The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

Correspondence with Fans

Jaime’s Regicide

Well, I have to say that I think ASoS was utterly brilliant. Your skills as a writer continue to amaze.

Thanks for the kind words.

However, I was quite upset with you when I read the Red Wedding, but I got over it. Just please try to leave a few Starks for me. I am a true Stark loyalist.

The Starks still have quite a few of those, especially in the north. I will try and remember to save a few for you <g>...

As for my question. I was wondering if the vows of the Kingsguard take precedence over the vows they take when they first become knights? That is, was Jaime justified in his killing of Aerys because Aerys was going to burn the city, or was he guilty of betraying his vow to protect the king.

Some might say, "both." As Jaime himself says in the dungeons of Riverrun, the vows you swear are sometimes in conflict with each other.

Publishing Plans

Westeros is likely to keep me occupied for the next few years, admittedly. I want to do some more Dunk & Egg stories to follow up on "The Hedge Knight" from LEGENDS, in between volumes of the series. It looks like WILD CARDS is coming back, though. We'll be reprinting some of the old books and adding two new ones. I'll be editing those, but probably not writing for them... but eventually, if the series takes root again and flowers, I'll want to do more Turtle and Popinjay stories.

Tysha and Marei

I am just writing to congratulate you on Storm of Swords. I thought it was a very good book. However, in my view GOT and COK were better. One reason was I found SOS extremely depressing. Virtually every character I like went through some type of hell.

Yes, it is a dark book. But there's still hope.

Hopefully characters such as Tyrion, Arya and Bran will get some fun in their lives in Dance of Dragons. Jaime was a great POV, I hope we can continue to see his point of view, and that he and Tyrion can reconcile sometime in the future.

Jaime's POV will continue, definitely. A reconciliation... well, you'll have to wait and see.

By the way, there was an interesting theory put forward on the eesite message boards once that I always loved. It involved the whore at Chataya's who was successful in the bet that Tyrion would not give up Allaya (or in reality Shae). It was noted that she had silver hair, a cool demeanor, green eyes and read books. She isn't by any chance Tyrion's daughter by Tysha? (or by any other whore for that matter).

No comment.

Anyway, love the series, and hope the next three books are just as good (and hopefully quickly out :) ).

"Quickly?" Would that it were so... but these are huge books, and they take a long time to write. I'd look for A DANCE WITH DRAGONS sometime in 2002.

Tour in Germany

I will be leaving on October 3 for a month long tour of Germany.

Some of my time will be spent playing the tourist, visiting castles and Roman ruins, enjoying the scenery, and hunting for old toy knights and castles. However, I will also be making a number of public appearances.

The weekend of October 6-8 I will be the Guest of Honor at Elstercon, in Leipzig. Details of the convention can be found on Elstercon's website, at

On Monday, October 9, I will be speaking and signing books at UFO-Buchladen in Berlin.

From Tuesday October 17 through Monday October 23, I will be attending the Frankfurt Book Fair. As of this writing, I have no official scheduled appearances at the convention, but I expect to be around for most of the week. Ask for me at the Fantasy Productions kiosk in the German hall, or at the HarperCollins booth in the English hall, I plan to visit both.

From the 25th through the 29th of October, I plan to attend Spiel, the comics and gaming convention in Essen (Gruga). I may be doing a signing or a talk there, or perhaps just hanging around, but I should be findable.

I will return to Santa Fe on October 31, and enjoy two whole days at home before leaving again on my American book tour for A STORM OF SWORDS.

I looking forward to meeting some my German readers while I'm over there, and having a few of these good German beers I've heard so much of.

Ottakar’s Interview

[Note: The address has been edited to accomodate the fact that Ottakars has moved the interview into their archives.]

The Targaryen Sword

I suppose that there must have been a Targaryen Valyrian sword ..what happened to it? it is never mentioned. Was it melted down like Ice?

No Comment

Appearance in Germany

Being an great fan of your books, as well as a German i'm very interested in the nature of your appearances in Germany this autumn. I'm especially interested your appearance at the Frankfurt book fair, compared to the Elster Con, since i live only one hour from Frankfurt.

I will be hanging around the Frankfurt Book Fair from the afternoon of Tuesday the 17th through the end of the fair on Monday the 23rd, but as of this writing I do not have any official events scheduled. You might try asking for me at the booths of my various publishers, particularly HarperCollins (British) and Goldmann (German). I will also frequently be found at the booth of Fantasy Productions in the German hall, where my German agent Werner Fuchs will be based.

I hope this helps you find me.

