The Citadel

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

So Spake Martin

June 2002

Tommen’s Reign
Submitted By: Aerys

Will Tommen rule as Tommen I of House Baratheon, or Tommen III (?) of House Lannister?

Tommen the 1st.

The current numbering dates to Aegon's Conquest; the kings of the predecessor kingdoms don't count. It was the same in England after the Norman Conquest. Edward Longshanks was Edward I, and never mind all the Saxon Edwards who had come before 1066.

Eastern Cities and Peoples
Submitted By: Chris H.

I am sixteen years old, and I big fan of your works, especially the Song of Ice and Fire series. I have a few questions to ask you about the series, if you'd be kind enough to answer them...

1) Is the series based in any way on the events leding up to the Battle of Hastings? Various themes (different leaders vying for a throne, the appearance of a comet in the sky, bastards becoming great leaders) seem to be echoed in your story.

I did not have Hastings in mind especially, but I suppose there might have been some subconscious influence. The comet was actually more drawn from the Bard's in JULIUS CAESAR, as well as the ones actually in the sky as I was writing.

2) Where exactly are the cities of Yi Ti and Asshai in relation to Qarth? Are they on the same continent, or across the Jade Sea?

Yi Ti is to the south east of Qarth, generally, across the Jade Sea.

3) What are the approximate populations of King's Landing, Qarth, Asshai and the Port of Ibben?

Populations were largely a matter of guesswork in such times.

4) What exactly are the Shadow Lands? Do any significant civilizations exist there, or are they simply a barren waste?

Keep reading.

5) About the two men Arya saw conspiring to restore Dany to Westeros in GoT--one is obviously Illyiro, but who is this other? My friend seems insistent that you confirmed that it is Varys, but IIRC, Varys is hairless while the man Arya saw had a beard.

Varys was a former mummer.

Could you clear this up, or will we find out later?

It was Varys.

6) Where exactly to the Jogos Nhai live? On he eastern coninent, the continent to the south, or across the Jade Sea? Are they from such cities like Kayakayanaya that you mentioned in GoT?

There will be more maps in future books, but there always need to be mysteries beyond the hill as well...

Bastards as Lord Commanders
Submitted By: Maltaran

It's been said that a bastard can rise high in the NW (i.e. Cotter Pyke commanding Eastwatch). But have there ever been any bastard Lord Commanders before Jon?

Yes, undoubtedly.

Social Structure, Moat Cailin, and More
Submitted By: OsRavan

I am a large fan of your work, and have been for a while now. :chuckles: in fact, I have introduced my brother and friends to your series with good results. Regardless, I have some questions I would like to ask, if you don't mind. I did try to go through 'so spake martin', but since it was so long, I can't promise that I am accidentally not repeating a question.

Anyway, here I go.

1) In ASOIAF, we hear a bit of using boats to move armys, both among the iron men and with Dany. However, I was wondering why no one tried this in the past. For instance, instead of fighting up the neck, why didn't any of the andal kings try to land north of the moat? Or land an army at gulltown, behind the bloody gate? Or at sunspear instead of fighting through the dornish marches? This has just been something I am curious about, and I hope there is an answer.

Who says it hasn't been tried in the past? The Seven Kingdoms have a very long history, and I haven't mentioned all of it... nor will I.

2) Is it possible that we may see a few scenes of peace at the end of the series? Some of my favorite scenes are just the relatively peaceful parts at the beginning of AGOT.

Yes, it is possible.

Also, if you do write more on Westeros after ASOIAF ::Crosses fingers:: Is it possible we might get a look at some of the decedents of the present characters? As in seeing the world a generation or two later?

Maybe. That's a long ways off.

3) Also, I don't quite get Renlys motivation for being king. When he is at KL, he seems more than willing to let Ned take control, even though it means Stannis or Joff will be king. However, alter on he claims the kingship and seems quite adamant about holding on to it. I understand the theory that he likes to be king simply because it was 'shiny' and he liked being the center of attention. However, in some of his conversations with Cat, I get the idea that he really thinks he deserves to be king, and that he will be a great king.

He does. Renly was not modest.

) I am also a bit curious as to the social structure of westeros. I understand the seven high lords, and the slightly lower lords (ie. Boltons, Karstarks, Freys etc.). However, do these lords also have sub lords below them? Lords who maybe raise 10 or 20 men for the Karstarks?

Yes, it is a feudal system. The lords have vassals, the vassals have vassals, and sometimes the vassals of the vassals have vassals, down to the guy who can raise five friends.

5) I have also wondered a bit about moat cailin. Normally, who is lord over the moat? Who is there? I suppose its possible it is just abandoned, but that seems foolish when one considers how key a fortress it is. Is there normally a trusted lord stationed there with a garrison to guard it?

It's a ruin. No one is there. The north has not been attacked in hundreds of years.

6) This question relates a bit to 5..but.. hey. How do the great houses, besides the lannsiters of course, make there money. Is it all through the trading of goods?

Taxes and customs duties.

7) Also, what exactly does the tittle 'warden of the (Blank)' mean. In book one, Robert or Ned say something along the liens of it being honorary except in a time of war. But, so far in the series, we have seen little significance in regards to the title. Do the houses who are wardens have some control over the great houses who are not wardens? IS that why the riverlords seem to simply follow the northern lead?

The wardens are supposed to defend their regions against invaders. In theory, at least, they are each the supreme general for their region and therefore preventing any disunity of command.

Submitted By: Cocomaan

I am a fan of book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" and I also have purchased your recently re-released short story book "A Song for Lya." I just wanted to ask you a simple question about your writing, specifically "A Song of Ice and Fire." Where exactly did you get the idea for this book?

Hard to say. Ideas come from all over. In the case of this series, the first chapter came to me when I was in the middle of writing a different novel entirely, so vividly that I put the other book aside to write this one.

I know that some authors had dreams that inspired them, or used historical events to help them get an idea about a story. I just wanted to know what your own personal motivations for writing this series and everything else you write.

I have drawn on all this at various times in my career.

I am actually planning on writing a fantasy book in the future, after having a dream. I hope that hearing words from a professional writer will help fuel my writing.

Good luck with that, and thanks for your kind words.