No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least. You’re going to have to keep waiting for THE WINDS OF WINTER.
You will, however, be able to return to Westeros this year, as I suggested back over on Live Journal.
Archmaester Gyldayn has at last completed and delivered the first half of his monumental history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros, FIRE & BLOOD, and Bantam Spectra and HarperCollins Voyager will be releasing the hardcover on November 20, I am thrilled to say.
I’ve seen the archmaester’s manuscript. Since it was handwritten on vellum with a quill pen, he required my help in transcribing the text to a more modern format: WordStar 4.0, on a DOS computer. Took a while, but a few weeks ago I was able to ship it off to my editors on both sides of the Atlantic, and to my foreign representatives for all my publishers around the world. Some of my foreign publishers will be releasing their editions simultaneously with the US and UK hardbacks; others may need to wait for translation from the Common Tongue.
It’s a hefty book, almost a thousand manuscript pages (okay, 989, if you want to be precise). That’s not quite as long as A GAME OF THRONES or any of the later volumes in A SONG FOR ICE AND FIRE, but there’s a lot of reading there, and I hope you’ll enjoy it. This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters. For those not up on your Westerosi history, that’s Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency). Oh, and there are dragons too.
Lots of dragons.
Of course, the story doesn’t end with the regents of Aegon III. There is a lot more history to come, and Archmaester Gyldayn will get to all that too, in FIRE & BLOOD, Volume Two. But that one is a few years down the pike. So don’t get impatient. Gyldayn will get to it eventually, but he’s old, and so am I, and we both have other projects to tend to as well. The Citadel puts a lot of demands on an archmaester’s time.
Oh, and I almost forgot the best part: FIRE AND BLOOD will be illustrated throughout. No, it won’t be a huge coffee table book with art on every page, like A WORLD OF ICE & FIRE… but there will be lots of lots of interior artwork. Think more along the lines of the special anniversary edition of A GAME OF THRONES that we did a few years ago, or the gorgeous hardcover of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, the Dunk & Egg collection. We’ll have more than 75 black & white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley.
And here’s a peek at the US cover, plus an illustration by Doug Wheatley:
And if I may set down Archmaester Gyldayn’s quill for a while…
Long-time fans and readers of my Not A Blog know the entire history of FIRE & BLOOD, but there may be some of you out there who do not. This is the book that I used to jokingly refer to as the GRRMarillion (or the first half of it, at least); that is to say, my version of Tolkien’s mammoth history of Middle Earth. In my case, the focus is on the Targaryens, from Aegon’s Conquest to Robert’s Rebellion (so, unlike JRRT, I will not be covering the creation of the world and any wars amongst the angels). These histories began a few years back as a series of sidebars intended for THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE, our huge illustrated concordance, but I got carried away (as I tend to do) and before long the sidebars got so long they were threatening to overwhelm the entire book, so we pulled them out of that volume… and saved them for this one.
Portions of the book have previously appeared here and there. The chapter about Aegon’s Conquest was published, pretty much as written, in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. The section about the reigns of Aegon’s sons Aenys and Maegor came out last year as “Sons of the Dragon,” in Gardner Dozois’s anthology THE BOOK OF SWORDS, and an abridged version of same was in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE. Material from the chapters about the struggle for succession after Jaehaerys I and the Dance of the Dragons after Viserys I was published in an abridged form as “The Rogue Prince” (in ROGUES) and “The Princess and the Queen” (in DANGEROUS WOMEN), and in a much more severely abridged form in THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE… but FIRE & BLOOD will mark the first time that full, unabridged texts of Archmaester Gyldayn’s histories have been published. In addition, of course, there are hundreds of pages of new material which has never appeared before in any form, abridged or unabridged.
I do want to stress… indeed, I want to shout… that FIRE & BLOOD is not a novel. This is not a traditional narrative and was never intended to be. Some of my fans have objected to the term “fake history” that I’ve bandied about in past blog posts and announcements in reference to “The Princess and the Queen” and “Sons of the Dragon” and the like. Very well; let’s call this one “imaginary history” instead. The essential point being the “history” part. I love reading popular histories myself, and that’s what I was aiming for here. Not historical fiction, not fantasy, no… but something more akin to Thomas B. Costain’s monumental (and wonderfully entertaining) four-volume history of the Plantagenets. (But with dragons. Did I mention the dragons?)
So: not a novel. Everyone clear on that? (Though there are enough stories here for twenty novels. Battles, bloodshed, betrayals, love, lust, horror, religious wars, politics, incest, historical revisionism, all the fun stuff).
Oh, and I should also say… as most of you know, HBO is presently developing a number of different prequels to GAME OF THRONES. I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from FIRE & BLOOD. It’s a logical question. The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let’s move that to the side.
The important thing is: NOVEMBER 20. Mark it down on your calendars. (If you enjoy imaginary history).
Archmaester Gyldayn is hanging up his quill for a while. As for me, I’m returning once again to THE WINDS OF WINTER.
For the retailer links to FIRE & BLOOD, click here.
Current Mood: creative
Comments have been closed for this post.
Okay, no Wind of Winter in 2018, will it be released in 2019?
Glad that you are returning to the write of asoiaf 🙂
It definitely means we’re getting it on 2019-01-01. 🙂
Taking bets the answer is no
a wizard is never late. better to wait for beauty than to rush home lol
I am not glad. We did not need anything else than Winds of Winter and the last book. All fucking spinoffs and histories and other moneymaking stuff could have waited!!!!! First things must come first!
I am not sure HBO would agree that the spinoffs (I prefer the term “successor shows” myself) could have waited. With GOT set to end in 2019, they put five of them in the works, so as to have a new show… or more than one… to take up the mantle in 2020. (Development takes time). The successor shows were going to happen regardless. I prefer that they happen with my participation and guidance, rather than without it.
Let’s all pray to God that they will happen with your participation and guidance this time. The writing for GoT has gone downhill severely since they stopped minding what was actually written in the books, compared to the first couple of seasons that actually made sense. Let’s hope that at least the last season has some more of your input.
Anna, I totally appreciate your frustration since I too – like the rest of the world- am impatiently awaiting the final books. However, I think a little patience is in order considering that one of the main reasons we all love ASOIAF is the complexities of the story, and our immersion into that particular world. Such complexities would take a LOT of time to construct, and I’m sure that GRRM has no intention of finalising his epic story in a rushed, half-baked manner ….don’t you think? And his involvement in the other projects can only add to their authenticity and quality, which is what we would all want…. With George’s participation, I bet we will all be mesmerised by the additional stories and prequels as much as we have been in ASOIAF and GoT!
I love the world-building. I find myself reading and re-reading JRRT (Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien, etc.). I am a history buff, so I like narrative form regardless, though I do enjoy the novels.
The one thing I was most disappointed with about the Star Wars Expanded Universe (besides the subpar writing and the lack of consistency between some of the writers) was that with Disney, the “history” was pretty much eradicated and I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read about the SWEU not because of the writing, but to learn about the characters and the new environments and histories they were creating. I’m just hoping there is never a World of Ice and Fire “reboot”!
if we are not going to see Winds of Winter can we get another chapter? I look forward to the release of this book- and in my heart of hearts i dream a little dream of spring.
i should clarify that i look forward to Fire and Blood- and my smiley after asking for another chapter from winds disappeared somehow. 🙂
Awesome news and I really like the cover, even though it’s different from that German one recently posted online.
I’ve long been interested in reading “Tales of Westeros” like Lann the Clever, Pate the Pig Boy, Florian and Jonquil, etc. Is that something you have ever considered writing, and/or is there any content in Fire and Blood along those lines?
This sounds brilliant! I’m really looking forward to it! I’m currently re-reading the Song of Ice and Fire series for the third time and I’m loving it just as much as always. You’re truly one of the best fantasy writers out there. Don’t let those bastards who won’t shut up about Winds get you down. Take your time to write your book. Thanks for everything!
Will it be available to order at jean cocteau’s bookshop? Really enjoy ordering the signed editions form them, even with the shipping costs to the UK.
Very excited! Will this one be available at the annual autographed book sale next holiday season? Maegor the Cruel might be one of my favorite Targaryen Kings, and I really enjoyed The Sons of the Dragon. Best Wishes from the rainy northeast. 🙂
Good Luck George.
I, for one, am very excited about this new “imaginary history”, just as I was about the previous ones that Gyldayn kindly wrote for us. Now you say it begins with Aegon’s conquest, so that makes me wonder if your cryptic, “Alas, Valyria” post from a few months back applies to FIRE & BLOOD, or WINDS? I think I know the answer though….”keep reading” – trust me, I will, and I just put my pre-order into Amazon. Once I do consume FIRE & BLOOD though, I’m going to be hankering for more of the Aegon III/Viserys II Westerosi dream team.
Hi George, really excited for the book and I hope it eventually turns out to be one of the new series on HBO.
Thank you for creating this great stories that we can visit!
Hi! Will FIRE & BLOOD Vol. 2, include Aerys’s reign? or till the death of the dragons?
Aerys II, I mean.
It goes up to Aegon II’s death in the Dance of Dragons and then the regency of Aegon III that followed. So it ends about 170 years before the events of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. The bit inbetween will be in FIRE & BLOOD II, which I believe George has said he probably won’t write until ASoIaF is done. Presumably F&B 2 will spoil both ASoIaF and the Dunk & Egg stories, so it has to wait until then.
Serialize the Winds of Winter.
I don’t think that’s compatible with his writing style and the complexity of the story and characters.
This idea has been floated before but it’s not really possible because George doesn’t write the books in a linear fashion. He might have completed an entire story arc for one character in a novel but not even started another, and sometimes doesn’t write the prologue to the book until almost after everything else. That process also sometimes results in substantial rewrites to earlier material that is already marked “finished”. Sadly, I don’t think this is doable.
He has. It was released in 10 x 53 minute episodes, more or less. I guess that will have to do.
This news is … both depressing and well, astonishing. I’m at a loss for words.
So excite have something to look forward to and happier still to have Christmas gifts already planned. I’ll need a few signed copies, if they’ll be available!
**So excited to
I’m excited to read it. Looking forward to The Winds Of Winter as well.
Happy writing, Mr. Martin!
Thank you for the news.
I am incredibly excited for this!! Thank you George xoxo
All the best, Mr. Martin. I, for one, and I’m certain there are many, many others regard your novelistic (and imaginary historical) gifts with deep gratitude and virtually no impatience, much less entitlement.
I wish only that you have an opportunity to FULLY realize your vision. All other projects and entertainments, even HBO’s wonderful ‘Game of Thrones,’ which moves now beyond where you have led, are, ultimately, derivations of your original genius.
And it is the culmination of that original vision for which most of us long.
Hear, hear! Beautifully put, and fully agree with you.
