The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

Correspondence with Fans

Jon Snow

I have a question, since Robb actually legitimized Jon and named him his heir for Winterfell and the North before the Red Wedding (granted no one knows about this and is still alive or free, the Greatjon knows as does Edmure, but Idont see them getting out of the Twins any time soon and Catelyn would probably die before telling anyone) does this make Jon's rejection of Stannis' offer moot?

Edmure and the Greatjon are prisoners, true... but you are forgetting the envoys that Robb sent to Howland Reed... Galbart Glover, Maege Mormont, Jason Mallister... they are all alive and free.

As to what is and is not moot... the key point is, only a =king= can legitimize a bastard......

Elia’s Children

I was wondering if you could answer (or take the "fifth") one teeny little question I've been dying to ask for the past year: Are Aegon and Rhaenys, Elia's children, well and truly dead?

All I have to say is that there is absolutely no doubt that little Princess Rhaenys was dragged from beneath her father's bed and slain.

Duncan the Small and the Young Starks

[Note: This entry combines two consecutive mails between Rania and Mr. Martin, edited together because of their nature.]

In a message dated 8/6/00 4:34:13 PM Mountain Daylight Time, RMelhem writes:

Who is Prince Duncan the Small? Did Egg name one of his sons after Dunk?

Well, that would be telling...

[Note: Second mail begins here.]

telling what? are we going to find out more about Dunk, Egg and Duncan the Small?

Yes, I hope to write more Dunk & Egg stories one day.

I have also come to the conclusion that the reported death of Bran and Rickon doomed Robb as much as anything else that happened. If they were known to be still alive then there wouldn't be much point in killing Robb.

Well, I'm not certain that's so. Robb was still the war leader, after all. Even if they were "alive," neither Bran nor Rickon is old enough to rule, or lead a host...

The Stormlands

[Summary: The writer wonders at how the Stormlands could compare in any way with the other major regions, given its lack of cities, it's seemingly-average lands, and so on.]

Well, you're right that there are no major cities in the stormlands, but that doesn't necessarily mean the lands are poor. Cape Wrath, the rainwood, and the kingswood are all fertile enough, albeit somewhat rainy.

As for the marches, the marcher lords were for thousands of years the first line of defense against Dornish incursions, so they had a very strong martial tradition. Some strong castles, too. They had to be.

Aerion Brightflame

[Summary: This is a conversation between Mr. Martin and Rania through AOL's Instant Messanger service.]

Rania: Mr Martin, I noticed several references to Aerion Brightfire in A Storm of Swords. Who is he? Is he the same as Aerion Brightflame brother of Egg and Maester Aemon?

GeoRR: yes

Rania: so why the name change from brightflame to brightfire?

GeoRR: not a change, just a variant

Rivercon XXV

To My Readers:

Tomorrow morning I fly off to Louisville, Kentucky to attend Rivercon XXV at the Executive West Hotel. I'm one of the convention guests, and will be doing the usual sorts of programming -- a reading, some panels, an autograph session.

Rivercon will also feature an auction on behalf of DUFF (the Down Under Fan Fund), a fannish charity that sends deserving SF/fantasy from the US to attend Australian cons, and Australian fans to American cons. I've always supported DUFF, and the auction will include some signed copies of my older novels.

My author's copies of A STORM OF SWORDS are newly arrived from my British publisher, however, and I have decided to bring a copy of the hardcover for inclusion in the DUFF auction. The book won't be out for another couple of weeks in England, and the American edition is not scheduled until October.

So if any of you are planning to attend Rivercon, and want to help support a good cause and get an advance copy of A STORM OF SWORDS at the same time, come to the DUFF auction and bid, bid, and bid.

And if there is anyone who is too far from Louisville, who nonetheless would like to bid... my lady Parris has offered to volunteer as a proxy bidder. Write her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and tell her how high you are willing to go, and she will attend the DUFF auction and bid for the book on your behalf, up to your limit.

A Storm of Swords

It shouldn't be long now, at least for those of you in the UK.

The books are back from the printers, and my editor at HarperCollins was kind enough to overnight me the first advance copy. I am holding it in my hands right now. There are many rewards in being a writer, but none as sweet, I think, as opening the first copy of your latest book. Makes it all worthwhile.

The British bookshops should be getting their shipments in a week or two, I would estimate. Just when they put the copies out, I couldn't say.

Path of the Dragon

To answer some of the questions that have arisen about my last news item --

"Path of the Dragon" will be the cover story in the December 2000 issue of ASIMOV'S. Readers can subscribe to the magazine by going to [url=][/url] and filling in the appropriate form. If you want only the one issue, however, you'll need to find a newstand or bookstore where it's on sale.

Some people have inquired about obtaining "Blood of the Dragon," which appeared in ASIMOV's a few years ago.The magazine itself does not sell back issues, but occasionally they're offeredfor sale on a random basis on sites such as,bibliofind, and ebay.

Path of the Dragon News

I wanted to pass along the word that ASIMOV'S SF MAGAZINE will be publishing an excerpt from A STORM OF SWORDS, in the form of a novella entitled "Path of the Dragon."

