The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

A Myriad of Questions

Have you come back from Spain? Did you enjoy? I go to Spain quite once a year and the only thing I remember with love is fish...

I loved Spain, and hope to visit again. But the next country in my travel plans is the Netherlands, followed by the Czech Republic.

The sun shines and I will spend my afternoon reading the discussion about ASoIaF in internet.

One topic in particular has caught my attention:

- Has GRRM ruined Fantasy?

... picking up new Fantasy books, I am having immense difficulty finishing them - I'm constantly thinking "Martin writes better," "Martin's characters are better,"...

(Bloody well obsessed as everyone. Do you imagine what sorrow when the saga will end definitely? Think carefully about it)

Anyway I haven't difficulty finishing boring books, my problem is finding something enough valuable to be brought home (like a dog). I think, yes, in some ways you have spoiled Fantasy market, now re-considering my favourite books I don't see them so well developed as before. It's your fault.

There's still a lot of great fantasy out there. Try Robin Hobb. Try the later books of Guy Gavriel Kay. Try Tad Williams. Try Jack Vance, still the greatest living fantasist.

A part from gossips, I agree with them you gave an uncommon depth to all female characters; and this is something not easy to find in Fantasy books, where women are usually beautiful princess, warrior princess or similar cliché.

I try. Thanks, that's high praise.

Today I have some questions:

1) Can a woman marry without someone (father, king or anyone) that stands for her? Or they are passed from hand to hand like horses as Cersei showed to Sansa, and that's it?

Well, the truth is somewhat in between. But yes, fathers have a lot to say about who a girl marries... a widow, however, especially an older one with property or a title, might have a deal more say.

2) The mixture called Tansy (or something similar, I haven't the book to check, so please forgive any names' distortion) is truly an abortion mixture or something you have invented?

No, it's real enough. Tansy and pennyroyal are two powerful (and DANGEROUS) natural abortifactants. Carelessly used, however, they can kill, so I was purposely vague and added a few fantasy touches to "moon tea." I did not want anyone trying them in real life. A web search will turn you plenty of both of them.

3) Speaking about women there's is a hidden figure: Ned's mother, you only say "she was Lady Stark and she died". Nothing more? Nothing important or something too important? (please at least choose one hypothesis).

If there is anything important, I will reveal it in due time.

(Did Tolkien ever get letters asking about Aragorn's mother, I wonder?)

4) When you say: bastard's sword, do you mean an half hand sword with general historical measures, or Jon's Long Claw has different size?

A "bastard sword" was a genuine historical term for a hand-and-a-half sword, larger than an ordinary broadsword but not large enough to be a true two hander.

5) The temperature on the Wall?


6) How old is Howland Reed?

He'd be in his thirties.

7) And how would have been Ashara Dayne?


8) A part from Tyron, is there any female character you love more than the others?

Oh, probably Arya... but as with the men, I love them all.

A lot of females on stage in A FEAST FOR CROWS, by the way. The women are taking over...