The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin Forum Chat

[Note: This is taken from a chat hosted by the Spanish-language fan site,]

[Why did Balon Greyjoy rebel the first time?]

Yes. Obviously Balon was wrong, but he believed that Robert, as a usurper, might not have the strong support of the other lords the way that a Targaryen king would have. He also thought he could defeat Robert at sea.

[Did Littlefinger influence Joffrey to try and kill Bran?]

Well, Littlefinger did have a certain hidden inflouence over Joff... but he was not at Winterfell, and that needs to be remembered.

[Did Arya not kill the Hound because she didn't want to kill him, or because she wanted to make him suffer?]


[What is the cycle of a year? Why do they count years when seasons are strange?]

Twelve moon tuns to a year, as on earth. Even on our earth, years have nothing to do with the seasons, or with the cycles of the moon. A year is a measure of a solar cycle, of how long it takes the earth to make one complete revolution around the sun. The same is true for the world of Westeros. Seasons do not come into it.

[Are the seasons irregular only in Westeros or also in the eastern continent?]

The eastern continent (Essos) is further south than Westeros, and feels the North of the great sweep of the eastern sweep of the eastern lands is a huge ocean, the Shivering Sea. Only Westeros extends to the far north.

[Questions concerning Targaryen polygamy.]

Maegor the Cruel has multiple wives, from lines outside his own, so there was and is precedent. However, the extent to which the Targaryen kings could defy convention, the Faith, and the opinions of the other lords decreased markedly after they no longer had dragons. If you have a dragon, you can have as many wives as you want, and people are less likely to object.

[Why did Doran not join Renly against the Lannisters?]

Doran plays to win, whether at cyvasse or the game of thrones. Likely he did not see Renly as a winner. The emnity between Dorne and Highgarden also played a part, I am sure.

[Was Tywin the Hand who made the secret tunnel into Chataya's, to hide his visits?]

Interesting theory.

[What was the hardest death to write?]

The Red Wedding was the hardest thing I´ve ever written.I don´t know that I have actually enjoyed any of them. Even when you kill a bad guy, it can be hard... he´s one of your ¨children¨too. Besides, good villains are hard to find, and you always have the nagging doubt that maybe you´ll need him down the line.

[What is the Welsh influence in how you envision Dorne?]

Several genertaions of English kings tried to add Wales to the English crown, but never with much success. The Welsh successfully resisted for centuries... not by defeating the English in large battles, but by melting away into their mountains and hills and waging campaigns of small scale resistance... what today we would call "guerilla warfare" or maybe even "terrorism." The Dornish used the same approach.

[Why is Pycelle so loyal to the Lannisters?]

There´s backstory yet to be revealed, certainly, but if you asked Pycelle he would insist that he was acting in the best interests of the realm.

[Why does Melisandre believe Stannis is Azor Ahai? Did she seek him out or did Selyse bring her?]

More will be revealed in DANCE WITH DRAGONS.

[Maegor the Cruel's death on the Iron Throne: who and why?]

More will be revealed... somewhere or other.

[Is there any similarity between Jaime and the character Sawyer from Lost?]

Interesting suggestion. Could be some similarities. Ask me again when both series are done, and we see where the characters wind up.

[How many Dunk and Egg stories, and will they cover their lifetime?]

The number of stories is not set. Nine, ten, twelve, whatver it takes. They will carry the tale forward to the end of Dunk´s life. More than that I am not willing to reveal. The third story, The Mystery Knight, is finished and will be published in the anthology WARRIORS, edited by me and Gardner Dozois.

[Is there a reason for why A Feast for Crows headed with descriptive titles rather than names?]


[Did Aegon Targaryen convert to the Faith as a political maneuver?]


[Lack of variety in noble titles.]

The number of titles of medieval nobility multiplied over times, as the feudal system became more complex and the social structure more layered, with various degrees of precedence, etc. In the earlier periods -- say, England around the time of Henry I and William II Rufus -- all those different titles did not exist. I prefered the simplicity of those times. In hindsight, I probably should have added a least one more title to differentiate the great houses from their vassals, but I am glad I stayed clear of using the whole roster of noble stylings.

[Is a character safe from death if a seemingly-deadly attack is told from their point of view?]

There are no rules. No one is safe.

[Why didn't Arya recognize the reference to Lord Snow in A Feast for Crows?]

I´ll leave my readers to think about that one.

[Why did Benjen join the Night's Watch?]

Good question. One day you will get an answer. But it will not be today.

[Are the ironborn's drowned men truly drowned?]


[What happened to Rhaegar's body?]

Rhaegar was cremated, as is traditional for fallen Targaryens.

[Is there any connection between Sansa's story and the song "The Bear and the Maiden Fair"?]

Well, we´ll have to see.

[How will things be reorganized in The Winds of Winter to take into account the splitting of A Feast for Crows?]

I will worry about that tomorrow... or rather, next year. Right now my focus is all on finishing A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, there will be plenty of time to agonize about THE WINDS OF WINTER later down the road.

[Will we see Asshai?]

Only in flasback and memory, if at all.