The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

Loras, Robert Arryn, the Clegane Sister, and a Sword

[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.

Sandor as a POV

[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?]

Not Sandor.

Jokertown, the Turtle, and the Committee

[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?]

Definitely.

Humor in Ice and Fire

[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.

The Sleeper and Zelazny

[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.

Sandy Blair

[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.

Jon Snow’s Parentage

[Will we learn more of Jon Snow's parentage?]

Eventually, yes.

Ice and Fire Roleplay Origins

[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.

Germany, Nasmith, and HBO

[When will GRRM visit Germany?]

I last visited Germany in 2000 for a con in Leipzig. I also visited Berlin (great museums), checked out the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Essen Game Fair, went drinking with my fans in Dusseldorf and Cologne, and played the tourist along the Romantic Road.

I'm sure I'll be back one day, but offhand, I don't know when.

[Might GRRM be able to visit Germany this summer?]

No, afraid not. These days I book all my appearances three or more years in advance.

[Confirmation that Ted Nasmith is illustrating one of the limited editions of the A Song of Ice and Fire series from Subterranean Press]

Yes, Ted Nasmith is supposed to illustrate one of the books for SubPress. Tom Canty is doing A FEAST FOR CROWS and Marc Fishman will be illustrating A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, so Ted will likely be the artist on THE WINDS OF WINTER.

[Word on the proposed HBO series.]

In development. Nothing new I can announce.

Busted Flush Preview

[GRRM is asked when a preview of Busted Flush will be made available on his site.

Some time soon. At the moment we're still trying to get people to buy INSIDE STRAIGHT, since it's in the bookstores now, and BUSTED FLUSH won't be out until December.

Wild Cards Questions

[GRRM is asked if the character of Mushroom Daddy is an incarnation of Dr. Mark Meadows.]

No, he is not.

[GRRM is asked if Meadows will return to the series.]

Keep reading.

On Television

1) Have you watched any of the recently-released Beauty and the Beast DVDs? How does the show look on DVD, and how does it feel to look back on your work there?

I have the DVDs, but I haven't watched them yet, I'm afraid.

2) If a producer asked you to write the script for an episode of a currently-airing program on television, which would you want it to be? I suppose this may be the same as "What's your favorite program on the air right now", but if not, it'd be very interesting to know why.

Most of my favorite television programs were HBO series that have gone off the air in the last year or so -- ROME, DEADWOOD, THE SOPRANOS, etc. Of the shows still on the air, I suppose BATTLESTAR GALACTICA is my favorite, but that one is wrapping up too.

3) You've remarked that you're a "gardener" instead of an "architect" when it comes to writing novels. Do you feel TV series could work using the "gardening" approach for creative direction, or do the constraints of the format (budgets, production schedules, etc.) make the "architect" approach more typical? I'm thinking primarily in terms of the recent shifts away from more episodic television programs to series with running, season- or even multi-season-long story arcs, and the rise of complaints from fans when they discover less planning has gone into these arcs than they had supposed.

The nature of TV pretty much prohibits the "gardener" approach. Studios and networks want detailed outline at every step of the way, so they will have the opportunity to review everything, gives notes, request (demand) changes, and so forth. You can beat them off to some extent if you have the kind of clout that comes with a hit series, but they're always there lurking.

On Busted Flush

BUSTED FLUSH is finished and delivered, and has been scheduled for a December release.

Most of the spotlight will still remain on the characters introduced in INSIDE STRAIGHT, including Curveball, Drummer Boy, John Fortune, the Amazing Bubbles, and the rest of the AMERICAN HERO crew, but you'll also meet several brand new aces that we think you'll like... and yes, some of the original characters from the old series will be present as well. Cameo will be back in her own story, written by Kevin Andrew Murphy, and one of the original stalwarts first seen in volume one will return... though not, perhaps, as you last remember him.

Completion of DANCE

Depends on when I finish it, and whether you live in the US or elsewhere. If I can deliver before the end of June, as I hope, you'll see the book this fall. If not, well...

Watch my website for updates.

Odyssey Con 2008 (Madison, WI; April 4-6 2008)

The first, on friday night, was discussing POV's. It was intending to be a panel on managing multiple POV's but it became more of a discussion of character building and how the writer relates to his characters. Nothing we haven't really heard before. Still its a priviladge to hear a writer of George's calibre talk about aspects of his art at length. The panel was well moderated and there were a couple of other pros on it, though not names I knew that also had quite a bit interesting to contribute. Couple of highlights from GRRM's comments: 1. He strongly prefers limited 3rd person point of view as compared with first person or omnicient 3rd person. Probably obvious to any read of ASoIaF. Still, this is a artistic preference that he strongly feels and not just something that he finds works well in his current project. 2. He tends to write from a single POV a couple chapters at a time to stay with the same voice. Switch POV's can cost him a couple of days of writing to be able to get back into the voice of the person who's viewpoint he is writing from. He goes back and rereads the last couple of chapter's he's written from that POV to help him. 3. Writing the the kids is the hardest. Not new information. He clarrified why that is though. He finds he has to check every sentences to make sure its something a child would think or so and to check every word to make sure it is one a child would know. Because he doesn't have children nor has many children in his life he doesn't have a model to work from expect his own childhood which makes it far more a stretch.

The second panel, on Saturday morning, was on writing for TV compared with writing novels. While there were other panelists most of it became George and the moderator (Jim Frenkel, senior editor for Tor) sharing stories and complaining about the the world of TV from the writer's perspective. Its lucritive but apparently a real pain in the arse.

A couple of notes, though nothing big from the Q&A seccion following the reading: 1. He's hoping to have ADwD done by June. He seemed reasonably confident that this could be done. He said though, that if he can't get it done but sometime that month that it would be delayed quite a bit more. He has a busy summer coming up after that which will not allow him time to work. So if its done by June, we should see the book by christmas if not earlier. If not then its going to be a while. 2. He still really thinks he can get it done in 7 total books though there did seem to be a bit more doubt on that lingering behind his words. That was my impression though, not anything that George actually said. He is commited to the 7 book idea at the moment. 3. The HBO show is still in limbo. Which we already knew.

That was about it for noteworthy material. Any panel George is on though is enjoyable and worth attending.