The Citadel

The Archive of 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Lore

So Spake Martin

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Hollywood Options

I was re-reading Dreamsongs and you mention in the "Siren Song of Hollywood" piece that you had had some of your works optioned even before The Armageddon Rag was optioned by Philip DeGuerre. Is there a list anywhere of which works those were?

No, not really. I remember some, though...

"Nightflyers" was optioned and actually filmed, of course.

"Sandkings" was optioned a bunch of times before it was finally done for television on THE OUTER LIMITS. The first time, it was optioned by the old character actor Elisha Cook, Jr, who wanted to play Simon Kress himself.

FEVRE DREAM was optioned once by Oprah's company, Harpo Productions, but they never did anything with it. Later on, Katherine Bigelow was interested in the book, though I don't recall that she actually bought an option.

"Remembering Melody" was optioned and filmed, as an episode of THE HITCHIKER. One of HBO's first original series.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE optioned "Portraits of His Children." Phil had a policy against allowing prose writers to adapt their own stories and books, so Alan Brennert was set to do the script, but CBS decided the story was too downbeat and killed it. It was under option for all of three days, as I recall, but I still got to keep the option money. Made like a thousand dollars a day there...

There were others I've forgotten, I'm sure.

The Future of Dunk and Egg

"The Hedge Knight" is in my collection DREAMSONGS as well as the original Silverberg anthology LEGENDS.

"The Sworn Sword" is only in LEGENDS II.

Eventually I will collect the Dunk & Egg stories together and make a book (or two or three) out of them... but first I'll need to write and publish a bunch more of them.

Shifting Dance Chapters

Are any of these chapters getting bumped to Winds?

Well, it's possible, sure. If I knew they were going to get bumped into the next book, I wouldn't be writing them now, of course, so it's my intent that they be part of DANCE. But at some point, when the finished manuscript goes to my editors, it may be they will say, "this chapter would work better in the next book." Which is indeed what has already happened with the Sansa chapter, and with one Arya chapter I have completed as well.

One major factor will be how big the final book is. If I end up producing something longer than A STORM OF SWORDS, you can bet your firstborn that some chapters will get shifted. That's NOT the only factor, mind you... and don't worry, I am not there yet.

Though I am within spitting distance of 1200 pages.

The Mystery Knight Graphic Novel

When will "The Mystery Knight" novella be adapted to graphic novel form?

I do hope to do a MYSTERY KNIGHT eventually with the same team, but it will be at least two years after WARRIORS is released. That's the contractual period of exclusivity.

Braavosi Swords

I recall Valyrian Steel fielding remarks on the sword's hilt being cruciform, whereas some people have imagined that the true bravo's sword is somehow different. I never had that impression, myself, but I admit to wondering if the bravo's swords are supposed to have more encompassing hilts (swept hilts, bell cups, and those other sorts you see on rapiers)..

No, I vetoed all the basket hilts, bell cups, etc. Those are artifacts of a much later period in the real world, and would not be appropriate for a blade made by a castle smith in Westeros.

HBO Licensing

Unfortunately, the HBO swords will use different designs. The show has its own armorers, who will do their own original designs on the weapons and armor as seen in the series.

As to why you might want to buy these... well, for the same reason you might want to buy a Valyrian resin of Ned that does not look like Sean Bean, or a Dark Sword mini of Jon Snow that does not look like Kit Harington. Do you want a keepsake of the books, or of the TV show? If the show goes forward, you will have your choice.

Also, in the specific case of these swords, I retained the right to license out high-quality steel replica swords, and that license is held by Valyrian Steel. HBO has the right to license inexpensive toy replica swords. So if you'd prefer something made of plastic that you can pick up at Wal-Mart, that may indeed be available at a later date... and will look just like the weapons in the series.

HBO also has exclusive rights to do lunchboxes, key rings, and bobblehead dolls, among other things. It was a VERY long and complicated negotiation.

Targaryen History

[Why is Daeron the Good credited with bringing Dorne into the realm, if surely it was a predecessor who arranged the marriage of his sister?]

Daeron II was much older than his sister Daenerys. He was already married and father to a son of his own (Baelor Breakspear) before she was born. That marriage was brokered by King Baelor the Blessed, who also officated at the ceremony. It was part of the peace with Dorne, following the conquest of Daeron I. The wedding of Daenerys and the Dornish prince came much later, and was part of the treaty that brought Dorne into the realm.

[Did Daena complaining about how she might have been Queen if it weren't for the Dance of the Dragons determining that a Targaryen queen would never rule in her own right lead to Daemon Blackfyre's rebellion?]

Certainly possible, but it was Aegon's very public gift of Blackfyre to his bastard son that first started widespread talk that perhaps he should be king.

