The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

Milk Brothers, Dragons, and Foreshadowing

I wanted to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading A Song of Ice and Fire. What's more, every friend to whom I have recommended the books, from engineers to athletes to writers, has felt the same way. I am amazed at how such an intricately-constructed story can be so compelling.

Thanks for the kind words. And I'll gladly take all the recommendations I can get, so do keep spreading the word.

After reading the books for the second time a couple months back, I have to get a few questions off my chest. I know you may not have the time or inclination to answer them, but I just can't help myself, so here goes ... =)

1. How could Edric Dayne and Jon Snow be milk brothers if they are several years apart in age - 12 and 16 or so? Can a nursemaid really produce milk for so long a stretch, or perhaps did Wylla have a(nother) kid of her own when Edric was born? Or if Edric was lying, and why didn't Arya call him on it?

Edric is stretching the term a little... "milk brothers" more usually refers to two infants of different parents who were nursed simultaneously by the same woman, but Jon had long been parted from Wylla's breasts by the time Ned came along.

2. At the beginning of the final chapter of A Clash of Kings, Summer appears to see something strange above a burning Winterfell - the description makes it sound an awful lot like a dragon. Is it meant to be a dragon, a vision of a dragon, or something else entirely, say Summer's misinterpretation of the comet in the sky? But if the latter, why would Summer bare his teeth at it when he's seen the comet for quite a while at that point? Moreover, why would it vanish when Summer looks again?

No comment. I like it to my readers to make sense of signs and portents.

3. In Arya's first chapter, before she knows about Needle, Jon admonishes her to run back to Septa Mordane if she does not want to sew through winter: "When the spring thaw comes, they will find your body with a needle still locked tight between your frozen fingers." Is this foreshadowing? I really like Arya despite her dark path, and am now terrified at the prospect of her being turned into a wight, potentially the first Faceless wight at that! Aaargh!!

Again, no comment. Foreshadowing is another area where you're on your own.

And finally, I have to say that when Tyrion shot Tywin, I felt this immense surge of somewhat twisted satisfaction. I think I need professional assistance. Of course, I'm looking forward to the next installment of said assistance when I read A Dance with Dragons.

The fourth book is now called A FEAST FOR CROWS. I had to scrap my planned five-year gap, which just wasn't working. A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will be book five.

Thank you very much for your time. I plan to continue finding new people to whom I can recommend your wonderful books!

Please do.