The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

June 1999

A Few Questions
Submitted By: Markus Rasch

1. Jaime stated that Littlefinger's Valyrian dagger changed hands at the tourney of Joffrey's 12th name day, and that Robert showed it afterwards to him to salt his wounds.

The apparent conclusion of this would be that Robert won the dagger.

Thus, can we just assume that Jaime meant this, or is it still possible that he didn't exclude the possibility that Robert could have borrowed the dagger from the real winner as he showed it to Jaime?

Robert won the dagger by betting against Jaime... or at least that's what Jaime is saying. "Look at this nice dagger I won because you fell off your horse, ha ha."

2. Is the _end_ of the chapter in which Dany travels from Pentos to the other side of  the Dothraki sea (pg. 190-199) chronologically after Jon's first chapter at the Wall (pages 148-159, all hardcover edition)?

Well, I haven't had time to check this... but usually the chapters later in the book take place after those that come before... or at worst, simultaneous. Admittedly there are overlaps when I have chapters like Dany's crossing the Dothraki Sea, which cover many months, in between chapters that cover only a day.

[I asked when Balon Greyjoy decided to attack the north, if Ned is really dead and if Robb won't have a POV in the series.]

No comment on the rest.

The Hound and Sansa
Submitted By: Moreta

Moreta12: I understand, I've heard your opinion on that. In ACOK, it seems that the relationship between the Hound and Sansa had romantic undertones. Is that true?

GeoRR: Well, read the book and decide for yourself.

Moreta12: I've read the book and I've debated those particular scenes with a few others. Half say that it's romantic and half say it's platonic. I've taken the romantic stance.

GeoRR:  It could be very different things to each of those involved, mind you

Moreta12:Yes, but it seem like evidence points towards romantic undertones. Will the Hound appear later?

GeoRR: Yes, the Hound will be in STORM OF SWORDS. In fact, I just finished writing a big scene with him.

Children of the Forest
Submitted By: Benjen

[Note: URL edited to the most recent incarnation of the ASoIaF forum.]

I hope things are going well with Storm of Swords.

Very well, thanks. I'm right on schedule and hope to be done by year's end.

I must apologize for taking up valuable time to ask questions but this one is nagging me and I was hoping you would help. I was paging through Game of Thrones for the millionth time and came back to the tale that Old Nan was telling Bran about the Long Night and the last hero who went to find the Children of the Forest. Right at the scariest point of that story within a story Maester Luwin barged in, and the tale was never finished.

Did the last hero ever find the Children of the Forest? What stopped the advance of the Others? Is there any relationship between the Children of the Forest and the Others?

I realize we will most likely see more of the Others later on, but that old yarn is very interesting and I don't think Old Nan is still around to finish it. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

I'm afraid these are the sorts of questions that I will be answering in the books to come, rather than divulging via email.

If you enjoy speculating about this stuff with other fans, however, check out the site at

P.S. I am about halfway through "Portraits" and I wonder what took the public so long to flock to your work. It's just so damn good.

Thanks. I don't know what took 'em so long either, but I'm glad they've finally found me. <smile>

Submitted By: Kay-Arne Hansen

Maekar was said to be the Prince of Summerhall. That sounds somewhat like the Soviet top men's leisure places ("datsja's"), but I expect it is a castle somewhere. Where is this? Dorne?

Summerhall was a lightly fortified castle that Daeron II built on the Dornish marches, roughly where Dorne, the Reach, and the Stormlands come together. It was a Targaryen castle and a royal residence, especially when Daeron was young, but as he grew older he left King's Landing less frequently, and Summerhall passed to his youngest son, Maekar. (Baelor had Dragonstone, and Aerys and Rhaegel seldom left the court).

You will learn more about Summerhall if I write more Dunk & Egg stories.

[The rest: Was Dunk really knighted? What are prices in Westeros (800 silver stags to live a year comfortably, but food is super cheap)? How many silver stags to the gold dragon? How did Robert manage to leave the crown so far into debt?]

No comment on the rest, except to say that Robert was a generous soul who spent money at a prodigious rate. Look at the prizes he decreed for the Hand's tourney, for instance.

Numerous Questions
Submitted By: Markus Rasch

1. Can you say a bit more about the Grand Council?

If I do it will be in the books.

2. How many men can the Greyjoys rally?

No comment.

3. How old was Jaime Lannister as he joined the Kingsguard?

15. Youngest in history.

4. Who was Ned's mother and what happened to her?

Lady Stark. She died.

Was Aegon the Dragon married with Rhaenys and Visenya at the same time?


