Gareth and I made it to the Opening Ceremoy where George was the Toastmaster. He introduced all of the guests, doing a real good job of mixing in humor. Some of the more notable guests were Steve Jackson, David Cherry, and the lucious Virginia Hey. Another guest was Jack Stauffer from Battle Star Galactica. When he heard that George had worked in the TV industry, he wrapped himself around George's knee and begged for a job!
George finally got to Robert Jordan and informed the audience that he had an announcement. George stated that he would like to address the Internet rumors regarding the fact that he and RJ had never been seen together. He announced that he was in fact Robert Jordan!!!! RJ had been listening and snuck up behind him. A surprised George said, "Oh, hi!"
.... The reading was of course great and afterwards, as Terra mentioned, George stood in the hallway with us and answered questions. I posed a number to him and he answered a bunch. One he didn't but was kind of interesting was when I asked him who was the crown prince: Duncan or Jahaerys? He said something like, "Which time?" Huh?!? He then said we would have to RAFO.
[Note: Immediately below is a brief description of GRRM's "near-death experience". See this report.]
.... George was very gracious during the meal, telling stories and answering questions. He told us one about being stuck in a bad cold spell and being almost out of gas while looking for a friend's house. He made it to the house and spent the night. The next day they tried to leave and barely made it out of the driveway before the car ran out of gas!!
Terra covered a lot of the conversation. He was amused at who some of our favorite characters were. He remembered talking to the 3 of the cute girls from BwB at Worldcon and who they all liked: One liked Theon, one liked Jaime, one liked Sandor. He was exasperated that none of them liked nice, sweet Samwell!! I brought up the dead direwolf with the antler in the throat and asked if it was an omen. He said it certainly was, but the whole concept was debatable. Did the sign mean it was destined to happen? Or did the reaction to it MAKE it happen, i.e. Cat's urging Ned to go South, Nymeria attacking Joffrey, etc. Another subject was guest rights. He mentioned the time the Tyrion came to Winterfell and Robb met him with bare steel across his lap. That meant that there was no guest rights for Tyrion. God, we talked about so much, I hope I can remember everything!