The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

February 2001

Some Continuity Oddities
Submitted By: Elio M. García, Jr.

[Note: The first part of this entry is an excerpt from a mail in response to a note that there seems to be a continuity error in SoS, concerning the date of the death of the outlaw Simon Toyne and Rhaegar's defeat of him at the tourney at Storm's End, as reported by Ser Barristan early in the book and as recorded in The White Book.]

Ooops. Good catch...

As to this glitch... I think my defense in that the account in The White Book is correct. Ser Barristan is an old man, after all, recounting things that happened in his youth. You ought to see me and my friends sitting around at a con:

ME: Hey, remember Torcon 2, when Joe Haldeman found two naked girls in a bathtub of grape jello. Alice and Angela, wasn't it?

SOMEONE ELSE: It was lime jello, you idiot, and it was Big Mac, not Torcon. Three were three girls -- Betty, Veronica, and Lee.

JOE: Lime jello, two girls, it was Applesusan and Avedon, and it was Discon.

In other words, Ser Barristan is undoubtingly conflating events that happened at two or three different tourneys. Any way, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

[On a more humorous note, the analogy GRRM uses refers to an actual event. After I suggested I should really get to a con if naked girls in bathtubs of jello was a common feature, he replied: "You're twenty years too late. It happened in 1974. Fandom was livelier then... well, it was still the 60s..."]

On another minor inconsistency, someone on the message boards (Moreta) noted that Tyrion describes Dancy as being a honey blonde to Oberyn (p.437-438). She's a redhead in CoK, though. Maybe the honey blonde is the girl named Jayde, in the appendix of SoS? She was only mentioned once, by Anguy the Archer in one of Arya's chapters.


Maybe Dancy dyed her hair? If Daario can have a blue beard and Greenbeard a green one, going from redhead to blonde shouldn't be too hard.

Northern Clans
Submitted By: Elio M. García, Jr.

And one question: interesting about the Liddles and Norrey and so on, these mountain "clans." I think everyone expected them to be rather like the clansmen of the Mountains of the Moon, but they're more like the Scottish highlander clans it seems. We're wondering if perhaps we should move them to something of a separate section in the heraldry listing - like the Skagosi - because it doesn't look like they quite fall under the ** (landless swords and lances) as others do?

That might be appropriate. They do have lands and holdfasts, so at the least they would *** houses and not ** houses. Some may have fastnesses big enough to be called castles, even, though they would be small and rude by comparison to the great castles of the south.

Roose Bolton
Submitted By: snake

Hate to bother you but I have a question concerning Roose Bolton's betrayal. There are some that think that Roose had treachery in mind from the minute Robb left Winterfell. That his battle against Tywin was against Robb's wishes and meant to weaken the other Northern Houses. I believe he first thought of treachery after Stannis was defeated and Highgarden joined with the Lannisters. Could you clarify any of this or will is it something that is to be revealed later?

Lord Bolton may well have all sorts of things in mind. Whether or not he would act on any of those thoughts is another matter. Roose is the sort of fellow who keeps his thoughts to himself.

And the best sword is the one that cuts both ways, he might tell you. Take the Battle of Green Fork. Had his night march taken Lord Tywin unawares and won the battle, he would have smashed the Lannisters and become the hero of the hour. While if it failed... well, you see what happened. The only way he could lose there would be if were captured or slain himself, and he did his best to minimize the chances of that.

Hope ADwD is going well.

Slower than I would have liked. I have been moving to a larger office, and things have been in chaos. But I make progress...

Quite a Few Questions
Submitted By: Oberyn

I love the books, thanks for writing them, yadda yadda yadda [end perfunctory thank-you section :-) ]

Thanks for reading them, yadda yadda yadda [end perfunctory you're-welcome section]

Are all the Stark children wargs/skin changers with their wolves?

To a greater or lesser degree, yes, but the amount of control varies widely.

Yes I know that Lady is dead, but assuming they were all alive and all the children as well, would all the wolves have bonded to the kids as Bran and Summer did?

Bran and Summer are somewhat of a special case.

Did the queen of thorns really poison Joffrey?

Littlefinger says so. Would he lie? <g>

What was the poison?

The strangler.

I think the broken horn that Ghost found with all the obsidian is the real horn of winter. It hasn't been mentioned yet though. Any comments?

Nope. Keep reading.

Also, I believe that Coldhands is Benjen Stark. Can you confirm this?

See previous answer.

Second to last question. More of a comment really...I don't think you should have made a 5 year time lapse between ASOS and ADWD. There are many plotlines that you didn't resolve at the end of ASOS. It's not fair to resolve them "offscreen".

Nothing important will resolve offscreen.

Last comment (I swear! :). Oberyn the Red Viper should NOT have died. In him you had one of the coolest and most interesting off all your characters.

Wait till you meet his daughters.

There's no way that Clegane would have had the energy or strength to kill him.

That's what Oberyn thought too. Famous last words...

Brienne of Tarth
Submitted By: LindaElane

I very much enjoy the character of Brienne! A great portrayal of a strong woman with heart! Her athletic skill exceeds any existing female, but in fantasy writing, things can be exaggerated for the author's purposes, correct? At any rate, I thought her great physical strength was effective as part of her character.

I am fond of Brienne as well, and have a lot more in store for her. I'm glad that you've enjoyed the character.

Some people say that she suffers from giantism and other physical abnormalities, and is possibly not genetically a woman. They say she must be close to seven foot or perhaps past it. However, I often bring to mind the passage that describes her as "six foot of freckled, frowning, horse-toothed disapproval".

Am I out of line to claim that Brienne is likely six foot six or under, citing the "six foot" description?

I would go crazy if I measured all of my characters to the inch. Brienne is well over six feet tall, but not close to seven, no. Certainly not above it.

Actually, I think it is unrealistic to specify heights to an inch. Hell, even if real life I don't know =exactly= how tall anyone is except maybe a few close friends. When we meet people, we perceive them in general terms -- tall, short, of medium height, huge, fat, skinny, what have you -- and not in terms of inches and pounds. We frequently perceive them as they relate to ourselves.

Just off the top of my head, I would say Brienne is taller than Renly and Jaime and significantly heavier than either, but nowhere near the size of Gregor Clegane, who is the true giant in the series. Shorter than Hodor and the Greatjon, maybe a bit shorter than the Hound, maybe roughly the same height as Robert.

I'll admit that I am fond of her character and identify with her as a woman. Theories such as "she really has XXY chromosomes" are something I would like to ask about. Could you state that she is female?

She is female.

This is the Middle Ages. They don't know about DNA. Their knowledge of genetics revolves around theories about a person's "blood."

If I start worrying about Brienne's chromosomes, the next step is trying to figure out the aerodynamic properties of dragons, and then the whole thing falls apart. Brienne is a huge, homely woman, a freak of nature by the standards of her own world and times... they can't explain her, and neither should I.

PS - - Go Giants!

Thanks for the good wishes, but... sigh...

Thanks for your note, as ever.