It seems you feel the same way as everybody that would rather read TWoW than watch an irrelevant prequel tv show or read an encyclopedia that should be worked on after the story was finished.
The difference is that you, and everyone whose comment was approved, know Mr. Martin doesn’t work for us. Those of us who have gone through years of using his story as an escape from stresses and failures of life, getting through difficult times, and as a reason to look forward to something when everything else seems to weigh us down are just plain selfish and clearly don’t understand the increasing complexity of this saga… especially when combined with multiple spin-off tv shows and the republishing older works… and the Hugos.
Essentially, you know Mr. Martin doesn’t owe his readers anything whereas we think he wouldn’t be cashing in on multiple HBO programs and tv adaptations of his older work if not for his passionate fanbase that didn’t want a premium cable network to finish the story we love that he began.
Yep, agree also…
Congratulations! I truly can’t wait to read it!
Will there be signed copies of Fire and Blood at the Cocteau?
Any ideas who will be narrating the audiobook?
Yes, the Jean Cocteau will have signed copies. Check the website http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com closer to publication date for more details.
Will Vol. 2 include the future rule of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s son?
You are amazing!!!… thanks for share with us all you wonderful “imaginary history”
Do we have to known something from the targs history show in this volume before we get WoW?
Well… i think that’s good news. Congrats!
Who’s going to translate Fire and Blood to Spanish? Gigamesh?
I had a fun experience listening to the Sons of the Dragon audiobook while playing Maegor the Cruel during the Faith Militant uprising, in the SoIaF mod for Crusader Kings 2. Played the guy straight: no compromise, no mercy, anyone who opposed me and fell into my clutches died a horrific death, ranging from being fed to my dragon to being walled up in a room alive or flayed and so on. Unlike in the real imaginary history, I ended up having the High Septon drawn and quartered, which proved unpopular.
So before long everyone hated me and I ended up getting assassinated by a conspiracy involving pretty much every noble in Westeros. Pfftt. Everyone’s a critic.
This is great. That game has kicked my butt man I need a vacation from work just to master the nuances of it. Would love to watch a playthrough of you on the asoiaf mod.
Congratulations on getting it to the editors.
I’ll be sending a raven towards Ye Olde Amazon shortly to reserve my own copy. Can’t wait to read it!
I do like fake history. Or imaginary history if you prefer. On the other hand, I’m getting pretty sick of stuff about Targaryens. At this point I’d be more inclined to buy a transcription of an Oral History of the Silent Sisters as Told by Themselves than another thousand pages of Targ stuff, much less 2,000, assuming this is half.
Instead of “imaginary history” how about “secondary world history” or just “secondary history?”
I would consider this good news but since you made this a priority over what your fans wanted, it comes across as bad news that this is coming out.
Let’s look at it from the bright side guys – the more time George spends postponing Winds of Winter, the more accompaigning stuff from Westeros chronicles he will write (which otherwise might have stayed forever unwritten 🙂 I personally look forward for more Dunk and Egg stories.
All the best to our George!
I would personally rather read more of their tales than almost anything ASoIF related.
I agree. At this point, I’d rather have another Dunk & Egg compilation of stories than WoW.
I’d rather he just finish the main series and then he can write all the Dunk and Egg that he wants. Right now, I despise Dunk and Egg because he prioritizes it over finishing a series. It’s like having the Olympics in July/August and the gold medal rounds played three and a half years later…
“And of coarse there was even less chance of his comming on the fragmentary, anonymous, blood-soaked tome sometimes called Blood and Fire and sometimes The Death of Dragons, the only surviving copy of which was supposedly hidden away in a locked vault beneath the Citadel.”
I wonder if the Tome “Blood and Fire” that Tyrion is looking for in the series will turn out to be “Fire and Blood” as Archmaester Gyldayn has written for us.
One thing I love about The World of Ice and Fire is that it was written to exist in-world as a history text written for the child King Tommen, we are reading the same text that he learned the histories of his realm from, and perhaps this will be alluded to in later volumes as his reign progresses.
If Fire and Blood was written by a Maester in-world as well, this text could also turn up in the series, and who knows which juicy bits of these imaginary histories as told with the bias and innaccuracies of the current prevailing monarchy, will effect where the series goes from here.
If all you can think of is Wind of Winter, and far off dreams of spring, perhaps consider that these 989 pages of history may contain clues to some of your favorite theories that have been woven throughout the series and companion stories, shrouded in mystery for the astutute reader to uncover… Nerds, this one’s for us!
…I know, I know, “keep reading” and I will, oh George, I most certainly will <3 Thank you for writing.
After reading TWOIAF, The Rogue Prince & The Princess & The Queen, I’m excited to read a more fleshed-out history of the early Targaryen Kings!
I hope we learn something about how the Targaryens/Valaryons/GEotD-ians spliced their DNA with dragons!!
I’ll say it like it is: This is extremely dissapointing news. Ancient Targaryen history is FILLER content and everyone knows it. This is nothing The Silmarillion, which was pretty much Tolkien’s life work. Not gonna buy it.
God bless Steven Erikson.
“So I am going to step back from blogging — okay, from NOT-a-blogging — for a while, till I get a few of these monkeys off my back.
In the near future, you’ll likely see fewer posts here. And some of those will be by my minions.”
The posts we have seen since he said this, have likely been from those minions he mentioned. But Fire and Blood is a rather large monkey off his back, so he likely penned this one himself for notablog, and his minions shared it around to his other media outlets. He has said before that this would likely come before Winds of Winter, and if you think about all the information these histories contain, there is probably good reason for this, perhaps something we will need to know to set up for events that will unfold in the novels to come.
I can’t wait to read it!
Out of curiosity, Mr. Martin, has anyone ever suggested that you split Fire & Blood into three volumes instead of two, with the second covering just 136-209 AC (so Aegon III (adulthood), Daeron I, Baelor I, Viserys II, Aegon IV, and Daeron II)?
There’s more than enough shenanagians in those seventy-three years to justify a whole new book.
Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry about spoiling Dunk & Egg, not to mention it would be thematically appropriate in my humble opinion.
Anyway,I wish you and yours the best of luck in the years to come.
Sorry for the length of my comment by the way.
I don’t think there’s much need to suggest this… if anyone has amply proven his willingness to split and expand books, it’s GRRM. Remember when ASoIaF was going to be a trilogy?
Most of the material from FIRE & BLOOD I was written for THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE in 2012 (maybe 2012-13), so it’s not new material.
Some of it IS new material.
Looking forward to reading both Fire and Blood and The Winds of Winter in 2018.
Curiously your first sentence convinced me that TWOW will be released in 2018. “Winter” is not coming this year, so I just wait for “The Winds of Winter”, which will be published this year.
And going back to Winds of Winter: lots of editing to do after finishing a manuscript and getting it back from your publisher.
Btw: Some of your ‘fans’ here seem like real nice folk to hang around.
What? He literally says that TWOW will not be released this year…
I’m pretty concerned about that happening to me. And I’m 23
This is amazing!! Love you and your work so much, George. Can’t wait to have the GRRMarillion in my hands!
As millions of immigrants in US I will love to read F&B in Spanish this coming November!
I checked the link for foreign language but can’t preorder in US
I know you have tons to do but if you get a chance please PLEASE make the call so we get the book in US the release day in Spanish too!
Why do not you read it in English? It helps you to master the language of country you are living and plus never translation is as good as original. I am immigrant to USA whose first language is not English.
I agree with Jeor Mormont. I’m Italian and live in Italy and I’ve been reading A Song of Ice and Fire (as well as other English-written books) in English so far… There’s nothing like the original!
Thank you George! Excited to get more reading material from you and looking forward to this. A little disappointed at some of the comments here..would rather have a Winds YOU are happy with than a rushed one. Much love!!
Thank you for making this song a little sweeter. We will all be filled with longing once the tale is told to its end: “When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves.”
Is there anything you could tell us about TWOW: how it’s going? The number of pages you finished? Whether you’ve finished certain arcs in the book? If there are more sample chapters that might be coming our way before publication? Whether any chapters you have in TWOW will be shifted to A Dream of Spring? I am excited for Fire and Blood and look forward to purchasing it (in likely multiple iterations, ha), and I understand the reluctance to talk about TWOW and opening the floodgates, but we’d love to get some new word from you on it.
I second it.
seems a little premature to say not 2018, since like you have 8 months left in the year
It might mean doing some hard work
By the way, do you consider Archmaester Gyldayn your imaginary friend and do you sometimes talk to him?
And does he give you ideas for writing?
And could you please write a book about him? He sounds like a cool guy…
November 20th is my daughter’s birthday. She will turn nine on the day this book is released. On the day of her birth, I was meant to see the movie “New Moon”. She came instead. So it’s not a hard date for me to remember. It’s a date which already reminds me of of fire and blood… and sleep deprivation.
Sorry you can’t release a book without all the venom. When anyone tells me to hurry up, I slow down. I just sorta freeze. What I’m trying to say is that my wish for you is that people will back off about WoW. Like a child, it will arrive when it is ready.
If this book were a child it would be old enough to be wonder why it hasn’t been released yet.
Disappointing to hear about Winds, but thanks for telling us instead of leaving us in the dark. Knowing not to expect it this year is better than having false hope over it.
One thing I’m sure of: if I were an award-winning, best-selling Sci-Fi/Fantasy author, and I were running into delays with the latest installment in my mega-successful fantasy series, I would immediately turn to a comments section like this to fire myself up to write another chapter.
Nothing gets the creative juices flowing quite like being yelled at by angry people on the Internet.
What are the chances we’ll get some Stark-centric histories? I’d love to get all my Brandon’s in order or find out if Bael the Bard really was a Stark.
Writing’s on the wall folks. Even if WINDS is ever released, there is no way SPRING will ever come before GRRM kicks the bucket. I’m throwing in the towel here.
So this is exciting news for Targaryan fans but as a Stark and Baratheon loyalist, your comment about working on WOW is the best part of this update for me so far. Can’t wait!!
What? I want it to come out too but your just being an ass.
This is GRRM creation, who the fuck are you to tell someone when and where something should be done?
Your a very sad person.
I hope you can work on your anger issues.
OMG I CANT WAIT! I Will wait for winds of winter, take your time. But i cant wait to read this one, i love the targaryens and i love your writing, you are an inspiration.
I’m really looking forward to this. Whether it’s considered “fake history” or “imaginary history,” I’m absolutely there for it! Plus, 640 pages?! That’s much longer than I thought it would be. Not that I’m complaining…
As far as “The Winds of Winter” is concerned, I can’t speak for all fans and would never attempt to, but I think it’s safe to say that many of us (maybe even most) would much rather the book meet your high quality standards than to have it rushed or published before you’re happy with it. Your commitment to the quality of the series is both impressive and greatly appreciated. However long the wait may end up being, I’m not going anywhere! Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into and continue to put into Westeros and beyond!