As with "Blood of the Dragon," the novella excerpted from A GAME OF THRONES a few years ago, the story will consist of some of the Daenerys sections from the book. We could not include the entirety of Dany's story, for reasons of length; "Path of the Dragon" will cover roughly a third to a half of her portion of the book.

I am told that ASIMOV'S will feature the novella on its cover, with a painting by Bob Eggleton.

Invasions of the East and Rebellions

I don't know if you've given this any thought or not, but has the Westeros realm ever invaded the mainland to the east?

There have been a few attempts to claim some of the Stepstones, a chain of large islands in the narrow sea east of Dorne and Storm's End.

And after the death of the Targaryen dragons, did the lords ever rebel against their king?

Yes, there have been rebellions, most notably by the Blackfyre pretenders.

Last POV in A Storm of Swords

Several months ago I asked you who the POV would be in the last chapter of 'A Storm of Swords', but you said that you would not be certain until you wrote that chapter, if it is possible, could tell me who the final POV is now?


More than that, I shall not say.

The Rootes and Harroway

The Rootes are said to be lords of Harroway. I presume this means that the Harroways were of Harroway -- giving their name to it -- before they were raised to the station of lords of Harrenhal, and the Rootes took up the rule of Harroway castle.

Ah.... not quite... there's a town on the Trident, a little upriver from the ruby ford, called Lord Harroway's Town... it's called Harroway for short, since the full name is a little much... that's where the Rootes have their lordship. We get a brief glimpse of LHT in ASOS...

More News Bits

A couple of bits of news...

There has been some confusion about the publication dates of A STORM OF SWORDS. It appears there are several different dates posted at various places on the web, particularly in regard to the British edition from HarperCollins Voyager. I asked my editor at Harper to clarify. Her reply:

"We'll now have bound stock July 21 and the book will be in the shops shortly thereafter, from July 28"

That is the latest and most reliable information I have.

The American edition of A STORM OF SWORDS, from Bantam, will be released in hardcover in October. It will be preceded in September by the release of the US paperback of A CLASH OF KINGS, which will contain a sample chapter from SWORDS ... the first Sansa chapter.

Another source of confusion has been the number of pages in the book. In manuscript, A STORM OF SWORDS weighed in at 1500+ pages, some 350 pages longer than A CLASH OF KINGS. But those are manuscript pages. All books shrink somewhat when set in type. I have corrected page proofs of SWORDS, and it will come in at just under 1000 pages.

Various readers tell me that Amazon has it listed at 600 pages, and want to know if half the book has been cut out. No. Nothing has been cut out. I have no idea where Amazon got that number. It means nothing.

There is yet further confusion about the cover of the book. Several different versions of the British cover seem to be up on the web.

Finally, the Meisha Merlin deluxe limited edition of A GAME OF THRONES continues to move forward. Jeffrey Jones has completed all the interior illustrations, as well as the four color paintings. I am told that the 52-copy lettered edition is almost sold out; seven copies remained as of a few days ago, for those who might want one. There are still plenty of the numbered edition available, but we expect those to go quickly as well, once Meisha Merlin's ads begin to run.

And no, for all those who keep asking, I have not yet started on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. I'm still dealing with A STORM OF SWORDS at this point -- correcting proofs, working with the mapmakers, attending to revisions and copyediting, etc.

The Butcher’s Boy and Benjen Stark

...there's some confusion about the death of Micah, the butcher's boy. Did the Hound personally kill him? Some feel that the book is inconclusive on this point given that we know he was out with a search party but we don't see them when he returns...

Ah... Ned does see them when they return... he is in the yard when the Hound rides in, with Mycah's hewn corpse wrapped up on the back on his horse. Sandor even tells Ned how he did it -- "He ran... but not very fast." I am confused myself about how there could be confusion on this point. Yes, the Hound killed him.

others note that Arya has him in her little litany for killing Micah which suggests she knew it was him.

Arya wasn't there, but of course she knows. Presumably Ned tells her.

This one is probably trivial, but when did Benjen join the Watch? Right after the war against the Targaryens, more or less?

Pretty much, yes. Probably around about the time Ned returned from the south and Catelyn and Robb and Jon took up residence.

Personal Arms

[Note: This is an excerpt from a mail concerning a recent addition to the heraldry files. For the arms of the Freys, please look at the Heraldry section of the Citadel.]

One thing, though -- you gave us the quarterings for all save the two Rivers' with the Frey arms by the mother's arms. However, as I was about to start work, it struck me that at Winterfell the two Walders actually quartered their arms by those of their mothers and their grandmothers . . .

This of course makes me wonder whether Ser Cleos's arms should be the same -- quartered by Lannister and Royce. However, I suppose it wouldn't be inappropriate at all if Ser Cleos and the rest of Ser Emmon's brood preferred to keep the lion alone with the castle, since being the son of a daughter of a Great House is a pretty major "achievement."

Yes, I agree. Quartering is still not the usual practice in the Seven Kingdoms. It did not really become standard in real life until after knights had stopped carrying shields in battle, and for good reason -- the sort of grand quartered coats that later became common would have been really useless on a battlefield for purposes of indentification. Much too confusing to the eye. Since they still carry shields in Westeros, I think quartering is as far as they go... and even that is more the exception than the rule.