I can confirm that GRRM did mention that Aerys was captured at Duskendale. But GRRM didn't go into much detail about how he was freed. Mainly he gave the background to the defiance. A wife with Free City ideas and Aerys wanting to prove that he was good as Tywin. That incident was the beginning of the end for Aerys.
What I would like to know was what Tywin would have done against the lord and how Aerys was actually rescued, ie. did Tywin seriously embarrase him by coming to his rescue. But GRRM did mention that it will be explained in the next book.
. . .
But one thing I did remember when reading the start of the Tyrion thread was that GRRM mentioned that Dragonstone was taken by the Valyrians not long before their doom.
. . .
Maia, I think GRRM said the defiance at Duskendale was the first time the split between Tywin and Aerys became so bad that he acted on his own. The jealousy that knawed at his heart finally caused him to act.
As for Illyrio. He was wealthy but not near as powerful as he is today. Only with the help of Varys did he reach a position where the daughter of a magister was willing to marry him.
Now, a lot of these I had heard before and are in the interviews so I'm not going to belabor those points but here are some tidbits of info I gleaned:
(1) In regards to Aggie's question, there are monkeys named in the series; a monkey was named at BITTERBRIDGE, apparently, in ACOK, I believe.
(2) MAPS: GRRM probably won't be doing maps of the whole world. REASON: in medieval times, they knew of no such things so he wants to keep it the same.
(3) AGGIE QUESTION: why are there no viewpoints of generals or cool swordsmen in the battles. Why are they always not so good warriors?
ANSWER: people in the trenches are more interesting than generals standing on Hills; GRRM considers it a tightrope to do it either way but seems to prefer the local soldier in the thick of things. Also, he implied that chaotic battles are more interesting to write.
(4) SOHP QUESTION: will we see Hot Pie in book #4.
ANSWER: No, but perhaps in later books.
(5) SOHP QUESTION: will we learn more of Rhaegar and will it be more than a paragraph?
ANSWER: Yes (I knew this already but was hoping he would expound which he did not).
(6) SOHP QUESTION: will we learn more about the Sword of Morning? And, can you tell me anything of Ashara Dayne to sock it to the R&L group?
ANSWER: Yes (regarding Sword of Morning); no comment about Ashara; and "Have some more cheetos." *GRRM grin*
(7) TREBLA COMMENT OF R&L THEORY TO PARRIS: Trebla proceeded to talk about the R&L theory and how he believes it, hoping for a tidbit.
HER REPLY (paraphrasing): Do you really think George would do something so basic as Jon being the son of R&L? *Trebla's jaw dropping open*
(8) LODENGARL ASKED: what made you NOT do the five year gap.
HIS ANSWER: mainly that the death of the Red Viper demanded an immediate reply. More importantly, he was doing too many flashbacks and couldn't get away with saying that nothing interesting had happened.
(9) DUNK AND EGG: there will probably be two more novelletes (his favorite medium).
GRRM noticed dealers getting him to sign and making hundreds at Ebay; he was charging regular retail; so, for AGOT, it was remaindered (means not all the books sold and went to him); he had over 500 hardcovers; he's got four left in his cellar and each is about $550.
As far as current popularity of fantasy series go, GRRM is very high; second; but a distant second to Jordan . .. heard that Tor marketed the first RJ book by giving out the first third for free .. . gutsy; but great marketing ploy, methinks.
A few questions I asked for Ran and a few I asked myself.
Can any noble have a paramour regardless of gender, rank, or marital status? For example, an unwed young heiress having a paramour.
Could each partner in a marriage have their own paramour?
Yes, but it would depend on the rank of the partners.
Is homosexuality tolerated to an equal degree for women as it is for men? If so, can one's paramour be of the same gender?
One's paramour can be of the same sex.
Is Waters the noble bastard name for KL and the immediate region (such as Stokeworth and Rosby) around it?
Are Prince Duncan the Small and Duncan, Prince of Dragonflies one in the same or are they different people?
They are one in the same.
King Maekar I Targaryen died in battle against an outlaw lord. Was that outlaw lord a Blackfyre Pretender?
Here are the questions I asked:
1. Who is over lord of the Riverlands? (Since the Freys have Riverrun yet Littlefinger was named Lord Paramount). George says that Littlefinger is the Lord of the Riverlands but that he is going to run into trouble. I commented that Littlefinger is really powerful now that he has the Riverlands and supposed control of the Eyrie. GRRM laughed and said that I need to remember that for all his power Littlefinger has no army. (I thought that was interesting). GRRM also commented that (I forget which Frey, Emmon?) the Frey given Riverrun really wants to be Lord of the Riverlands and has dreams of having his father be his vassel. (I thought that was interesting also)
2. The Greatjon has more sons than just the Smalljon. GRRM commented that we will see more of Crowsfood and Whoresbane in AFfC. I wonder whose PoV we will see them from, Jon? Perhaps when Stannis calls the Northern lords to him?