Absolutely, just also wish for some more sample chapters that are already good enough to tide us over.
I don’t know… I think I have probably released too many sample chapters already. Put them all together, and what, there are probably more than a hundred pages (I honestly don’t know, I have never tried the exercise).
In the past, I have always been happy to release sample chapters, and to read other chapters at cons. But in this age of the internet, no good deed goes unpunished. That was brought home to me when the Dozois anthology BOOK OF SWORDS was released, and I found myself reading reviews that slammed “Sons of the Dragon” as ‘old, retread’ material because I’d read the story at a couple cons… for the entertainment of the few hundred people in the audience, but of course summaries went up all over the web, and somehow in the minds of some what should have been a brand new reading experience became old and familiar. It’s not worth it putting up sample chapters and giving readings if it means it will come back and bite me in the ass when the book is finally published.
What about releasing chapters you already read at cons, the summaries of which are already on the internet anyway?
That would just make it worse.
Could you, please, publish some of the chapters you read at Cons, like the first Tyrion chapter. Nothing new, but something most of us never heard
Thanks for the interest, but no, I am not going to do that… for reasons stated in the reply I gave to that comment down below.
Thanks for your reply. I’ll be awaiting Fire & Blood. Have you decided on who will narrate the audiobook (if there is one)?
In addition, could you, please, give us an update of the status of TWOW, no plot details, just something like “hundreds of pages are done, hundreds to go”.
Just a hail mary here, but…2 of the chapters that we know about are only online via summary. We already know what their content is, we just don’t have the full text.
So you wouldn’t really be spoiling more of the book if you released 1 of them, since we have the summaries anyway.
The 2 chapters are Tyrion 1 and Barristan 2. I’d prefer Tyrion 1, personally, since you already released Tyrion 2 (not that my preference counts for anything).
This probably won’t sway you, but I figure it’s worth a shot.
George, I don’t feel that’s quite a fair comparison since a short story is a very different beast than a single chapter from a much larger novel. You’ve absolutely given us a ton of samples from WINDS already, but I can’t stress enough how much those chapters have kept the fandom going these past years. Even to this day, there are ongoing discussion threads on Westeros.org for the Alayne and Theon samples you released, and over on sites like Reddit and Tumblr people are still obsessing over the Aeron Greyjoy chapter you read at Balticon a couple years ago — that chapter honestly revitalized the fanbase when it needed it most, we *loved* it, and the excitement for WINDS has probably never been higher in the core community than it was at that time.
Obviously you don’t owe us anything and it’s up to your own discretion whether to release more samples or not, but I just wanted to tell you how much it would mean to us fans that have stuck by you all these years. In the dreamy hope that you’ll change your mind, here’s a list off the top of my head of all the chapters you’ve read or released to us so far: Theon, Mercy, Alayne, two Ariannes, two Tyrions, two Barristans, one Victarion, and one Aeron Greyjoy. Again, that’s a lot of chapters! But it’s been a lot of years and we’ve discussed pretty much everything we can think of, hehe. This year we don’t even have the show to keep us occupied, though of course there’s FIRE AND BLOOD to look forward to…
Anyway, thank you so much if you took the time to read this George, no matter what you decide to do! As a side note, I’ve recently been reading some of your Thousand World stories and they’ve cemented you even further as my favorite author — “With Morning Comes Mistfall” and “In the House of the Worm” are a couple of my favorites. 🙂
This question might be painful, but I’ll ask it anyways: has there been any thought of publishing WINDS in similar fashion as FIRE AND BLOOD: in two volumes? And if you do end up posting a new sample chapter, might I suggest the Prologue?
Some of my publishers have suggested breaking up WINDS as we did with FEAST and DANCE. I am resisting that notion.
Please don’t split the book like you did with AFFC/ADWD, George! If the manuscript has become too unwieldy for publication, maybe it could be split into 2 volumes a la ASOS?
Please don’t resist. Give us something!
Hi George, quick question regarding book splitting. Would it make any sense to release the chapters that were intended for ADWD, the Battle of Ice and the Battle of Fire, and maybe the sample chapters that have been released as a shorter book between ADWD and TWOW? Would that get the rest of TWOW down to a publishable lenght and alleviate the need for so many rewrites? Also thank your for answering questions regarding TWOW again. And whatever you decide to do I will be happy with. Have a good day!
As to the splitting idea:
George, please don’t take the AFfC/ADwD road there! Without us knowing about Young Griff going west instead of east the whole point Cersei/Tyrell/Faith plot in KL was completely unrecognizable. People wondered for years why the hell you had Cersei ruin herself before Dany was even coming, etc. Now we do know (or at least think we know). Cutting a novel in half theme-wise and not chronologically doesn’t really work all that well.
But if we think about the fact that TWoW is likely to be a very unusual book in the sense that it is going to start with a lot battles and action scenes – the Battles of Ice and Fire, Aegon’s campaign in the Stormlands (and possibly beyond), the explosive situation in King’s Landing, Euron’s clash with the Redwyne fleet, the aftermath of things at the Wall, the continuous violence in the Riverlands, etc.
A smaller book, focusing mainly on the battles and the aftermath of the battles without so much entering into ‘proper TWoW territory’ (meaning that the Battle of Ice and Fire were originally supposed to be included in ADwD) could actually be rather compelling, I think. I mean, when one speculates about the number of chapters you are likely going to need to cover the two major battles one actually gets a pretty large number of pages – especially if one assumes that you will also put other chapters here or there in between the battle chapters.
And one also assumes that the characters involved in those major battles won’t continue at that pace, but rather regroup, reflect, and make some proper new plans – which could be the point to focus more on some other characters.
It would then not be THE WINDS OF WINTER as such, I’d think, but could be a rather sizable addendum to AFfC/ADwD.
I’m going to have to completely agree with you here, Mr. Martin. You shouldn’t have to release any chapters before publication, especially now with the extra scrutiny of the internet. It’s nice, and has been nice in the past, but you shouldn’t be pressured to. Fans are just impatient and want anything they can sink their eyes into, and chapters help ease worries about the progress on the book. I do think instead of chapters, fans would be equally satisfied with hints, or favorite lines, or simple progress updates, without you having to give anything away or releasing chapters into the world early. Im sorry you’re getting so much pushback on this choice, because it’s not usual for authors to release several chapters of a book before it’s officially finished. You’ve been gracious enough to be as available to your fans as you are.
Been guilty as charged in relation to drawing up rather detailed reports on TSotD (which I really enjoyed hearing back in London), I also have to point that you only read half of the piece – the youth of Aenys and Maegor and the reign of King Aenys. The reports were thus not spoiling the entire piece – that was done by the publication of THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE where Elio and Linda did really a fine job summarizing the reigns of Aenys and Maegor.
I’d thus assume TWoIaF had more of hand in that than reports from readers.
Have to second you on the sample chapters, though. It is great to look forward to the fact that we have read no Dany, Jon, Melisandre, Cersei, Jaime, etc chapter from TWoW.
Back when I first read ADwD I really had to get well beyond page 100 to reach completely unknown territory (I had read all the available sample chapters as well as the summaries on the chapter you had read).
TWoW could be a better reading experience without the strange feeling that you are actually reading a new novel you are actually very familiar with.
I am inclined to agree. Look, there is always an immediate positive feedback when you read a new chapter at a con or post a new sample on line, but these days the internet is so omnipresent that I am not sure these sorts of things don’t do more harm than good.
I take both good reviews and bad in stride, I’ve been doing this since 1971, so I have long since become accustomed to the fact that some readers will not like a particular book or story. But reading that the never-before-published “Sons of the Dragon” was ‘old, recycled’ material did irritate me. Yes, the section was old in that it was originally written for the worldbook, but since it had never before been published, it should have been perceived as brand new material. In essence, by reading it at a con I had spoiled my own twists and revelations.
Well, TSotD did also disappoint some of the more ardent fans of the whole fake/imaginary history crowd – and I’m actually one of the people who are looking forward more to FIRE AND BLOOD than TWoW simply because this historical world-building stuff is what really got into my mind over the years – and I really can’t thank you enough for tackling all those details on those dragonriding pricks, especially around the Dance.
But I actually think most of those reviewers not liking it simply don’t like the whole imaginary history thing and the fact that this isn’t TWoW.
However, there were real issues with TSoD. Not just some rather unpleasant errors, but also things related to plot. I mean, I and many other people deeply interested in this history thing really expected you to tell us the story how the dragon Quicksilver bonded with King Aenys’ son, Prince Aegon. Surely the dragon would have been with King Aenys when the man died (after all, Visenya told him to use his dragon to burn Oldtown shortly before he died) – and so we expected to learn how Prince Aegon claimed her, how she got to the Westerlands, etc. That would have been (and still is, presumably) a very interesting and tantalizing story, but sadly one that was missing from the text. That was a letdown. In a sense it was as if Tyrion was just suddenly riding a dragon and nobody would ask or explain why and how this happened. I mean, we don’t even have a hint how this might have happened. Nope. Aegon just shows up again and rides his father’s dragon.
It also felt strange that King Aenys’ older sons – Aegon and Viserys – apparently weren’t dragonriders from the start while Rhaena and Jaehaerys and Alysanne apparently were. As Aenys’ heir it surely would have been as important for Prince Aegon to be a dragonrider as it was for his siblings. I mean, it is the dragons and not so much the hair and eyes that makes the Targaryens special. A future king without a dragon would look less impressive than his princely uncle Maegor as well as inferior as his dragonriding siblings. And we do learn in TSoD itself that half a dozen dragons hatched in the later half of the Conqueror’s reign – and two more after King Aenys made Maegor his Hand – so there were more than enough dragon hatchlings to be given to all of King Aenys’ children – even to his Velaryon wife, actually.
I know you take a similar route with a dragonless king in Viserys I later on (and that’s odd, too, it may have been much more fitting if he had a dragon as fat and ailing as he was in the last years of his reign, sort of an anti-Balerion) but in the climate of the decades after the Conquest there shouldn’t be a good reason why the elder Targaryen sons don’t get dragons – and if they got some, and they died, then this should have been mentioned in the text. We have Alyssa Velaryon mocking her brother-in-law Maegor in TSotD, asking him whether he is afraid of dragons. But two of her own sons by Aenys’ are dragonless, too. Were they afraid of dragons, too, at least in her mind?
Sure, Aegon couldn’t have claimed Quicksilver if he had already had a dragon at that time, but such a dragon could have been killed by the Faith Militant (say, while they were besieged at Crakehall or attacked on the road by the Poor Fellows) or died of some other cause.
And then it is rather weird how Jaehaerys and Alysanne can hide with two pretty big dragons (and do so apparently – at least for a time – at Storm’s End, not exactly that far from Maegor’s capital) while Princess Rhaena apparently can’t hide with her Dreamfyre, not to mention Alyssa and the children apparently fleeing from Dragonstone with their dragons on a ship – which should make it much harder to hide, etc. when you are traveling with dragons. Yet Tyanna only finds Rhaena’s dragonless daughters – she can’t find the dragonriding children of King Aenys.