Night’s Watch Recruits and Magic

Even the behavior of dungeon recruits on their way to the Wall seems atypical of criminals. This behavior could be read as evidence that those chosen from the dungeons are acting under a mild geas, even though that fact has been forgotten in present-day Westeros. Given the variety of options open to escapees, both in Westeros and across the Narrow Sea, it is difficult to accept that, e.g., Yoren's last band would set out without stringent security measures in place. But if generations of recruits have gone more or less docilely to the Wall, it is easy to see how the peculiarities of their behavior might not be noticed, except by someone like Tyrion.

There is no geas intended or implied, not even a mild one. I suspect that you and I just disagree on what constitutes the "typical" behavior of criminals. I don't find any peculiar anomalies in the behavior of Yoren's band of recruits, though I gather you do.

I don't have the time or energy to argue the point, alas -- except insofar as the book itself constitutes my side of the argument. Like any writer, I have to write my characters as I see them, based on my own observations and knowledge of history and human behavior... but I recognize that disagreement is possible, and probably inevitable. Hell, writers often disagree with one another.

As to Yoren's band... he did keep the three most dangerous men in chains, and many of the unchained were orphan boys, volunteers, or petty criminals like thieves and poachers, none of them likely to give him any trouble. But his success, such as it was, does not necessarily mean that =all= past recruits went "docilely" to the Wall. I have no doubt that over its long history the Night's Watch had its share of murders, mutinies, and runaways. But they were relatively rare events... as rare as shipboard mutinies, prison riots, and slave revolts have been in the real world.

It has been my intention from the start to gradually bring up the amount of magic in each successive volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, and that will continue. I will not rule out the possibility of a certain amount of "behind the scenes" magic, either. But while sorcerous events may impact on my characters, as with Renly or Lord Beric or Dany, their choices must ultimately remain their own.

The Wall

I am having discussions about the Wall. Some think that it is an impossibility for a structure of that size to remain standing if it is made from ice alone. Personally I think that the wall started of a lot smaller and slowly grew larger over the centuries as the black brothers trampled layer after layer of blue metal or small stones across the top. If that is the case then the wall is probably a mixture of crushed rocks and ice, which in my opinion would be a VERY sturdy construction, as demonstrated by Jon when he filled the barrels with water and used them to crush the battering ram.

Well, the Wall has undoubtedly "eaten" a lot of crushed stone over the centuries and millenia, especially around the castles where the black brothers regularly gravelled the walkways. But there's a lot more ice than there is stone.

Yes, the Wall was much smaller when first raised. It took hundreds of years to complete and thousands to reach it's present height.

If time is permiting would you mind giving a brief description on how the wall was constructed?

Much of those details are lost in the mists of time and legend. No one can even say for certain if Brandon the Builder ever lived. He is as remote from the time of the novels as Noah and Gilgamesh are from our own time.

But one thing I will say, for what it's worth -- more than ice went into the raising of the Wall. Remember, these are =fantasy= novels.

Storm of Swords Tour

[Note: This mail incorporates additional information and clarifications sent by GRRM in a second mail. It also contains clarifications and additions provided by Parris while GRRM was on his tour.]

Bantam has sent me the dates and places for my November tour for A STORM OF SWORDS. Some of the details still remain to be worked out, and it's always possible that there will be additions and changes later on, but right now the schedule looks like this:

FRIDAY NOV 3, 7:30 pm --- Barnes and Noble, 3701-A Ellison Drive NW., Albuquerque, N.M.

SATURDAY NOV 4, 7:00 pm --- Joseph Beth, Lexington, Kentucky

MONDAY NOV 6, 7:00 pm --- Harry W. Schwartz Books, 10976 North Port Washington Road, Mequon, WI.

TUESDAY NOV 7, 6:00-8:00 pm --- Bakka Books, 598 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada

WED, NOV 8, 7:00 pm --- Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, California

THURSDAY, NOV 9, 7:30 pm --- Kepler's, Menlo Park, California

FRIDAY, NOV 10, 7:00 pm --- Bay Book and Tobacco, Half Moon Bay, California

SATURDAY, NOV 11, 7:30-8:30 pm --- Cody's - 2454 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley (510) 845-0837

SUNDAY, NOV 12, 3:00-4:00 pm --- Borders - 16920 SW 72nd street - Tigard OR (503-684-5765)

MONDAY, NOV 13 --- Taping of interview for Evergreen Radio Reading Service, will be broadcast on 3 Wash. state NPR stations; no scheduled play time

TUESDAY, NOV 14, 7:00 pm --- University Books, 4326 University Way, Seattle, Washington

WED, NOV 15, 12:00-1:00 pm --- The White Dwarf 4374 W 10th Ave - Vancouver BC - 604-228-8223

WED, NOV 15, 7:00-8:30 pm --- Bolen Books, Victoria, British Columbia

THURSDAY, NOV 16, 6:30-8:00 pm --- Sentry Box Books, Calgary, Canada

SATURDAY, NOV 18, 2:00-3:00 pm --- Dangerous Visions, 13563 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA, 818-986-6963

SATURDAY, NOV 18 --- Taping for KPFK-FM "Hour 25" interview, not yet scheduled for play (

TUESDAY, NOV 21, 7:30 pm --- Tattered Cover (Cherry Creek store), 2955 East 1st Avenue, Denver, Colorado

Looks like I will be racking up quite a few frequent flyers miles. If I seem unduly befuddled at any of the events, please forgive me and rack it up to jet lag.