3. Have you publishers been on your case for falling behind or are they cool? GRRM commented that Bantam (American Publisher) was very large and that they were not pushing him to produce the books at a strict schedule. The British publisher is smaller though and has been more concerned with getting the books out. GRRM did mention that it doesn't matter which book you buy, he still gets the same cut.
4. How does the Citadel get financed? Lords pay for the service of the Maesters and the Citadel collects some of the revenue of Oldtown via taxes.
5. When armies are described as destroyed, does that mean they are annihilated or are they mostly dispersed? GRRM commented that when an army is destroyed lots of things happen to the men. They become outlaws, they go home, they find new homes, they become mercs, they join other households, they become"broken men" ( I took this to mean wanderers and semi-outlaws). GRRM also mentioned that certain battles were much more brutal than others. The battle at the Freys was very bloddy, while the battle in front of Winterfel was not.
Hmm, thats all I can think of right now.
Oh, and he did mention that he put lots of legends into the books such as Bran the Builder. Bran the builder is supposed to have built the Wall, Winterfel, and Storms End. GRRM mentioned that he has become a legend so that people will look at a structure and say "wow, it must have been built by Bran the Builder" when it actually was not. This is GRRM's attemt on creating a world with myths and legends so if at some point you see, "They say it was built by Bran the Builder or Lann the Clever" realize that its part of the mythos.
. . .
Bolton didn't lie when he says that the Karastark men were sent to Duskendale and they then were with him at the Twins...Bolton split the Karstark host. George seem confused by my question and I think this is really a non-issue for him.
I got a couple of "Excellent cheese"s and many "Have another cheese doodle"s as well as one "Wouldn't you like to know" (When I sat down next to him and said "So. Who put the raven in the pot?") I also got a few answers of "That's an interesting theory." And Parris is no better. She just said "I'm not going to tell you that!"
My questions were:
Who put the Raven in the pot? (Wouldn't you like to know)
Did Mormont warg himself into the raven when he was killed? (That's an interesting theory)
Did Ilyrio think that Dani would be the mother of the Prince who was promised? Is that why he gave her the eggs? (Have another cheese doodle)
So. Are the Seven choosing champions from the Seven Kingdoms? (Really, these are excellent cheese doodles. Have some.)
So what's Stannis going to do when Mel decides to sacrifice Shireen? (Now, that actually startled him a bit. He said, well, yes, it is the blood of a king. Then he just handed me the bowl of cheese doodles. I'm not sure if that meant anything at all...)
[Note: The following several reports all come from ConJose. Rather than break each indivdual report into its own place, each reporter has all of their statements placed in one entry.]
So, I asked a bunch of questions that got an "excellent cheese" response from George, who was at least amused enough by our observation that he used cheese to change the subject that he went on to use cheese as the *only* subject change...
Anyway, here are the questions that I asked that got an "excellent cheese" response, and others can chime in with theirs. Other questions got outright "No, that's just wrong" (most of them Trebla's!)
Is magic coming back into the world because there are dragons, or are dragons coming back into the world because there is magic?
Is Bran the first of the "undead" champions of the gods? We all think it's Beric, but isn't it possible that Bran actually died when Jaime threw him out the window, and his powerful warg abilities and prophetic dreams are actually a function of being "chosen" by the Old Gods to be their champion - after all the three-eyed crow tells him "fly or die".
Do The Others warg into the bodies of the dead the same way that wargs go "into" the bodies of animals?
I also asked him about more historical stuff about Ghis and Valyria, I talked to him about the fact that in his books, the big combats rarely occur "on screen" and when they do, they're never from the point of view of a character who is a competent fighter - so is that purposeful? I also opined that "A Song of Ice and Fire" might as well be titled "A Song of Child Abuse" since children get such poor treatment. Oh, and I did get another "excellent cheese" when I observed that Arya is incredibly psychotic for an 11 year old girl. Anyone else want to share their "excellent cheese"es?
. . .
1. I asked "Is magic coming back into the world because there are dragons, or are dragons coming back into the world because there's magic?"
George said, "Yes. Hmm, there's excellent cheese on that pizza!" (in combination with some of the stuff he said on a panel this morning, I take it to mean that the seasons, winter and summer, are magical in nature, and he's going to reveal what it's all about eventually, but not yet.)
2. Son of Hot Pie asked about Duskendale. George said that the Duskendale rebellion happened because the Lord of Duskendale demanded certain rights for his citizens and the Duskendale town charter from King Aerys. He stopped paying taxes to demonstrate his anger. George said this was a key moment in Aerys' reign, because until then, he had always worked closely with Tywin to solve the realm's problems, but he and Tywin were no longer seeing eye to eye - so Aerys went off with the Kingsguard and a small force of men, and arrested and executed the Lord of Duskendale. During the struggle, Ser whathisface of Gaunt died, and Aerys did bad things to Duskendale as retribution.