And the idea expressed by Lord Baratheon in the end – that King Maegor would be under a powerful dragon threat from the two very youthful dragonriders in his care – one of which is of paramount importance for the anti-Maegor cause (and should thus not be risked in a dragon battle) – is stretching credibility pretty much. I can buy that the youngsters might have been able to roast Maegor atop Balerion with their smaller, quicker dragons, but the risk of Balerion killing one or two (or all) of them would have still been high. Later on, during the Dance, Prince Daemon is not keen to use Rhaenyra’s many dragons against Vhagar because that poses a large risk to all the riders involved – but risking the life of Jaehaerys I – a mere 14-year-old boy (and Alysanne a 12-year-old girl) against the beast Balerion sounds like madness by comparison. I mean, Rhaenyra losing her sons would (and turns out to) be very painful but it wouldn’t be the end of her cause – whereas risking Jaehaerys’s life could very well be the end of his cause as well as the end of House Targaryen itself (at least in the male branch of the line from King Aenys).
Those things could have been mended if Jaehaerys I’s faction had secured Vhagar – who was presumably riderless after Visenya’s death. His mother Alyssa Velaryon could have claimed Vhagar due to her own Targaryen ancestry. And then Balerion would have stood alone against another large dragon assisted by three smaller but growing dragons.
Long story short. There were certain issues with TSotD that made it not as good as it could have been. But I’d most definitely not say that they had anything to do with it being old, rehashed material.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy reading it – I did. But it could have been better.
A lot of issues here.
The bit about Quicksilver was definitely an oversight, and one that I have addressed in FIRE & BLOOD. Sometimes the fans have a sharper eye for this sort of detail than I do… not to mention my editors, copyeditors, proofreaders, and publishers all over the world.
As to when and how various Targaryens have become dragonriders… well, it varies. And I think that is realistic, based on what I have seen and learned from my real world friends who ride horses. Some begin to ride when they are very young, some as teenagers, some not until adulthood. There are even cases of riders who don’t get on a horse till retirement. Horses vary, people vary, and so do dragons and their riders.
The rebels at the end of Maegor’s reign had three dragons, not two: Vermithor, Dreamfyre, and Silverwing. And a much larger and more powerful army besides.
In any case, I am glad you enjoyed “Sons of the Dragon.”
Thanks, that’s what a I wanted to hear! Now I’m really, really looking forward to FIRE AND BLOOD!
As to the Maegor-Jaehaerys-thing:
It this paragraph that got me thinking:
‘Prince Jaehaerys was fourteen years old when he claimed the throne: a handsome youth, skilled with lance and longbow, and a gifted rider. More, he rode a great bronze and tan beast called Vermithor, and his sister Alysanne, a maid of twelve, commanded her own dragon, Silverwing. “Maegor has only one dragon,” Lord Rogar told the stormlords. “Our prince has two.”’
It really seems as if Lord Baratheon really wanted to put Jaehaerys and Alysanne (then still without Rhaena and Dreamfyre) against Maegor/Balerion in a dragon fight. And that really sounds like a very bad idea. If he had stressed that they have the numerical advantage, that nobody would follow the cruel madman on the throne, that men were abandoning Maegor by the thousands, etc. it would have made much more sense. But this scene – when you actually picture the size of Balerion the Black Dread in your head and compare it to the much smaller Vermithor and Silverwing – really gets unintentionally comical.
Lord Baratheon: ‘Fear not, brave men, we have two dragons, our enemy only one.’ Casual observer: ‘What about size, my lord? Doesn’t matter size, too? And didn’t Maegor rip to pieces the last dragon facing him in battle with ease? Do we want to risk the life of our young king – the last Targaryen prince alive – in a dragon fight that could cut his life short?’ And so on.
As to dragonriders:
Oh, I’m in complete agreement that not everyone has to claim a dragon at the same age, but we do later learn that even young children (like Aegon the Younger and Aegon II’s children Jaehaerys and Jaehaera) are given dragons at a very early age (and Aenys and Rhaenyra had them, too). Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems as if the Targaryens just gave their children some dragon hatchlings they had, and then they bonded and eventually the child had to summon his courage and mount the dragon, finalizing this ‘bond for life’ that dragons and dragonriders do have? And later still they even put dragon eggs in their cradles, hoping for them to hatch there.
The thing I’m complaining about is that Aegon and Viserys apparently didn’t have any dragons, not that they weren’t dragonriders. They could have postponed mounting their dragons (like Aegon the Younger has not yet mounted Stormcloud when the Dance begins) because they were afraid, wanted to wait, or because the dragons rejected them (I guess that could happen to, no?), or their dragons could have been killed or died of some other cause, etc.
It is more the issue that it is not mentioned why they don’t have dragons, not so much that they don’t have dragons. If a (good) explanation was given, I’d not complain. Because I really think you also established in those historical pieces – repeatedly, in fact – that dragons are power. That is why Maegor refused to claim an inferior dragon, biding his time until Balerion was free after his own father’s death. He made a calculated risk – gave up prestige and power in the hope that one day he would get the big price.
Could be that Aenys’ elder sons were driven by similar motivations (or their parents were, refusing to give some of them dragons when they were still children) – then it would have been interesting to see some sort of squabble between Maegor, Aegon, and Viserys for Balerion – after all, the boys were with their royal grandfather when he died – and Maegor was on Dragonstone, too – so they would have all had the time and opportunity to try to claim Balerion.
And with Visenya there was another old Targaryen out there the grandsons may have waited for to die.
It is a possibility. But then – the other side of the coin is that King Aenys really has Aegon and Rhaena take on responsibility during his reign, they do a royal progress, represent the royal dynasty, etc. – surely they would have looked very much more like Targaryens if both had had dragons of their own (and Rhaena did).
And it could also have been interesting, if Jaehaerys I or Alysanne had inherited either Vermithor or Silverwing from an older sibling (Prince Viserys, in this case).
You see how those pieces really trigger the imaginations, so thank you again for opening up the history of your world the way you did.
I really remember how we speculated how it was that Aegon III could have witnessed Rhaenyra being devoured by her brother’s dragon when that was pretty much all we knew about the Dance of the Dragons. And now we can soon read the entire story unabridged!
That really makes a lot of people very happy!
Please please please give us another TWOW chapter. 2019 is so far away! Personally I can really really use a Jaime chapter right now. (I know I know, just give us anything!)
Who said it’s going be released in 2018 :)?
Who said it’s going be released in 2019* :)?
As a miniature wargamer, I look forward to this volume as its sure to give us many great battles to re-create using A Game of Knights and Knaves (really a War of the Roses game but it works great for Westeros).
As a reader I’m glad your done with this monumental project and can now focus on Winds. Very anxious to find out the “true” story after the TV versions rather odd plotting.
For those who just can’t wait – try gaming (esp. miniature gaming), its time consuming but fun and lets you create your own stories.
Thomas J. Thomas
I am happy to hear fire and blood is coming this year but disappointed at the delay of WoW. I begin to wonder whether you are preparing us for the “bittersweet ending”. Please George. Please hurry. Can’t wait to see whether Jon Snow survives and whether Aegon Targaryen is bound to die (which I strongly believe).
Regards and love,
Glad to hear it, George. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while.
That’s an interesting take on the three-headed dragon on the cover—is that how you picture the Targaryen sigil?
I won’t lie and say I’m not a little disappointed that WOW isn’t done but that’s just my inner little brat coming out haha. I’ll wait patiently like everyone else. I’m excited to read this new work and will continue to dream about how Jon Snow and co. will fair in Westeros. I appreciate you and your work Mr. Martin.
In the timbers to Fennario, the wolves are running round,
The winter was so hard and cold, froze ten feet ‘neath the ground.
Don’t murder me, I beg of you, don’t murder me. Please, don’t murder me…so I can finish SOFAI.
Translation in other languages (like Italian) will come in november 2018 too?
“The only answer I can give is… ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say.”
I laughed right out loud. Ah, George, you magnificent, cagey bastard! 😉
Glad to hear that this bad boy is going to have illustrations in the style of AKotSK!
Is there much, or any, material in Volume I. about the pre-Conquest Targaryens? I’ve always wanted to know a bit more about Daenys the Dreamer and the very first generations of her family that heeded her ominous dreams.
Not particularly in love with the ninja throwing star version of the three headed dragon. I will undoubtedly purchase and read this with the feeling that I am contributing to your delinquency. This goes well beyond the “I am and always have been a slow writer” reasoning.
Approximately this time THREE YEARS AGO you realistically believed yourself to be within six months of finishing Winds. According to your 2016 New Years Day blog post, that is. Yet here we are. Seriously, what are struggling with so badly?
Yeah, I guess Wordstar 4.0 on DOS is slightly more modern than quill and vellum. LOL! Love ya, George! As someone who loves reading such histories, real or imagined, I can hardly wait!
Oh- and bugger these ungrateful twats who are still complaining. LOL. . .
This has filled me with despair.
Oh, I and other members of my family will no doubt purchase “Fire and Blood” and no doubt enjoy it – but to some degree, it feels like a sop. I would feel far more sanguine about waiting 7 years for it’s release, rather than one of the novels.
As an ardent fan who is some 3-4 yrs. your senior, my fear is that I may never live to read the complete ASoIaF, and it’s making me incredibly sad today.
I have always defended you against fans who rudely take you to task, or raise the spectre of you meeting the Stranger – and I still do. So this is not to berate you, simply to register the gloom that has descended on me with this announcement.
I think some degree of berating is deserved. The fan base was built on ASOIAF series, and they are being let down time and time again. He wrote a 1000 page history on the kings of Westeros. He should have just finished the book everyone is waiting for. But clearly this is not a priority. As you can tell, I’m not just disappointed but a little offended by this move. Its fans like you that *deserve* (and I use this word especially because I know its controversial) an ending to this story. This all just seems like an easier way to make a couple (million) bucks, rather than finishing the story. sigh.
I’m a young man but I empathize with you here. We’ve all felt the seven year-and-counting wait, and I totally agree about Fire and Blood. I hope this comment finds you in good health, if you see it.
This is such great news George!! I can’t wait to read it, thank you for working to bring your readers further into the incredible world you have created, every word of it is treasured and I’m sure F&B Volume I will make your readers feel rich.
Just one question, you mentioned the Illustrated 20th Anniversary Edition of “A Game of Thrones” in this post, I know some of the fandom is curious about whether or not there will be any follow up illustrated re-releases for the rest of the books in the series?
Thank you for all that you do!
Congratulations on the new book, and thank you for sharing it with us.
Looking forward to drown myself in westros hystory.
