Hi George! This is Al, aka Trebla from Worldcon. I'd like to say that the Con was great and it was a real pleasure to meet you and Parris. You are both wonderful people.
I enjoyed meeting you folks as well, although sometimes I got the frightening feeling that you all know my books better than I do.
You did mention in Philly that you would be doing a reading in St. Louis. Do you know what day that would be?
Not as yet. Still waiting to get my schedule from the con. I might end up reading one of the same chapters I read in Philly, depending on how much an overlap there is in the audience. Or maybe not. I have just finished revising the two Cersei chapters I read at Philcon, by the way -- one of the good things about readings is that they allow me to see all the stuff I need to cut, change, or polish. At least one change I made is fairly substantive.
I will also be interviewing Robert Jordan in St. Louis, incidentally.
P.S. I met the Phyllis you dedicated A Storm of Swords to on my flight back to Chicago
That's Phyllis Eisenstein, a very dear friend and a fine fantasist in her own right, author of SORCERER'S SON, BORN TO EXILE, and some other terrific books. You should give them a try. Besides the dedication, there's a homage to Phyl in SOS if you're sharp enough to spot it...
Well, I couldn't really get in any info about Dorne except to say that we will see more about in A Feast For Crows. But I was able to ask some other questions and did get some info.
Question 1: It is noted on occasion that members of the Kingsguard have led armies. Specifically, Prince Lewyn, Jon Darry, and Barristan Selmy in the War of the Usurper and Selmy again in the Balon Greyjoy rebellion. Is this a normal happening or a rarity?
Answer: It has happened quite a bit throughout history. The fact is, Kings are more likely to trust the Kingsguard and their loyalty than the High Lords who will be looking out for themselves.
Question 2: What made Balon Greyjoy believe that he could successfully rebel against Robert considering his limited strength.
Answer: Balon Greyjoy did not believe that many of the Lords would answer Robert's calling of the banners because he was still viewed as an Usurper.
Question 3: It had been stated that Howland Reed would come out in The Winds of Winter, which is the 5th book. Will he still come in the 5th book (A Dance with Dragon)?
Answer: He will appear eventually.
GRRM also revealed that aFoC will hopefully span the next 5/6 years so that aDwD can begin where he expected it to do so all along.
He also heavily suggested that characters that will spend their time learning in the next 5/6 years will not feature very much in the next book. But all current POVs will appear. So one can assume that we wouldn't get more than one or two Arya/Bran chapters.
This reporter believes the new PoV is that was not revealed is in fact Brienne. GRRM first reported that he struggled with the idea that there was a five year gap but that important events occured within that time period. So, he decided to scrap the five year gap and push A Dance with Dragons to be the fifth book. The Winds of Winter will be the sixth book. Parris is betting that the series will extend to a seventh book but Martin still wants to keep it to six.
But, I digress, the main reason he struggled with the gap was that important events could not be related via flashback BUT would have to be if there was a gap. In fact, he said that the unrevealed PoV was the main reason for this. This makes me believe that the new PoV is Brienne because she had taken Oathkeeper and was actively searching for Sansa. Also, I have repeated asked him for a Brienne PoV and when he announced that there was a PoV that he was not going to reveal - he looked my way.
[This report and the two following it contain SPOILERS concerning the next book. While these are relatively benign, skip over them if you're extremely squeamish about spoilers.]
The 4th Book will be A Feast For Crows, and will cover what would have been the five year gap. Some POV's -- who George said will be "learning" during the five year gap -- will have only one or two chapters.
The first of the new POV's is -- Cersei! A great chapter where she is awoken and informed of Tywin's death. It's obvious from her POV that Tyrion terrifies her -- and that's even before she learns of Tywin's death. She asks Jaime to take over as Hand, and he refuses. It's pretty clear that their relationship has changed in his eyes. Cersei decides to name Kevan Hand, thinking he'll be easy to control. Others will have more detail, but that's the essence of it.
The second Chapter he read was Tyrion's. It covers Tyrion's sea trip to Pentos, where he ends up at Illyrio's compound. Good stuff, but the end of that chapter was where a bunch of stuff came together. Without going into the detail, it amounts to Illyrio offering Tyrion Casterly Rock if he will throw in with Danys. And of course, we didn't get to hear Tyrion's response.
The identity of the other new POV is something he's keeping a secret for now, but he did say its a character with a story to tell that really can't wait. My money is on the Hound.