[Isn't it odd that no Great House has been destroyed in the course of the wars and rebellions since the Conquest?]

Well, the series isn't over.

[Why didn't Baelor the Blessed, the septon-king, rearm the Faith?]

Baelor the Blessed wasn't interested in arming anyone. He would have preferred to disarm the entire world. He was a man of peace, and his favorite weapon was a prayer.

[Was Daeron I gay?]

No, Daeron I was not gay. He was married, but died without issue.

[Will the next Dunk & Egg story feature their trip to the Wall?]

Sorry, but no. Though it does touch on some other subjects you've raised here. It is titled "The Mystery Knight."

Vance, King, and Anime and Manga

[GRRM is asked which Jack Vance books have influenced him most.]

I love everything that Jack Vance has written, although some of it I love more than others.

Some of his series projects are particular favorites - the Dying Earth, the Demon Princes, the Planet of Adventure. His mysteries are good as well, especially BAD RONALD, a truly creepy concept.

[GRRM is asked the same question concerning Stephen King.]

Well, I like a lot of King as well. I think THE SHINING is probably his masterpiece.

[Does GRRM read manga or watch anime?]

No, don't follow manga or anime.

Valyria, the Usurper, and Dotrice

[Does GRRM plan to write any stories concerning ancient Valyria?]

Not at present, but anything is possible in the future.

[How about young Robert, Eddard, and the War of the Usurper?]

Not at present, but I never say never.

[Will Roy Dotrice return to reading the audio books?]

I would love to have Roy back, and I know he'd love to do it. It all depends on the schedule, and whether or not he is available when Random House wants to record. Last time there was a scheduling conflict.

Beauty and the Beast setting and characters

[GRRM is asked if the writers were aware of how much the setting of Beauty and the Beast affected viewer interest.]

Yes, we were aware that our viewers watched the show for many different reasons. Some loved the romance, some the action, some the fantasy, and some of you liked all of it. We tried to do many different types of shows, to keep the series fresh from week to week.

[How did you handle characters you did not create in your scripts?]

Well, most of the major characters were created either by Ron Koslow or one of his staff writers, which included me, and we were all right theire to help each other when those characters appeared again. For instance, I would sometimes tweak the dialogue of Mouse, who was one of "my" characters, to help capture his unique voice. Ron was the ultimate authority, of course.

[How is consistency of characterization handled in a show with many different writers?]

That was always Ron Koslow. He rewrote as necessary, and if the voices weren't right, the script never went into production.

Valyrian Dragon Riders

[Were the Targaryens the only Valyrians who rode dragons?]

They were the only dragonriders to survive the Doom.

Cyvasse, Accents, Historical Mysteries, and Dornish Nationalism

1) Is cyvasse inspired by any particular games?

A bit of chess, a bit of blitzkrieg, a bit of stratego. Mix well and add imagination.

2) In your "mind's ear", do accents from different parts of Westeros map to accents from real life, or are details like the Dornish drawl primarily a matter of background color?

Yes, Westeros has regional accents. I played with the idea of trying to depict them with phonetic misspellings (and indeed I do a little of that, with some less educated characters), but that way lies madness. I try to suggest the accents with syntax and taglines instead.

3) There are historical mysteries -- not just recent matter which might have a bearing on the current plot, but older things that are a part of the background -- which have interested a lot of readers. Do you know the answers to all these purposeful mysteries, or do you only decide such details when you actually have to do so?

Depends on the mystery, I suppose. I know the "answers" to many.

4) There seem to be hints in FEAST that Dornish commoners have a greater sense of nationalism (for lack of a better term) than we see in other areas. There are plenty of smallfolk yelling for war following Oberyn's death, for example, which I don't think we've ever seen before since the smallfolk tend to prefer peace and plenty. Timeon tells Brienne to send him to Dorne as she's killing him, as well. Is this intended, or am I reading too much into these examples?

Dorne was a nation apart from the other six kingdoms until a hundred years ago, so, yes, they have a stronger sense of nationality.

Fevre Dream Vampires and Blood

[Do the vampires from Fevre Dream really need to drink blood to survive?]

Unlike the undead of myth (and many other novels), my "people of the night" could actually eat normal food, and it was that which provided most of their sustenence. The red thirst was more of an overpowering sexual urge that an actual thirst or hunger. Failing to satisfy it might drive them mad, but would not kill them. (They were very hard to kill in any case).

Combined Feast and Dance

[Could a combined A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons ever happen?]

I won't say no, but the resulting book would be a monster. You'd have to sew the binding together like a dictionary and sell it with its own special stand. Or else you could make the print really really small and include a magnifying glass.

What Does Parris Know?

[GRRM is asked if he reveals important information to Parris about the next books. He is also asked if she herself asks him for such information.]

No and no.