But westros, like middle earth, is the remaining civization after the fall of the great civilization. I would LOVE, LOVE to read about the ascention of the Valerian empire and maybe it’s downfall.
Have fun writing and we will have fun reading it afterwards.
Will be picking it up will there be a kindle version and Audible version at launch? Will keep my fingers crossed for winds next year plenty of other Amazing authors to entertain me till it drops.
Please congratulate Archmaester Gyldayn for me. I hope he has some of Old Bear’s spiced wine this evening in celebration.
I am so happy to hear that the book will have illustrations throughout, and looking forward to seeing those depictions.
Hope you read some of it at WorldCon!
Hey George, super excited about this book! It comes out on my nameday so I won’t have trouble choosing a present for myself this year 🙂
Will the book get released in paperback eventually?
Thank you, thank you, thank you – for the quality you put into your work! It may take time, but it’s 100% worth it!
Yay!!!! Finally another book to devour…I’ve fallen off of reading regularly I’m ashamed to say. But “Fire And Blood” will set me right back on the path…
Great news about the world of “A Song Of Ice And Fire”. Every bit is appreciated! Can’t wait! ✌✌
If George R.R. Martin’s next book was titled “Night Soil: A Record of The Bowel Movements of High Septon Maynard”, I would not only read it, but get the hardcover edition. So vested have I become in the history of Westeros.
High Septons renounce individual names.
Thank you for making such a vibrant and immersive world George, I love reading every minute of it! Looking forward to this installation.
This is great news! I’ve been looking forward to this “imaginary history” book ever since you began mentioning it, and glad to see the first part of it will finally be released—and that it’s a hefty book! As for Winds… they’ll blow when they blow. I wish you all the luck in getting that particular monkey off your back. In the mean time, I’ve got more turns on the Wheel of Time left, more Sanderson to explore, and 50-or-so other books sitting on an endtable waiting (screaming, actually) to be read.
Looking forward to reading this new/old book on the Targaryen family. I am working on a story myself, and world building is a bitch.
I am so excited! I love you.
Your Grace, I want to update the official wiki with some specifics on this:
1 – Can you confirm or deny what new chapters you wrote exclusively for FABV1 that were not written for the World book? Elio said you mentioned to him at Helsinki Worldcon that you’re working on an all-new chapter for Jaehaerys I bridging the gape between the Conquest/Sons of the Dragon era and the Dance of the Dragons/Regency era.
But will you be rounding out the pre-Conquest Targaryens of Dragonstone? Or, pre-Doom Valyria?
2 – You mention dragons a lot….will this book contain more info on specific dragon lineages?
3 – Did you finally decide what color Vhagar was?
4 – Just to confirm, can we expect it to fix a few minor inconsistencies? Elio mentioned that he explained a list of these to you at Worldcon, such as the Robar/Rogar Baratheon situation.
5 – Will you be promoting FAB at any scifi conventions? I.e. New York Comic Con is only a month before that, and your editors/publishers are based nearby.
Which cover is nicer? The US or UK version?
The US cover. A working version of the UK cover (not finalised) can be seen here:
Hi! Super excited for the new book, the history of the world is one of my favorite elements of ASOIAF.
I was just wondering, is the Targaryen sigil displayed on the cover the new official ones for the books? It looks really cool
WohooO!! I love Targaryens and their history 🙂
Great news, George. I‘ve already pre ordered it!
George, how long did,you take off from writing The Winds of Winter? Regardless, I am looking forward to reading this.
I read an article saying there would be a new book this year but not TWOW. I will admit when I saw that, I was hoping it would be a Dunk and Egg one, but I will enjoy this one, too.
Hi George, as a Targaryen fan, hugely excited about the book. For me, they were the most passionate, or you can say human family in Planetos. The fact that I don’t have high hopes for the known Targaryen to have a good ending (giving up the throne after burning children does not qualify as a heroic arc) leaves me only with these history books to see Targaryens in their magnificence.
Unfortunately I can’t help but feel disappointed about Winds not being release this year… Of course I’d much rather wait than having a book that was rushed to publication… At least we have Fire and Blood to delight us until WoI is finished
“Rushed”…LOL. I don’t think that is anything to fear.
Yeah, well I never said timely, but even a book that has taken all these years, and the possible years still to come, to write can be rushed for a reason or another. I have to admit that all that time seems excessive and that I wished George would focus more in the ASOIAF and less in the side projects but perhaps it’s part of his process. I can’t help feeling frustrated, but I try to be patient. It’s better to have a book that he is satisfied with than one that he finished just so that people would stop complaining.
Also I never really understood why Dany becomes Jon’s Nissa if Arya is Aemon’s Naerys. Perhaps you wanted to show that Dany becomes the red riding hood for the big bad wolf from all sides- political & personal. So, in that way it still makes sense, but the burning of children at Water Gardens never made sense to me, irrespective of how much Doran/Oberyn have hurt her family – Rhaegar/Viserys in the past.
George, I look forward to this book. As a fan of Will and Ariel Durant, I enjoy good historian prose. I am sure your training in journalism plays into it.
As for the Targaryan history itself, I hope you include hints to the current whereabouts of the swords, Blackfire and Dark Sister. If anything, I’d love to learn more of their origins.
But I do want to take this opportunity to appreciate the story of Danny Flint becoming the Great Other, Brotherhood without Banners being shown as parallel to the original Night’s Watch and the War of the Five Kings representing what happened the first time the Lords collaborated with children to cast down their dragon kings during the Age of Heroes.
And I appreciate the bite of everything since the time of Egg being orchestrated by the Old Gods (and the Great Other) to make Jon the King. Perhaps even earlier – the dance of dragons, Aegon’s conquest and even fall of Valyria can be tied in some ways to being a necessary requirement for a lost Targaryen raised by Old Gods family to reclaim his rightful place. I would have thought that the biggest bite which readers are supposed to feel about this ending is the way Dany’s entire life from birth to death was manipulated. But if Dany is shown as becoming as villainous as burning children to get vengeance, when 90% of the book readers are already wishing for her death (gets everything easily, too stupid, too arrogant, achieves nothing by herself), I don’t see where the readers get the “human heart in conflict with itself”.
On the other hand, perhaps it is necessary that readers don’t empathize too much with Dany since she will become the victim of the Starks, Jon/Arya/Sansa. And an author will want the readers to empathize more with the final heroes. I guess it just sucks for some Dany fans like me since she becomes so irredeemable (and not just optically which makes perfect sense) that death is the only way to redeem her.
Can you stop pretending you’ve already read the book? Nobody knows what the hell you’re talking about with this “Dany burns children at the Water Garden” thing. I’m a bit rusty as it’s been like 6 years since I read A Dance with Dragons, but I’m pretty sure Daenerys hasn’t reached Dorne yet. And who is Danny Flint?
Danny Flint is a minor character who lived hundreds of years ago.
The Water Gardens bit… uh, no.
Well, I am a bit disappointed not to see the Winds of Winter this year, but this history sounds like a wonderful thing. I’ll get this as soon as it comes out in ebook and bide my time for the Winds. Thanks, George!
Just lie to us George. Please. Just tell us WINDS is almost done and will be released by Christmas. I am at the point where I actually want you to lie to me. It’s okay to lie if it’s to ease peoples suffering. I tell my mom she looks good when she gets dressed up (she doesn’t by the way), and she eats it up like pigeon pie. I promise you I will gobble it up and ask for seconds. And when the “lie” is “exposed” all I will do is ask you to do is lie to me again. It’s so easy. I promise. Just try it.
Just lie to us, George. It’s the only way…
(Congrats on FIRE AND BLOOD though. I will definitely buy it. I promise)
I’m so telling your mom!!
I have to admit I’m really disheartened by this. Not that you have written something other than Winds before finishing it. I fully accept that you have every right to persue other interests. But this is a book captilising on the success of a series you have yet to finish.
A book you yourself recognised should not be touched before finishing both Ice and Fire books.
I quote your own words from a comment on the old blog https://grrm.livejournal.com/347757.html
“So for those who like fake history, the eventual GRRMarillion will have a lot of great stuff… but first I need to finish WINDS, and the next Dunk & Egg, and A DREAM OF SPRING…”
Back then you fully admitted you had to finish the other books first.
Again I emphasise if this had been a book not related to Ice and Fire I’d have been fine with it. You have every right to persue other interests but this just feels like a kick in the teeth based on your words above. I was fine with the dunk and egg anthology as that was essentially grouping together stories already written. I was fine with World of Ice and Fire as it felt more like a small side project.
I own both. But I really don’t feel I can buy this new book because you yourself said it shouldn’t exist until the main series is done.
I know people on this blog will strongly disagree (if it even makes it to the blog) but at the very least read George’s own words I quoted above and see that if not exactly a promise then a very strong statement of intent has been broken and abandoned.
George can confirm, but I believe that when he made that statement he was referring to the “full” FIRE AND BLOOD, that is Part I and Part II together, which at that point he thought would be one book and that could not be finished until after the series was completed because 1) of time and 2) potential spoiler issues (Part II will have to cover events like Summerhall and Robert’s Rebellion which are still ambiguous and relevant to the outcome of ASoIaF itself). At a subsequent point he or his publishers decided the “full” book would be too big to publish in one one volume and it did not cost them much time to get the already-completed material ready to publish as its own volume, hence FIRE AND BLOOD I.
Or to put it another way, this book has not required much time to prepare for publication, consisting as it does of material written many moons ago for the world book and doesn’t contain anything that spoils the main series. Part II is another matter, I imagine.
I do hope you have time to relax in-between writing and doing various performances. You have a dragon on your shoulders. Thank you for having the guts to write.
Care to comment on the Doug Wheatley sample illustration? This seems to be a dragonrider attacking a major city – something that did not, in fact, happen in Westerosi history as far as we know. King’s Landing, Oldtown, Lannisport, etc. were never burned by a dragonrider, neither during the Conquest nor during the Dance.
Is this, perhaps, a depiction of Maegor the Cruel attacking the Sept of Remembrance or a depiction of a completely new event that wasn’t touched upon in any of the published texts?
And another question:
Is there any chance that we’ll get a full Targaryen family tree covering all the Targaryens portrayed in that book, including all the female cadet branches (Velaryons, etc.) as well as bastard branches (which could include the Baratheon descendants of Orys Baratheon)?
That would be a nice treat, and help the less obsessed reader to keep all the Aegons in line…
Not to mention that we all want to know whether Jaehaerys I’s sister Rhaena (after the death of her uncle-husband Maegor) and her twin daughters Aerea and Rhaella had any offspring.
And a family tree/information on those Targaryens back on Dragonstone before the Conquest would be very interesting, too.
