[Note: Some of these links and sites mentioned are no longer active.]
I don't maintain a web page myself, but fans and friends have been kind enough to put up some for me.
There's a lot of bibliograpic and biographic info at the SFWA website at: http://www.georgerrmartin.com/
And there's a list of some of my out of print books for sale at: http://www.horrornet.com/georgerr.htm
A number of Seven Kingdoms websites (more every day, it seems) have been established to discuss A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE and "The Hedge Knight." The oldest of them is Dragonstone, which can be found at: [url=http://www.users.bigpond.com/dragonstone/]http://www.users.bigpond.com/dragonstone/[/url]
If you follow the links from Dragonstone, they will take you to the rest of the sites.
All that being said, I'm afraid I don't answer questions on most of these sites. Some of them can get very busy, and I'd rather spend my time =writing= the books instead of answering questions about them. Also, I prefer to let my readers kick around their own theories and viewpoints about the books, and the author's presence would inevitably inhibit such free-wheeling discussion.
Tolkien always indignantly denied that LOTR was an allegory.
Yes, there are sometimes things to be found in a book of which even the author is unaware. This is particularly true for those writers whose stories sometimes seem to come bubbling up from the subconscious (which is by no means all writers, let me add). We all have monsters from the Id, and sometimes they escape into our stories with us being none the wiser.
I don't, however, believe that anything of the sort happened here, and in this case I am strongly disposed to believe Tolkien. He despised allegory, by the way.
[Summary: A reader asked if more of Ser Loras shall be seen in _A Storm of Swords_]
Not only will you see more of Ser Loras, but you'll see his mother, his father, his brother, his cousins, and you'll hear about his other brother, his uncles, and more cousins. A full bouquet of golden roses.
Highgarden and Casterly Rock are the two richest and most powerful of the Great Houses. The Lannisters have greater wealth, but the Tyrells can put more men in the field.
[Summary: Pamela asks what would happen if two bastards of different areas (she uses Snow and Rivers as an example) married: what name would a child take?]
The child would most likely take the father's surname.
[Summary: ALANMAC asked if any of Dunk's descendants appear in _A Song of Ice and Fire_]
One of the things I wanted to do with A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE was to make it a little more "real" than most high fantasy. I drew much of my inspiration from history and historical fiction, and immersed myself in the Middle Ages before I began writing. Patriarchy was as much as part of medieval society as feudalism, faith, or swords.
I have created other fictional worlds that are more sexually egalitarian -- try my novel WINDHAVEN, written with Lisa Tuttle.
With ICE AND FIRE, however, I preferred to stay closer to my historical models.
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE will eventually run to six books, so I still have three and a half to write. That will keep me busy for quite a few years.
After that, there's no telling what I'll do. If I do eventually write a prequel to ICE AND FIRE, however, it will not concern the overthrow of Aerys II. I'd go back earlier than that, and follow up with Dunk and Egg from "The Hedge Knight."
Publishers work in mysterious ways. I delivered A CLASH OF KING to my British publisher (HarperCollins) and my American publisher (Bantam) simultaneously.
Harper's version came out first... well, because they found an earlier slot for it, and moved it through production and printing a little bit faster.
Thanks for the kind words.
A few quick answers to your questions:
1. Will there be any further explanation of the skirmish at the "Tower of Joy", by Howland Reed or whomever?
Yes, in later volumes.
2. Is it possible to circumvent the Wall to the West with an army?
No, the mountains and a deep river gorge make the terrain impassable for all but small groups of raiders.
3. What surname is given to bastard children on King's Landing?, or Dorne? or the Iron Islands?
If I bring in baseborn characters from those areas, I'll reveal that in the due time.
4. Is Thoros of Myr a follower of the same deity that Melisandre worships? Are he and Beric Dondarrion still around?
Yes and no, and yes and no. Details will be revealed in A STORM OF SWORDS.
(I have to save some surprises for the books, after all)
THE WINDS OF WINTER will be the fifth book.
I have not yet decided on a final title for the sixth and concluding volume.
The Dornishmen will come on stage in A STORM OF SWORDS, and will have an even larger role in A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.
As to why they have stayed aloof, well, both history and geography have set them apart from the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.
Yes, "The Hedge Knight" takes place within the Seven Kingdoms. The continent Dany is crossing is indeed larger than Westeros.
The idea of "long" seasons is a staple in SF and fantasy and has been for many years. I used it myself twenty years ago in a short story called "Bitterblooms."
No, BRAVEHEART was not a model. These elements -- archers raining down arrows, a charge of heavy horse, etc -- played a part in most medieval battles.
BRAVEHEART's battle scenes were very effective, though not quite historically accurate. For one thing, they left the bridge out of the Battle of Stirling Bridge.