. . .
I'm not sure Aerys was really captured - my impression was that Gwayne Gaunt was just killed during the fighting. Also, George said that Aerys just went off and did this on his own, which was the first sign of his growing distrust of Tywin... and perhaps (though George didn't say it) the first sign of his growing madness.
On one hand, this sounds important - on the other, George was very off-hand about it, and didn't even remember the name of Lord of Duskendale.
. . .
Ran, I asked George about the Ghis/Valyria - Rome/Greece thing. He said that there was no clear parallel, though elements of both are in both Ghis and Valyria. He also mentioned that he sort of had the Mamluk's and Jannisseries in mind when creating the Unsullied. (in that they were slave legions)
. . .
George said at ConJose that the maps are not necessarily accurate and "to-scale" ... precisely so that people won't yell at him when there seems to be a mistake.
GRRM held a short question and answer session afterwards and I think I will include what I gleaned from it here . . .
He is still writing AFFC. When he delivers it to his publisher, notice will go up on his website immediately (So I would say please don't write him to ask when it is coming out...that slows him down. ) The book will come out in England 2-3 months after he delivers it to his publisher and in the States 6 months after (sorry other countries...I don't know when it will be coming out for you ;( )
During Q & A, GRRM revealed what seemed to be the major reason for the five year gap. He said that he realized something. He had to deal with the reaction to Oberyn's death in Dorne. He thought of different ways that he could handle things. He could have just summarized what happened, without talking about it very much, but he did not want to do this. He could have decided that for some reason there was no reaction, or a delayed reaction, but the reasons he could come up for to do that did not make sense. So, he finally realized that the story needed to be told.
Someone asked him what RR stood for and he said "my middle names". Of course he has a great delivery so the room found that quite funny. He said he had been writing professionally since 1971. When he checked into a hotel as "George Martin" he was asked if he was the Beatles manager. I had never realized their manager had that name, and that was one reason he kept the RR. So much for folk who think he imitates Tolkien....
He was asked how he could remember all the details as he wrote several books over the years, since things are so complex. He replied "Maybe I have a trick head. I forget people in real life". Of course everyone understood. He can't remember folks he sees at conventions, etc. (Well...erm...he recognized me. Guess he has seen me enough). He explained that it was difficult because he had not done anything like this before and was now in his fifties. Previously his longest work was a single 450 page novel.
An anecdote that I thought was funny, still on the subject of memory. GRRM said that he sometimes forgets details, eye color may change, etc. He said that his dutch translater once caught the fact that he changed the gender of a horse. Heh. He said he was happy if he could just remember the horse's name and color, and does not have organized charts which keep track of the names of all horses.
And of course there are the people who want exact details. "They were long on the road" was the example he gave. He said he keeps things like distance and time deliberately vague. But someone would write inevitably write in and ask "How long were they on the road?". He just does not have rules for measuring the speed of a latent swallow, according to GRRM.
. . .
GRRM explained, as I said above, that the chapter he would be reading was one of seven from a Prologue of about 200 pgs in length.
For those who may be passing through New Mexico next weekend, I wanted to mention that I will be reading from A FEAST FOR CROWS at Bubonicon in Albuquerque. The reading is scheduled for Friday evening at 6:30 pm.
I will read at worldcon in San Jose as well... but for that one I'll choose a different chapter. The Bubonicon chapter(s) will not be anything I've read before.
Bubonicon is a small, friendly con, well worth attending. Details can be found through the link on my website.
I hope this finds you in good health and that the book is going well. I thought I'd take advantage of a lull in the normal busy day to ask you a few question about A Song Of Ice And Fire if I may.
You can ask, but don't count on answers. I like to keep my hand hidden till it's time to play my cards.
I'm curious about a few matters concerning Howland Reed (with a name like that I always think he should be a Blues performer) During the Robert's rebellion was Howland the only Crannogman to play a part? Did Howland fight by Ned's side throughout or was accompanying him to the Tower of Joy a one off?
No, he was part of the northern host through the war.
Traditionally would the Crannogmen have considered the Stark of Winterfell to be their Overlord or was Howland's aid because of his friendship with Ned?
Greywater is sworn to Winterfell.
Does Howland know who Jon Snow's mother is?
The Shadow knows.
And finally just how much does it cost to hire a Faceless Man? (I've got a supervisior who is really buging me)
More than you could afford, I fear.
But I have one (with 3 parts) that I HAVE to ask. Bantam has A Feast For Crows listed along with cover art....
A. Is that the actual cover?
B. If so, is that Jaime Lannister?
C. What castle is that in the background? (Guesses right now are either King's Landing, Riverrun, or Casterly Rock)
I haven't seen the actual cover yet, but the rough sketch I saw some months ago did indeed feature Jaime in front of King's Landing.