Thank you for your hard work and creativity. I just finished reading the game of thrones series. I am a mother of 2 young children with a full time job as a nurse anesthetist. Getting your books read involved lots of reading into the wee hours of the morning and then propping my eyes open with coffee the following day. I haven’t watched the hbo series yet (too much adult content for the kiddos). I wish you the best of luck with your future writing and encourage you to take care of yourself. You have given us all a fabulous gift. I myself am greatful for the opportunity to sit up on the wall with you!
“HBO is presently developing a number of different prequels to GAME OF THRONES. I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from FIRE & BLOOD. It’s a logical question. The only answer I can give is…ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say.”
The wars, or the final war, between Valyria and the Ghiscari Empire would make an epic show. It would be an incredible story to watch, full of human drama, realpolitik and real-life historical parallels (the same things that everyone rightly loves so much about ASOIAF/GoT). Not to mention a spectacular fight to the death between two superpowers. And everyone would get to see a lot more of the ancient world beyond Westeros at the very height of its glory.
A World of Ice and Fire was a fantastic book, and hopefully Winds of Winter will reach us in 2019.
I just searched for this book on Goodreads, but all I can find is a book about Mexican History, that is also titled “Fire and Blood”, lol 😀
Mr. Martin, I’ve been wanting to say this for years, but upon first reading The Princess and the Queen, my history major soul was giddy with wonder that someone talented had taken the time to lovingly craft an “imaginary” Westerosi history along the lines of, say William Dalrymple’s Return of a King, Thomas Asbridge’s The Crusades, or Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem. To take what I love about great popular history (the readability, the unexpected dark humor, the historian’s bias, the uncertain speculation, the delicious but too good to be true apocryphal anecdote, the tiny relatable human detail) and apply it to a world and history other than our own was amazingly rewarding to me as a fan of actual history and your novels. Descriptions of dragon’s swooping down to torch Tumbleton were written with the same descriptive flair, horror, and awe that one usually reads of Stuka dive bombers swooping down on Warsaw, and the panic of Lannister men drowning in the God’s Eye was as vivid to me as Livy’s descriptions of fleeing Romans drowning at Lake Trasimene. So, just wanted to say, well done! Also, thanks for the reference to Costain’s Plantagenets series, I’ll toss it on the pile.
I wish I could be excited over this but… the part about TWOW is disappointing. I had really hoped to have TWOW on my bookshelf by the end of this year. I even dreamt some time ago about finding it under Christmas Tree 🙁 and I got really hyped because my dreams often come true (those realistic ones, not the ones in which I am being chased by zombies).
It’s good to know you are still writing in the ASOIAF world yet I cannot help but think it’s another world-book to the series that are not finished. You already gave us AWOIAF with Targaryen kings, why do we need another one? And in AWOIAF some things were left unexplained to not spoil future books and nothing changed really, in this book they still need to be omitted because it may spoil Dunk and Egg or TWOW or ADOS or something else.
Still, congratulations to you and maester Gyldayn. I wish you all the best.
Hi! I was looking forward to The Winds of Winter coming out this year since HBO will show Season 8 of Game of Thrones next year. And I was hoping to catch up with my favorite characters–the Starks, the Lannisters, their friends, allies, and enemies, the whole lot of them. But it will be great to learn more about the Targaryens–I might even dip into The World of Ice and Fire (which I planned to read after A Dream of Spring)! When does the e-book come out (running out of REAL shelf space here!)? Thanks and the warmest regards for writing such a wonderful series–each character, from the Stark family (they remind me a little of the Rostovs in War and Peace!) to Sandor Clegane, Brienne, Fat Walda, Benfrey Frey and the Elder Brother are so engaging and unforgettable. A lot of the events you describe, like the Sack of King’s Landing towards the end of Robert’s Rebellion and the killing of Elia and her children remind me vividly of the 1857 Mutiny. For instance, there is the story of Col. Nicholson, who had captured two of the Mughal Emperor’s sons, as well as a grandson. He was taking them away to be incarcerated when he and the princes were surrounded by a crowd. And that’s when he decided to hang all three, at Khooni Darwaza in Darya Ganj (now a haven for publishers and booksellers).
Esta bien, entonces no me apresurare en terminar de leer Danza de dragones, por lo visto entre que publique el sexto y lo traduzcan al español tengo para dos años más.
I know that George and the minions who moderate these comments only want “yes-men” who are excited about the new release and tamp down on any questions about the first paragraph of the announcement, but I can’t conform. Perhaps in the spirit of open discussion and hearing every point of view, you will allow this comment through.
At another place, at another time I might have been excited for F&B. But I know that this book represents a(nother) months-long digression from writing a novel which is well-past overdue.
I recently read The Armageddon Rag. In it, a novelist character is behind schedule on his latest novel (his previous two novels only received lukewarm reviews). In the very first paragraph, the novelist externalizes his failure, citing “elves” for not writing for him. When presented with the opportunity to chase a side-project for an old buddy and blow off his publisher and his agent, the novelist jumps at the chance. The line George wrote into the novelist’s thoughts was “Fuck professional responsibility”. At the climax of TAR, the author drives over the Brooklyn Bridge and lets every typed page of his manuscript fly out the window. The lesson the author tries to impart is that you can’t force creativity. It either comes or it doesn’t.
I would add a caveat. I would say that creativity comes when it comes, but comes more often when working hard to put out pages and less often when procrastinating on everything else that comes by.
So I don’t see F&B as a treat. I see it as unwritten TWOW pages. Don’t worry, I’ll probably buy it. If money is what you’re after, you’ll have mine. But you don’t have a satisfied fan.
Agree with you 100% .
This is an unfair comment. I see plenty of undeleted criticism above. Some comments have probably been deleted, but I’d guess not so much for being negative as for being outright nasty and rude.
In “The Armageddon Rag”, the protagonist, a writer named Sandy, throws the pages of his manuscript out the window of a cab on page 201 out of 340 pages. How is that the climax of “The Armageddon Rag”? It isn’t. And then what does he say?
“Only a gesture,” Sandy said. “I have a carbon copy at home in my drawer.”
Sandy has three moderately successful novels published at the start of the story, not two as you stated. He is working on his fourth novel, he is stuck on page thirty-seven and he has a deadline looming.
He admits each of his subsequent novels has sold less than its predecessor. He knows meeting his deadline is important but when offered an assignment writing a crime feature for a tabloid he used to write for, he accepts the job.
You say, ‘the lesson the author tries to impart is that you can’t force creativity. It either comes or it doesn’t’.
However, I saw the book to be about stagnation. His life had become dull. He was stuck on page thirty-seven because he wasn’t inspired in his life. He felt drawn to his journalistic roots and while working on a crime story, he ignited his writing by finding the inspiration he was seeking. The culmination of “The Armageddon Rag” shows that he does finish his fourth book and it is better and more successful than anything he had written before.
Making an analogy, using a book Martin wrote in 1983, as some sort of proof he doesn’t work hard, is far off when speaking of someone who has written numerous short stories, novellas, novels and TV show scripts. It’s a baseless claim. I feel like a lazy slug in comparison.
He is aware many people are annoyed “Winds of Winter” has not been released, it need not be regurgitated repeatedly in hidden insult comments. Perhaps if those sort of comments faded away, he could find the inspiration Sandy found in “The Armageddon Rag”. I personally hope he doesn’t read the comments and that his minions only point out some he may wish to comment on.
You’re not “old”, you’re just well-seasoned.
Sup George, rereading ADWD at the moment. Just read the small battle outside of Deepwood Motte. That chick comes out naked and fighting in the snow. Scene was awesome. Just for shits and giggles, do we ever see Howland Reed in person in TWOW?
I think he’s said a few times that Howland will show up at some point but will never be a POV character.
Actually, Lord Varys, the file name of the sample illustration is “Rhaenys on Meraxes”, presumably burning down Planky Town or somewhere else in Dorne.
Interesting! Will this be with a dust cover or, like The Word of Ice and Fire, be a hardback book with no dust cover?
Wow, this is a huge letdown…
I stopped watching the TV series after season 4, since I like the books so much more and didn’t want the show to spoil it for me.
I guess I’ll have to give in and watch the end of the show like everybody else, at least to get to some kind of closure.
As some people expressed above, none of us is getting any younger, and life is full of surprises, so I’ll play it safe 😉
Obviously I’ll read Fire & Blood, but still…
(sorry for the bad English, I’m not a native speaker as you can read…)
I’ll be sure to really savor it
Dear Mr. Martin,
I love the idea of the GRRMarillion and will enjoy it just like I did with the Dunk & Egg Novels and TWoIaF (I’m still speculating about those black stones…).
I know that you are very busy and that at the end it does little difference, but would you consider giving your fans an update on the progress of WoW?
Anyway, thanks in advance.
Awesome and cool idea for world building. Thank you for the continue fantasy and lore!
We killed the ancient beasts of the ice age, most likely early rival civilizations of other humanoids… and now we will kill off our jungles, large animals and sea life.
In the song of ice and fire… “history is repeating itself”, humans can choose to make collective stupid decisions or change and make the world a better place.
Hopefully we make the right choices. where have all the ferries, gnomes and mammoths gone? We killed them.
I always wanted to know if Aegon I was more similar to Stannis than to any other characters: They have the same dream, they are willing to shed blood for it, they believe in justice to the point of paying the ultimate sacrifice (Aegon paid as well), Stannis might not like Dragonstone as a gift but it seems like it was the perfect environment for him (And I don’t doubt you meant to set his dark mood on purpose) and lastly, Stannis and Daenerys have shown a lot of similarities (and I don’t think you did them casually), I wouldn’t be surprised if Aegon and Stannis also had them.
And lastly… I see Aegon’s jaw and wonder if he grinds his teeth to splinters.
Dear mr Martin. As a huge fan of as I recalled from upper text underapreciated Silmarillion, and as a great fan of your books and writting not only from GOT universe, I would like to read about period of First men and Age of Heroes, about Long night, about great figures from this period, about Essos in time of Valyria, Roynars, Andals and before. Not just hints from Fire and Ice book. With all due respect, you are much better writter than J.R.R.T. but he did not care about pequels on HBO, he wrote prequels, sequels, history. It is not all about money and I have everything you ever published both in english and in serbian language. Greetings from Montenegro
Take your time! Whatever you write on westeros will be worth reading. Better with a quality product than a rushed one.
I really enjoy your world-building and can’t wait to see what gets revealed in F&B.
Have you ever considered eventually doing stories with Giants and Children of the Forest as PoV characters?
I’d love to get some more of their perspective on the world and the what winter season was like 26k years ago.
Either way, I’ve gotten thousands of hours of enjoyment out of your world. So thanks!
George is not our bitch, to quote Neil Gaiman. Writing a thing so complex must be hard; a many-headed dragon indeed; one filled with layers upon layers upon layers of history to a thousand well-constructed characters and locations, all somehow both diverging and converging into a single stem tree! Every gargantuan 1000-page book is a miracle in itself, and I will forever treat it as such. If string theory is correct about its assumptions about the nature of reality, I do wonder if a labyrinth of 11 dimensions would be a fitting metaphor for what kind of puzzle George´s imagination is navigating through?