I will be reading and answering questions at several of these appearances -- at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, at Kepler's in Menlo Park, at the University Bookstore in Seattle, possibly others.

I hope I will see many of you at one or the other of these events.

Minisa Tully and Sansa

[Note: A lengthy IM conversation between Rania and GRRM. Edited for brevity.]

Tigers14: guess you are not going to tell me about Minisa Whent :)

GeoRR: Does it matter?

Tigers14: minisa? it might, since if she is the sister of of the last lord of harrenhal, than edmure's kid (if he lives long enough to have one) might be the real heir to harrenhal which would give the freys effective control over riverrun, the twins and harrenhal.... and be for all intents and purposes the rulers of the riverlands.

GeoRR: Yes, but the crown has awarded Harrenhal to Littlefinger.

Tigers14: true. but littlefinger doesn't have the men to conquer it does he?

Tigers14: btw, i think that with tywin dead and tyrion on the run, the crown under cersei is going to have trouble

GeoRR: Cersei will have some challenges, certainly

Tigers14: btw, can a marriage be annulled without both parties present? and without sansa revealing who she really is?

GeoRR: no one needs to be present to annul a marriage

Tigers14: how?

GeoRR: but Sansa would need to request it

Tigers14: as sansa?

GeoRR: Well, why would a High Septon consider a request from anyone but the parties involved?

Tigers14: i mean she can't hide who she is. she has to request that her marriage, her being sansa stark, to tyrion lannister be annulled.

Tigers14: which would imply that the High Septon would need to know that Sansa Stark is requesting the annulment of her marriage.

Tigers14: Which would reveal, to a certain extent where Sansa is.

GeoRR: yes indeed

Tigers14: another question, can NW vows be annulled if a person had no idea who he really was when he took them?

GeoRR: who had no idea who he was?

Tigers14: jon

GeoRR: Jon knows who he is. He may not know who his mother is, but that's not the same thing. There are plenty of orphans and bastards in the Watch who don't know who their parents are.

Tigers14: yes. but if jon is the legitimate son of rhaegar and lyanna , he is the king of westeros.

GeoRR: well, you know I am not going to get into any of that

GeoRR: I think I've said enough for tonight.

Night’s Watch Oath

Two questions. First, any estimated date when the fourth volume will be released?

Depends on when I get it done. Sometime in 2002, most likely.

The second concerns the oaths of the Night Watch, Maesters, King's Guard, silent sisters, etc. Both Robb and Stannis, and presumably Robb's great lords, thought it was possible that Jon could be released form his oaths. Other than the precedent established by Joffrey with Ser Barristan, is there any other past precedent with any of the other organizations were the members swear poverty, celibacy, etc. to be honorably released from their vows? I ask because if the NW has been around for 8000 years, and many great lords and/or their families may have joined (not entirely willing in some cases), there seems to be a lot of potential for "exceptions" to develop as time went on.

Yes, there have been a few other cases, but they have been very rare. Such vows are taken very seriously.


Was just toying with the idea that Lightbringer is the lost Lannister sword. I'm not so bold as to ask you to give away the plot, but could tell me if there is a description of the lost Lannister sword in any of the first three books, or if Melisandre explains how she aquired the sword and from where?

No and no.

Any visits to Australia scheduled in your busy schedule??

Not in the near future, I'm afraid. I was just down there last year, and again the year before. This year I'm going to Germany. Then to Spain in 2001, and to Italy in 2002.

Lysa’s Abortion

[Note: Oenone asks GRRM about whether Lysa's child was aborted or whether he survived.]

Lysa miscarried a child at Riverrun, yes.

As to whether the child was male... well, Lysa was convinced she was carrying a boy, at least.

Shella Whent

I was wondering if you would tell me where Lady Shella Whent is right now. We know that she isn't at Harrenhal, and that she had left Harrenhal before Tywin got there. But where is she? Also, is she the aunt of the Maid /Queen of the Harrenhal tournament? or the Queen of tournament herself? If the former, is she Lady Minisa Whent 's and Ser Oswel Whent's sister?

Lady Shella Whent was the mother of the "fair maid" at the Harrenhal tournament. Ser Oswell Whent would have been her husband's brother, and therefore uncle to the "fair maid."