[A reader asks about the future deaths of Jaime and Cersei.]
Sorry, but while I'm glad to tackle questions, I'm not going reveal anything of importance that will happen in future books, and certainly not the ultimate fate of major characters. You'll just need to keep reading.
[Growing size of the series and editorial concerns?]
No hard and fast rules here. It's all book by book. I have plenty of editors to give me input and suggestions. I don't think the success of the books impacts one way or the other. The artistic challenges would remain the same even if the books were being published by a small press for an audience of hundreds.
[Intentions behind making Cersei a POV, whether to make her sympathetic or not?]
I don't concern myself over whether my characters are "likeable" or "sympathetic." (I had my fill of that in television). My interest is in trying to make them real and human. If I can create a fully-fleshed three-dimensional character, some of my readers will like him/ her, or some won't, and that's fine with me. That's the way real people react to real people in the real world, after all. Look at the range of opinions we get on politicans and movie stars. If EVERYONE likes a certain character, or hates him, that probably means he's made of cardboard. So I will let my readers decide who they like, admire, hate, pity, sympathize with, etc. The fact that characters like Sansa, Catelyn, Jaime, and Theon provoke such a wide range of reactions suggests to me that I hav
[Did the unrest during the transition between Arab and Berber rule inspire Dany's storyline?]
No. Sounds fascinating, but I'm afraid I don't have enough experience with the Berbers or their history to draw on them for inspiration.
[Faith Militant based on the crusading orders?]
Yes, albeit loosely.
[Ice and Fire dream cast?]
I had a few actors in mind for particular parts when I was finishing up A GAME OF THRONES, along about 1995. Unfortunately, all those actors are twelve years older now, and the characters aren't. My original dream cast are likely all too old for the roles for which I first envisioned them.
[Will Sandor and Sansa meet?]
Why, the Hound is dead, and Sansa may be dead as well. There's only Alayne Stone.
Sigh. Yes. More in DANCE than I intended.
[Arya's future role in the series?]
[Will POVs see any of the places to the east like Yi Ti, Asshai, etc.?]
Some, perhaps. I do not subscribe to the theory put forth in THE ROUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND (a swell book, by the way) that eventually the characters must visit every place shown on The Map.
[Where are Bayasabhad, Shamyriana, and Kayakayanaya located? Will the warrior maids play a role?]
North and east of Vaes Dothrak. I don't anticipate their inhabitants playing a major role in this story.
[Are the Faceless Men and Sorrowful Men associated in any way?]
No. Very different views of what they do.
[Future meeting between Daenerys and Jon Snow?]
[Were there any bastards of Tywin Lannister?]
He'd have you flogged for the mere suggestion.
[Where was Oberyn Martell during the rebellion?]
Good question. Offhand, I don't recall the answer. Maybe in Dorne, maybe across the narrow sea with a sellsword company. I'd have to check my notes to be certain.
[Was Gregor Clegane knighted at Harrenhal?]
Don't think so, but again, I'd need to check my notes. I think Gregor was already a knight.
[Have there ever been a ruling Lady of Winterfell or Queen of Winter?]
No. Although I do hope to someday write the Dunk & Egg story where they travel to Winterfell and meet the She-Wolves.
[Are highborn ladies trained to a lot of practical things, like serving guests, making cheese, and so on?]H
Sansa is more than just a young lady. She's the daughter, not just of a noble, but of one of the most powerful nobles in Westeros. The great houses stand far above the lesser nobles, as the lesser nobles do above the smallfolk.
She would not make cheese, no. But Arya might think it would be fun.
[GRRM is asked who would have been the prologue POV character, if A Feast for Crows had remained unsplit.]
[Are Mace Tyrell and the Queen of Thorns aware of Loras's sexuality?]
Yes and yes.
[Was Jon Arryn the father of Robert Arryn?]
So far as anyone knows. Without blood tests or DNA, establishing paternity was a lot more hit and miss.
[Is the sister of the Cleganes dead, and was she Tysha?]
Yes and no.
[Where is the sword Widow's Wail?]
Still at the Red Keep, until such time as King Tommen is old enough to wield it.
[GRRM has previously announced that there is a new POV for A Dance with Dragons, and hinted that it was one of three character: Sandor Clegane, Loras Tyrell, and Melisandre. Which of them is it?]
[Will we see Jokertown again?]
We'll check in on Jokertown eventually, but it doesn't play a big roll in the current triad.
On the other hand, Jokertown is the main setting for Daniel's comic, THE HARD CALL.
[Whether the Great and Powerful Turtle will appear again.]
Maybe somewhere down the line, but he's essentially retired. He's almost old enough to be collecting Social Security by now. And that hot young girlfriend of his tires him out.
[Will "The Committee" be significant?]
[A reader suggests only Tyrion and Jaime appear to have a sense of humor.]
What, you don't think Dolorous Edd is funny?
I agree that humor has to be part of the mix. Even black humor, of the sort that policemen and fire fighters use, in part to distance themselves from the horrors they have to face daily on the job.
I think there's more humor in the books that you're seeing, however. But then again, "funny" is a most subjective thing.
[What's going on with the popular character Croyd Crenson, and is it difficult using him since Roger Zelazny's passing.]
Croyd has a big role in the new Wild Cards comic, THE HARD CALL, just out from DBPro. The first issue just went on sale, so be sure to snatch up a copy.
Yes, you'll be seeing him in the books as well, but I won't say when or where. That would be telling.
We all miss Roger, both as a writer and a friend. He always enjoyed it when the rest of us made use of Croyd in our stories, so we mean on doing so, as our own little memorial to his genius.
[How autobiographical is Sandy Blair from The Armageddon Rag?]
There are autobiograhpical elements in many of my characters. After all, the only person you ever really truly know is yourself, so to make a character come alive, you need to delve inside.
That being said, I probably used more of the actual facts of my life in making Sandy Blair than any other character except Tom Tudbury of WILD CARDS. Personality wise, however, I suspect I have more of Tom in me than I do of Sandy.
[GRRM is asked whether he's actually writing up the results of roleplaying game sessions.]
Sorry, no. WILD CARDS was based on a role-playing game I ran back in the 80s, but A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE has no ties to any rpg.