I am so happy to return to any place and time in Westeros this year, I am most grateful George works day in and out to give us these wondrous experiences. I am sure he can just relax and live a good life if he wants to.
So, a heartfelt thank you to George!
Will we be able to purchase signed copies of FIRE AND BLOOD?
Also: How lucky were the Jets to pick up Sam Darnell?!?
The Jean Cocteau Cinema will. Please check http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com closer to publication date. Thank you!
I am really wondering how many comments are deleted for nailing down the truth: Fans are waiting for WoW and publishing FaB seems a bit greedy… This comment section leaves the impression that about 2/3 of the readers dont mind a delay of WoW, which I highly doubt.
Thanks for making the Series with HBO at least one successful project, I will stick to that one. Dont misunderstand me, in case I ever see a copy of WoW, I am happy to spend money on it. Have a good writing, George!
We want to know about Jon snow not Targaryen history
Lots of people want Targaryen history. And Dunk & Egg stories. And Wild Cards books. Some even want more Haviland Tuf stories, or a sequel to FEVRE DREAM, or that 1890s journalism novel I never finished.
You don’t happen to be one of them, I get it. But you don’t speak for everyone. Far from it.
Speaking about stuff we don’t get – any chance anybody is going the chapters of the unfinished ‘Avalon’ novel? I finally moved my ass and got around to read a lot of your older stuff – and really liked it!
And I sure as hell want to know what the hell happened to Gwen Devano and Jaan Vikary. Dirk t’Larien’s ultimate fate is sort of implied, but the fate of the other two is completely unclear – don’t say they just dressed up and became Jenny and Duncan…
It also caused me to be rather surprised that all of your short stories and novellas haven’t yet been collected. If one happens to want to read the Complete GRRM these days, one actually has to go look and buy all those old anthologies – which is fine if you are a collector, but not so fine if you want to read stuff in chronological order or don’t want to buy old anthologies who include only 1-2 stories you haven’t read at this point.
But an author with your standing should actually get his own ‘The Complete Works of…’ or the ‘Complete Short Fiction of…’ edition. Especially since such editions can then also publish everything in chronological order, etc. making it that much more appealing for the reader who wants to savor the author in the order he wrote, not the order he happened to have been published.
I really enjoyed your biographic pieces in ‘GRRM: A Retrospective’ – the one flaw in that collection is that it isn’t complete and you go around and mention stuff that’s not in that book!
Nice to hear from a reader who remembers the old stuff.
No, I don’t think anyone is ever going to do anything with AVALON. I had a few chapters, yes, but the book was still largely unformed, and I don’t think I could return to it at this point. On the other hand, if I live long enough, one day I do hope to return to BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER, my unfinished fifth novel. I had almost 200 pages of that one written, some great characters, and a good grasp of where the book was going.
I don’t know how I feel about the idea of a COMPLETE WORKS book. Some of my early stuff was… well… not so great.
So what about finishing off Dunk and Egg before starting this new project? Last Dunk and Egg story was 8 years ago.
What new project?
Eight years ago? Really?
Can we get just a little nugget about the plot to AVALON? Ever since I’ve dove into the Thousand Worlds, I’ve always been curious. And this might be asking too much, but something about the FEVRE DREAM sequel would be amazing too!
Any comment on when the novel was to take place? Reading ‘Dying of the Light’ caused me to really whether this would be in Avalon’s past, around the time the novel took place, or some – or a lot of time – in the future. Or in the terms of the Thousand Worlds – during the wars, or during the collapse, or some time thereafter, when/after Avalon’s rise to prominence and fame?
Well, not all your stuff has to be great to fit into a complete Short Fiction Collection – but this doesn’t mean the collection as such would be bad. Most of the stories I’ve read so far were either great or pretty good – and even when they don’t make a lot of sense logically (like the idea that that guy suffering from depression in ‘The Second Kind of Loneliness’ would be allowed to manage a space station of paramount importance – or that they would continue to send ships through the gate after the next guy failed to establish contact with home base) they are at least thematically interesting (especially this one!).
And by the way: You really connected with me with the time travel concept in ‘Unsound Variations’. I remember that I always found the concept alluring to be able to travel backwards and forwards in time through yourself – sort of like viewing your own life the way you have the weirwoods in Westeros view theirs. It is a very interesting idea to be able to do stuff like that but the concept was likely very difficult to make into a good story. And that worked really well there, in my opinion.
If you don’t want a ‘Complete (Short) Fiction’ collection, what about a collection on all your Thousand Worlds stories, for instance? I’d like to read all those, but as things stand now, I have to find out all their names, find all the collections, etc. I’m just saying things could be better in this regard…
As to Unfinished Works:
If you go down the Tolkien road you do know that after ‘The Silmarillion’ inevitably comes ‘The Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth’, no?
An ‘Unfinished Tales of Westeros and Essos’ would be greatly appreciated, especially if you also gave alternative versions of known chapters – versions from the ‘five year gap’ period’, versions of chapters from different POVs (you once let it slip that the AFfC Prologue was written from multiple POVs including Mollander and Rosey), excised chapters like the Shrouded Lord chapter, etc.
Read Fevre Dream late last yeah and oh my god I would love another! Its one of my favorite books :). And Just getting into wild cards now. I hate all the negativity you get it makes me feel for you. Hope it doesn’t get to you to much. Glad you know not everyone is like that! 🙂
to grrm: Long story Short: Fired and Blood is in my mind a new project as it was announced as part one of two. Presumably GRRM will have to continue working on part two while working on ASOIAF/Dunk&Egg/WildCards/HBO/etc etc. Targaryen History is awesome and I would be excited to read fire and blood if ASOIAF was complete, in context of getting this book while still waiting to find out what happens after a Dance with Dragons I can’t help but be disappointed. GRRM doesn’t owe me or the fans anything but likewise I don’t owe him unchecked enthusiasm for each new ASOIAF project. I know, I know, why bother to post any of this negativity? It’s a tiny bit of catharsis while waiting for Winter
>Jon Snow’s Story
>Not Targaryen History
Jon Snow’s story is Targaryen current events which I’m still fully invested in
The Targaryens are my favourites and I look forward to this.
I for one thinks this good news! he did say he would publish this book then winds, or one or the other, so with this book done he can work on winds more!
Respectfully, I must say that comparing this book to the Silmarillion seems a tad preposterous when the story it is based on, ASOIAF, is far from finished. It just seems unearned on your part to compare yourself to Tolkien before even finishing your series.
As a fan, I would like nothing more than for your books to keep delighting readers for many years, as Tolkien’s have, but let’s keep in mind that nobody would have read or remembered Lord of the Rings for many years now if it had stopped at The Two Towers, even if there had been three Silmarillions.
You are aware that Tolkien never finished the SIMARILLION, I trust? The book published under that title in the 70s was compiled by his son Christopher and Guy Gavriel Kay.
I loved the SIMARILLION fwiw, almost as much as LOTR itself.
I do hope you don’t take this as sarcasm, because I’m being completely honest, but I’m a bit starstruck that you actually replied to my comment.
I am aware about the Silmarillion, and have read everything Tolkien related many times. My point was that LOTR, the main story, was still finished and published first, and that is why Tolkien’s works are still loved and will continue to be. If they hadn’t been, I don’t think his work would withstand the test of time, as not many people would care to invest their time into a series without an ending.
Have a lovely day, Mr. Martin, and may the hair on your toes never fall out!
Understood, Mel… but here’s the thing. You call LOTR “the main story,” but if you had asked Tolkien, he would have said the SIMARILLION was his main story, his life’s work. Yet he was never able to complete it during his lifetime. Not because he did not care, however.
(Tolkien was an Oxford don, and may actually have considered his teaching to be his life’s work, rather than his writing).
Just for the sake of argument, let me point out that many many people invest their time into works without endings. F. Scott Fitzgerald never finished THE LAST TYCOON, Charles Dickens never finished EDWIN DROOD, Mervyn Peake never finished TITUS ALONE, yet those works are still read.
I do intend to finish A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, of course… but doubtless Peake, Dickens, Fitzgerald, and Tolkien would have said the same.
Just out of curiousity, do you consider ASOIAF your main lifes work, or the Thousand Planets stories?
I like both a lot!
Hello, Mr. Martin, seems you got a new blog that… honestly looks much nicer. I’m sorry, but the old one was showing its age!
I realize this might be a bit off topic, but I was wondering if you were going to be writing, not just editing, but writing for the next Wild Cards book or any near future installments? As much as I love the series (honestly the setting’s starting to beat out DC AND Marvel for me as I LOVE that there’s an actual sense of progression instead of enforced status quo), one of my only real critique’s that the quality tends to vary rather wildly amongst the various authors and as you tend to be on the higher end of that scale, I was just curious if we’d see anything more from you anytime soon.
I know you’re still working on Ice & Fire, but I’ve always been more of a superhero guy than a fantasy guy (sorry!) and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a slight detour from Ice & Fire to see you in future installments, although that does lead to a side question; you’ve been working on Ice & Fire since… 1992 I believe. How in the world have you not burned yourself out on it in all that time?
Anyway, thanks for reading if you see this, hope you have a great time and keep on writing! It’s a great feeling I’m learning.
I love Wild Cards and I would love to write more Wild Cards stories… and one day, I hope I will. As with so much else, it is a matter of fitting it into my schedule. So many things I want to write, produce, do… and so few hours in the day.
But I have Wild Cards characters I have neglected far too long. Popinjay, the Turtle, Lohengrin… hell, I’ve never even written about Hoodoo Mama once, and she’s my own creation. Caroline Spector has been doing an incredible job with her in her Bubbles stories, but I’d love to write her myself one day. She is a desperately wounded character, and those are always challenging to write about.
As for the quality of the stories varying… well, of course, that is inevitable whenever you do an anthology. You are never going to assemble any group of writers who all sound the same and write at the same level. Ideally, though, the story you like best might be the one some other reader likes least, and vice versa. By and large, I think we’ve assembled some amazing talents in Wild Cards, and I am very proud of the work they’ve done, and continue to do.
And of course, I edit the hell out of them. ((Just kidding)).
Wow. Reading that and realizing what this could mean, it actually hurt me.
PS: Can’t you partner up with Stephen King for a year or two? The man is an unstoppable writing machine!
He is indeed. I envy his productivity, and I love his books… but we are very different people, and I could never work the way he does.
Respectfully George, having been around in the fandom quite a bit, you can be rest assured that your fans are going to be immensely disappointed if ASOIAF isn’t completed, since the fandom views this and not AWOIAF or FAB as your magnum opus. They are extremely valuable supplementary materials for the main story of course, but that’s all they are – books that enrich the actual story rather than being standalone works themselves. Not many would care about AWOIAF or FAB if it weren’t for the main series and how beautifully they work in conjunction.