European Tour

No plans for a European tour, but I will be attending a convention in Leipzig, Germany the first weekend of October in 2000. I hope to meet some of my German readers there.

Contacting Cover Artists

The best way to contact Steve Youll, or any cover artist, is to write them care of the publisher at the address in the book.

The letter will be forwarded along, though it may take awhile. In the case of an artist, sending to the attention of the Art Director may speed the process somewhat.

Egg and Aerion

This answer contains a SPOILER for those who have not yet read the story, so beware.

Egg did not want to reveal himself, and he most =especially= did not want to reveal himself to his brother Aerion, whom he hated and feared. He only did it in the end out of desperation.

Measuring Time
Submitted By: Min

[Summary of initial mail: The people in the books count their ages in years. These seem to have the same lengths as our years. But ours come from the seasons we have: The seasons in the seven kingdoms are much longer. How do they come to this way of counting time?]

Years are not based on seasons, even in the real world. They are based on how long it takes the earth to revolve around the sun... i.e., on astronomy, the position of the sun and moon and stars. Ancient monuments like Stonehenge and Newgrange served astronomical purposes as well as religious, and helped measure the passage of years, the summer and winter solstices, etc.


[In response to a question asking why ravens are used instead of pigeons as messenger birds in the Seven Kingdoms]

All that Elio says is certainly true; ravens are smarter than pigeons, better flyers, more able to defend themselves against hawks and other predators, etc.

I also liked the mythic resonances. Odin used ravens as his messengers, and they were also thought be able to fly between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Would ravens actually be better carrier birds than pigeons? Probably not... but it seemed to me that if I was going to have dragons and direwolves, that stretching the truth about ravens a bit was allowable as well. In the end, after all, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is a =fantasy= series.

Gregor’s Size

[Summary: In response to a reader who would like to know just how big Ser Gregor Clegane is, speculating near 7 feet]

Bigger, actually. Ser Gregor is closer to eight feet than seven.

I'm less certain about his weight, but he's pretty much all muscle.

Thanks for the kind words.

Separation of POVs
Submitted By: Min

[Summary of initial mail by Min: Is it true that POV-characters have to be physically apart?]

Look at GAME OF THRONES -- there are plenty of places there where two or even three differenet POV characters are together in the same place at the same time. It's only later that they scattrer. There are no hard and fast "rules" for this. I use the POVs I need to tell the story... and I want each POV to have his or her own story within the story as well, i.e. to change and grow and develop.

Great Councils and the Law
Submitted By: Maia B.

1. Could Ned's evidence about the bastardy of Cersei's children have convinced a Great Council, such as gave Aegon V his crown? Is this evidence completely unequivocal in the context of this fantasy world (it wouldn't be in our own)?

Having just given a real life deposition in a court case in which I am a witness, I can tell you that no evidence is "completely unequivocal," either in Westeros or the USA. Lawyers will argue about anything.

And the Great Council is a very rare event. Westeros has no equivilent of a Parliament meeting at regular time. If Ned had been able to establish his authority as regent and summon a Great Council... well, the lords would have presumably heard the evidence and decided...

2. Was Littlefinger saying the truth, when he told Ned that Tyrells and Redwynes would rise against Stannis's succession?

No comment.

3. Do members of one Great House have a legal right to arrest and judge members of the other? I.e. was Catelyn's abduction of Tyrion, given all the incriminating evidence, legal?

It was a bit dicey. A lord administers justice in his own lands. Catelyn would have had a much stronger claim if she had taken Tyrion in the north. Even in our own world, there are always dangers in taking on the rich and powerful, regardless of the legality of your auction or how much evidence you have... and the high lords of Westeros are a deal more prickly about their honor.


Authors really have very little control over where they go touring. The cities are usually selected by the publishers. A lot of it starts with the bookstores. The stores that get a lot of authors make a point of =asking= for them, ordering a large stock of their books, and doing whatever advertising is necessary to make a signing a success. Some bookshops want authors, but aren't willing to sink a penny into ads -- those signings are inevitably a disaster.

And the last tour can affect the next one. If a publisher sends Author X to a particular city or bookshop, and three people show up to buy books (or no one at all, which has also happened), that store is not likely to get a visit from Author Y when he tours six months later.

None of which addresses the particular question of why Oklahoma doesn't get a lot of touring authors. I don't know the answer to that one. The manager at your local bookstore might, however.

Bronn’s Age
Submitted By: Elio M. García, Jr.

And on an unrelated note, just how old is Bronn? The age thing has reared its ugly head on one of the discussion boards. ;)

Bronn is in his early to mid 30s, I'd imagine.