The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

Hodor and the Crypts

After rereading both AGOT and ACOK I was wondering about one question: Why was Hodor not afraid of the crypts under Winterfell at the end of ACOK? In AGOT Hodor was very afraid of the crypts, he wouldn't take Bran down there, but in ACOK he stayed with Bran and Rickon in the crypt for quite a while, how did he stay there if he was so afraid?

Hodor was only afraid of the crypts =at that specific time.=  Not before and not after.

Many Questions

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)

Rhaegar and Elia

[Note: This is something that I've known about for many years, having a copy of a copy of the message forwarded to me by a third party. However, recently I discovered details of the source of the information, including an approximate date for when Martin provided his response.]

<< Who is the couple celebrating the birth of a son that Dany sees in her vision in the wizard's palace in Qarth? Can you tell us? Is it Rhaegar and someone? Or is it the original Aegon (the Conqueror?) >>

Rhaegar and his wife, Elia of Dorne.

Fifth Book

THE WINDS OF WINTER will be the fifth book.

I have not yet decided on a final title for the sixth and concluding volume.

Loras Tyrell

Ser Loras was not modeled on anyone in particular.


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.

Long Seasons

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.

Several Questions

[Summary: In response to questions posed by Mike. Mike asked, (1) whether there will be any changes in POV characters in the next book, (2) does Martin have the ending of the series in mind or does he leave himself room to change the storyline as it unfolds, and (3) was it a conscious decision to paint things in grey, killing off good guys, etc.]

Thanks for your questions, and all the kind words about A CLASH OF KINGS, which are much aprreciated.

To your questions:

(1) Yes, I will be making additions (and subtractions) to the lineup of POV characters in each volume,

(2) I know how the series goes from here in broad strokes, but not necessarily all the small details. Yes, I have an end envisioned, but getting from here to there is half the fun.

(3) Definitely a conscious decision. Both as a reader and a writer, I prefer my plots to be unpredictable and my characters to be painted in shades of grey, rather than in blacks and whites.

Five Year Gap’

I am not completely certain how long a period of time A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE will cover. There will be a gap of about five or year between the end of A STORM OF SWORDS and the beginning of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, but overall... well, we'll have to wait and see.

"The Hedge Knight" is set about a century before A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE.

The battle order…

You see, when Tyrion was set to lead the van (and I presume this means vanguard), he found himself on the _left_. But isn't the vanguard the _foremost_ units of an army?

Usage varied... but most often, the vanguard or van was the foremost division (or "battle," as they were called) of a medieval army in the =line of march.= However, when the army actually deployed for battle, the van would generally be on the left.

There are enough exceptions to this to make the issue confusing. Sometimes the van would be placed on the right rather than the left. If the host was attacking, the van would sometimes indeed be the shock unit, the first to smash into the enemy... but when the army was drawn up in a defenseive array, that obviously did not apply. It also depended somewhat on the size of the army and how it was organized; i.e. how many "battles" or divisions.

Other Forums

I am always pleased to see websites devoted to fantasy in general or my books in particular, but would rather not get involved directly. I don't want to spoil the fun the fans have discussing theories, and would also rather not be influenced by the discussions.

It is nice to see people reading the books with such care, however, and getting so passionate about the characters.

More Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses have always fascinated me, and certainly did influence A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, but there's really no one-for-one character-for-character correspondence. I like to use history to flavor my fantasy, to add texture and versimillitude, but simply rewriting history with the names changed has no appeal for me. I prefer to reimagine it all, and take it in new and unexpected directions.

Text Differences in A Clash of Kings

The changes are very minor -- mostly a few typos we caught in time to correct for the US edition, after the British edition had already gone to press.

Also the US edition will have one map the UK edition lacks, and updated versions of the older maps.

Gods of Westeros

The seven new gods of the Andals are the Father, Mother, Warrior, Smith, Maid, Crone, and Stranger.

The old gods of the First Men and the children of the forest are nameless and numerous.

Other gods are worshipped elsewhere in the world - the Drowned God of the ironmen, the Black Goat of Qohor, the Great Shepherd, the horse god of the Dothraki - and R'hllor, the god of Flame and Shadow, worshipped in Asshai and the east, who assumes more importance in A CLASH OF KINGS.