The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

April 2000

Re: Congratulations!
Submitted By: Jeff

I heard through Ran that A Storm of Swords is finished. That has to be a great feeling, and we're all really looking forward to it, particularly after the four "teaser" chapters some of us received. Anyway, here's hoping you have a well-deserved vacation scheduled.

Vacation? What's that? HAH. No, now I've got the editing, the copyediting, the proofreading, plus my taxes to do (I took an extension to finish the book), plus a couple of other LONG overdue projects that have been squeaking, plus... sigh... it's a sad sad story.

I am going to Hawaii in July for Westercon. I will vacation then. Meanwhile, I do appreciate the congratulations. It did feel at times as if King Kong were on my back, and he's only just climbed down.

You should know that even after all this time, we're still debating things like who was behind the assassination attempt on Bran. Not to mention trying to figure out the four weddings, four trials, and two funeral.

The problem with all this speculating is that some of you are bound to guess the answers before I reveal 'em... and others may even come up with better answers than I do. Well, those are the risks one takes with such a project.

I will tell you that ASOS will resolve the question of Bran and the dagger, and also that of Jon Arryn's killer. Some other questions will =not= be resolved... and hopefully I will give you a few new puzzles to worry at.

I should caution that the four trials aren't necessarily the sort of thing a 20th century American would call a trial. Don't expect Perry of House Mason to be showing up to argue fine points of law.

Thanks again for providing all of us with a truly first-class tale and for telling it so well.

You are most welcome. Thanks for the continued interest and enthusiasm.

Various ASoIaF Questions
Submitted By: Kay-Arne Hansen

I assume that the Night's Watch does not pay the Black Brothers any wages in coin for their service - they get their provisions for free, after all.

What I was do the Brothers pay the whores in Moletown? Since they're not using coin, do they pay in naturalia filched from Night Watch' stores?

I guess some women so far north would choose such a life (given that life is relatively harsher than farther south), even if they are not paid in coin...

A lot of the Mole's Town transactions are paid by barter, certaintly, but there is coin at the Wall... not much, though, especially these days... (see following answer). Some coin comes north with the highborn brothers... someone like Ser Waymar Royce undoubtedly arrived well heeled, and I imagine families send gifts and such as well... and there's trade that goes in and out of Eastwatch...

Second; do the Night's Watch receive funding and resources from Winterfell, the crown, or both?

Some from both, certainly... but traditionally the main support of the Watch has come from the Gift, a broad belt of land immediately south of the Wall, which the Watch owns. There is more about this in ASOS. The northernmost half of this was "Brandon's Gift," the southern half "the New Gift." Historically the Watch farmed the former (the stewards) and taxed the latter.

Of course, the decline in the size of the NW and the depopulation of the Gift have both have huge impacts... again, there's stuff about this is SOS.

Third; How are the would-be septas and septons of the Faith trained for their calling? Is there some academy/religious center they can go to (perhaps the Great Sept in KL), or are they trained by local septas and septons?

Both, I imagine. Some local septons are not very well educated (like priestsin medieval Europe), but there are great centers of religious training, and the Great Sept of Baelor would certainly be preeminent among them.

Fourth; where (vis-a-vis Westeros) is the Port of Ibben?

The Port of Ibben is on Ibben, a large island nation in the Shivering Sea, the polar sea that lies north of the big continent where you find the Free Cities, the Dothraki Sea, Qarth, the fleshmarts of Slaver's Bay, etc. Yes, I will do a map one day... but not in SOS. If you visualize Westeros as a big Britain and the eastern continent as mainland Europe, Ibben is kind of up where Finland would be... except there's no Scandinavia, nothing north of the Baltic except ocean.

A Storm of Swords Completed
Submitted By: Elio M. García, Jr.

You cannot imagine how much it thrills me to be able to tell you all that A STORM OF SWORDS is finally finished.

The manuscript is being xeroxed at Kinko's even as I type, and should be winging its way to my various editors, publishers, and agents by tomorrow.

I do feel as though as I have given birth to a wooly mammoth -- this is a BIG beast, with a nasty disposition, and pretty damned hairy too. It weighs in at 1521 manuscript pages, some 350 pages longer than A CLASH OF KINGS. There are 79 chapters, a prologue, =and= a epilogue.

I fear I lied about the four weddings and the funeral. Now that I am done, I see there are four weddings, =two= funerals, and a wake. Four trials as well. And three dragons, four bears, many mammoths, an unkindness of ravens, and a turtle of unusual size. More battles, swordfights, and deaths than I can count, but two births as well, just to remind us all that life goes on.

There's plenty more work after this, of course; editorial revisions, copediting, proofreading,correcting galleys, notice to mention the maps and the appendices, to which I must now turn my attention. But the mammoth is at least on its feet; the rest is just a matter of polishing up its tusks.

Thank you all for your patience, and your continued enthusiasm. I hope you'll feel the book was worth the wait.

The Red Fork and the Blackwater
Submitted By: Benjen

How much time passed between Lord Tywin's "retreat" from the Red Fork and the "Battle of the Blackwater"? At what point between these events did Catelyn's last chapter occur?

Sigh. Obviously you are not a fan of my policy of deliberate vagueness about things like times and distances. I do hate to be pinned down...I will say, however, that Catelyn's final chapter takes place =before= the Battle of the Blackwater. As do the first few chapters in A STORM OF SWORDS...