go, in various stages of doneness.
He confirmed that the publishing will be rushed, since the book is so late, and that the American and the British publishers are working together so that the UK version will not necessarily come out earlier than the American version. Maybe a *little* earlier, but not by much.
He has "a few" chapters done for aDwD, with a [spoiler removed] chapter specifically mentioned.
Dany has more chapters than anyone. He also said that Dany's love life is going to become "extremely complex"
Dorne and the Iron Islands will be a big part of the book.
The name pronoucinations on the audio books are NOT necessarily per George. The people doing the recording asked him about maybe 15 of the harder names, but they screwed up some of the simpler ones, Petyr Baelish being one of them (it's just Peter, not Pee-tier).
The names Arya and Sansa are meant to represent the polar opposites of their characters, Arya being a hard sounding name, Sansa a softer more pretty name, etc.
Parris has proclaimed that Arya cannot die! (No, she wasn't there :( but he mentioned it when someone said that he's not allowed to kill Dany)
He has half of the next Dunk and Egg story finished.
Hammer, I asked him about the women taking over, and all he really said was that he realized it after he had four female chapters in a row, and with the breaking down of the prolouge it gave him more female POVs.
The Rainbow Guard isn't meant to symbolize Renly's sexuality. It was more of a culmination of several unrelated things, such as the fact that he'd already used white for the Kingsguard and black for the Night's Watch. A rainbow is seven colors combined together in one object - he compared it to a shamrock being a Irish Catholic symbol of the Holy Trinity, three parts which make up one thing. Plus it has seven colors and is tied to the Seven, plus worshipers of the Seven use prism rainbows in their temples.
And speaking of Renly and Loras...
George specifically stated "Yes, I did intend those characters to be gay." Not that we didn't already know that of course, but I don't believe it's ever been actually confirmed before.
All of this information came from a GOH reception party, which was specifically open to people who registered early and paid to be a "premium" member, so it was a really small gathering and a really great experience just to sit and listen to George talk for about two and a half hours straight. And he knows me! This amuses me to no end. :D
So yeah, in short, book not done but soon, lots of Dany, the Ironborn, and the Dornish, and Renly and Loras were INDEED knocking boots.
[Note: Immediately below is a quote of GRRM's response to the question of how much time does A Feast for Crows cover internally.]
"Way, way, way, way, way, way short" He didn't give an exact time though 'cause he refused to call on me until the very end. Figures!
George wanted to be able to announce the completion of the book this weekend, but obviously he can't do that if it's not done. Is it wrong that I'm hoping for KC? ;)
He has one chapter left to largely still be written, the rest of the unfinished chapters are mostly done. He repeated the fact that the book will be done "soon".
He's still saying that he's planning on 6 books, maybe pushing it to 7.
Coming up with the names for the characters is very tough. They can't be too weird (with like apostrophies and stuff) and they can't be too "real", like Francois or Patrick or any kind of a name that is tied to a place (Sandor being a Hungarian name was unintentional)
Many things happened at Harrenhall. Some are known, some are unknown. Yeah, we mostly knew that already, but I thought I'd mention it.
The seasons are "completely fantasy based". There's no sci-fi type element to it at all.
After the third Dunk and Egg novella is published, he is thinking about binding all three stories into one book, with some "linking materials" (no details given). He wants to do "six, or seven, or eight" and then do the two or three bound copies of multiple stories.
Hopefully we'll learn more at KC...the problem with these panels is that people ask questions we already know the answers to. :)