All this is to say that, I (and the rest of the wonderful fandom) sincerely hope you are able to complete ASOIAF, as I’m sure this is what you’ll be remembered for a 100 years from now.
Tolkien did finish the stories that his publishers wanted though. He probably would’ve finished The Silmarillion (or at least some of the stories therein) if the publishers didn’t push for “more hobbits” after The Hobbit.
Oh no, George! The tabloids are going to have a field day taking this comment out of context. I can already see tomorrow’s headlines:
“George RR Martin Officially Accepts He Will Die Before Finishing A Song of Ice and Fire! Read More Inside! Click Our Page!”
Let’s go hide, quick. Before they find us.
PS: On the off chance you see this, what’s your opinion on King’s THE DARK TOWER series?
It would help to know you’ve at least given some thought to what happens if you find you cannot complete the series, for whatever reason.
THE SILMARILLION wasn’t complete, but what there was of it was edited and released after Tolkien’s death anyway. Would you allow something similar in the event you can’t realistically be expected to write another monster book like A DREAM OF SPRING after WINDS OF WINTER? Perhaps a quick summary of plot points you had planned but were never able to reach, due to Acts of God?
I don’t plan to die any time soon.
please don’t give up on asoiaf, george!
Numbers can provide needed perspective to all ASOIAF fans including me when frustrated by the supposed slow pace. The first 5 books of A Song of Ice and Fire collectively are 4,228 pages. AGOT was published in August 1996. Accordingly, as of January 1, 2019, GRRM will have written the series at the following pace:
0.5 finalized (i.e. edited and revised) pages per day
3.6 finalized pages per week
15.7 finalized pages per month
189.3 finalized pages per year
This does not include the pages he has already written for TWOW (hundreds?) or the Dunk & Egg novellas.
I assume few would disagree that this story, written from many different viewpoints, is one of the most complex stories ever written. Considering the level of difficulty, GRRM’s pace is astonishing. Had GRRM released the same content as 300-page novels, we would have had a new book EVERY TWO YEARS. He has gone for the pinnacle. It is the pinnacle because it is very hard to do and not inevitable or guaranteed. The ambition is mind-blowing. I hope he gets there.
Don’t know if you have any interest in musicals, but there’s a funny one called “Something Awful” that features a song in which William Shakespeare, who is portrayed as a pompous rock star, complains about balancing his fame and the need to continue writing great works. It’s called “It’s Hard to be the Bard.” Pretty catchy/funny and, as a writer, I’m sure you will relate with some of it. Give it a listen.
Isn’t it “Something Rotten!”? Or at least in the US that’s what it’s called.
Yes. Yes it is. I now realize why my Alexa always tells me she can’t find what I’m looking for when I ask her to play that song from “something awful”! And now I’ve mislead GRRM. This is a Shakespearean tragedy.
What are your thoughts on the draft?
I thought the Giants and the Jets did well.
I just hope Sam Darnold is the new Joe Namath and not the new Mark Sanchez.
Actually, I’d settle for him being the new Chad Pennington, if he can only avoid the injuries that wrecked Pennington’s career.
I can wait for Winds of Winter. I just would have preferred a history of the Starks and the kings of Winter, not the stupid Targaryen’s. 1 of Aerys’s useless spawn is proclaiming herself a queen and destroying everyone she tries to “help”. I hope young Griff gets her dragons e̶v̶e̶n̶ especially if he’s a Blackfyre.
I hate to break it to you, but WordStar 4.0 on a DOS computer is nearly as archaic as quill and ink.
You probably don’t approve of my 1985 Mazda RX-7 either.
Exciting stuff! I’m not a huge fan of the Targaryen’s I’ve always thought of them as invaders more than true Westerosi but they are still a fascinating people and I can’t wait to read about them.
Finish the book, George!
The rudeness and entitlement in the comments hurts my brain.
I imagine that few of the complainers are people who have actually written or created anything, because you can’t control where your creative juices take you. Discipline is important but sometimes you just HAVE to get that side project out on paper before you can focus on The Big One.
Personally I’m super excited for this book. I love Targaryen history. I already spend hours and hours reading the Wiki, so having an official history book will be a dream come true.
Plus, with Fire and Blood out the door that’s one less thing in the way of TWOW.
But am I crazy for wanting another Dunk and Egg? I just finished The Mystery Knight for the nth time and now I’m craving She-Wolves of Winterfell more than anything else (especially with Gary Gianni manning the eye candy).
I will certainly do more Dunk & Egg at some point. The question is when and how I fit it into my schedule.
So much to do…
Regarding TWOW, there is one thing I’m extremely curious about. Going back to your New Year’s post over two years ago, you explained how you for the better part of the year had thought it would be possible to release the book before the upcoming GoT season. Perhaps that was unrealistic to begin with, but it must have meant that you weren’t TOO far away from finishing the book. Since then, 2+ years. What happened?
Did you need to do a lot of re-writing?
Did you stop working on the book more or less completely in favor of other projects?
Have you started working on A Dream of Spring?
I have done some rewriting, yes. But there have been distractions as well.
No, I have not started working on A DREAM OF SPRING.
You know, it’s really quite hard to see somebody get yelled at after announcing to a crowd that he’s just made something for them that he worked hard on, takes pride in, and hopes they like. Even with all the many other nicer comments, it must hurt.
I really wonder what it must feel like: this huge and diverse crowd that sometimes hurts you looking over your shoulder as you work, some just eager for you to finish a particular task as soon as possible, others curious about your process and craftsmanship…I suspect it must add considerable anxiety and doubt in the rough patches! (Though hopefully considerable relief and pride in the smooth patches, too.)
If that’s at all true, then as long as we’re in the room there with you, we’re disrupting the creative process. I say: while you’re in front of your DOS computer, shut us out and do your best! Trust yourself, your standards, and your process: it’s what got us looking over your shoulder to begin with! I believe that you are a master of your craft creating a masterpiece, I believe that there is a resounding consensus about this, and I believe that even during the rough patches you should never doubt this. So while you’re in that room, tell us to get the hell out while you do what you do best!
“Shutting out” is hitting the nail right on the head.
When my work is going well — and no, it does not always go well, there are times of trouble — nothing exists for me but the scene I am writing. Publishers, editors, deadlines, readers, fans, none of that matters in the least, all of that is gone. Only the characters exist.
Sometimes this is difficult to explain to readers. And even to other writers, whose approach and temperaments are different. But it has always been the way I’ve worked.
When the real world intrudes… well, that’s it… one has to do what one can so the real world does not intrude.
This is my first comment.
For whatever it may be worth (if anything), I just want to express my support for whatever you are working on, be it Winds or not. I am here to talk about ASOIAF though.
ASOIAF has been an incredible journey that I’ve been engaged in for several years (although I’m a recent fan all things considered, since I started reading it in 2010). Either way, I feel quite honored to be traveling along this road with you. You have created something very special to me.
So however the work is going and wherever the series goes, I’ll be along for the ride as a voice of support and encouragement.
Whether the words of a single fan somewhere out in the world matter at all I cannot say, but despite that I guess I just felt like leaving a comment for once.
A fan from Brazil.
This is really fascinating to hear you say, George. They do not teach you that in writing classes, do they? The obsessive mind with all its wonders. As an aspiring (that dirty word!) writer, I think if you do not get your teeth into an imaginary World so hard that your subconscious starts to work overnight as if all that matters is whatever is going on in that imaginary realm. Forget the Universe, forget your bills, forget your relationship problems, forget the cravings of your reptilian brain, forget everything! Dream not about your neurotic fears or your secret desires, but about the ordeal your protagonist is passing through. I think I have been there for just a short time, just enough to get a glimpse into that mad and creative flow you are describing.
In any case, please forgive them, please forgive us all! I mean, we are almost there with you, your characters so alive that some of us actually wake from dreams about their fate, hanging on a thread. Like lost family members and dear friends we have not seen for almost a decade, we only know they are in so much danger, and they are very much alive to our mind. Almost as alive as they must be in your mind.
So, just forgive us for our childish tantrums. Some people around here might sound entitled, but they are simply too much in love with your creation. Too much in love to hold their passions within that locked vacuum container we call “civilized manners”. Forgive us all for our passion!
SCENE: at McDonald’s
“Wait, you guys don’t have any copies of Winds of Winter?” *jumps on counter* “I WANT WINDS OF WINTER!!! WHERE’S MY COPY OF WINDS OF WINTER? I’m Pickle Rick!!!! WUBBALUBBADUBDUB!!!!!”
*pulls shirt over head, rolls on the floor screeching* REEEEEEEEE REEEEEEEEEEE REEEEEEEEEEE
*Naruto-esque run out of the building before anybody can even react*
Hi George, any possibility of releasing the deleted Tyrion chapter in DANCE (where he met the Shrouded Lord) in the near future? In the Guardian Interview of 2014, you said you have been tempted to publish it as a novella. Have you decided to publish it? It won’t spoil WINDS and we will certainly enjoy it!
I will need to do something with that chapter one of these days… but just what, I don’t know.
Maybe you could release it as an ASOIAF Halloween special some year
From the descriptions it certainly sounds spooky enough
Can you also write a chapter set in an alternative universe where Victarion actually *does* drink the Shade of the Evening instead of spitting it out? I’d love nothing more than to read about Vic tripping balls and complain about all the colors laughing at him.
Just sneakily drop it on the internets in the middle of the night one night and watch the world go crazy!
Maybe it’s not a bad idea to include it in Gardner Dozois’s forthcoming THE BOOK OF LEGENDS! (THE BOOK OF MAGIC might also fit, but I guess it’s too late to replace the planned A NIGHT AT THE TARN HOUSE now.)
Congrats on the new book! I will buy it the day it goes on sale. As far as the progress you mentioned on TWoW, can you give us some insight on what changed when you thought you were a few months from delivering it to now? Was it just too many irons in the fire or did the writing take an unexpected turn?
George, at this point. Could you tell us if the difficulties you are having with TWOW are narrative or inspirational? and what is the percentage that you think the book is missing.
Mr. Martin and Minions:
Let me congratulate you on allowing “negative” comments re getting Fire and Blood before Winds. It sometimes feels better to vent – so let them. Most of these comments are born of frustration not malice – they want more of your story and can’t wait (this is much preferable to: don’t bother I’ll just watch the TV ending). So read these comments with a kind eye – we true book fans have been left with Jon Snow (who feels like a true life companion at this point) laying in pool of blood for 7 years. We’d really like to find out what happened to our old friend. (And I’d like to know how Ser Barristan does in that battle….)
We loyal fans also have to put up with the wildest internet crap: such as he’s already finished and is just holding out (for some unknown but nefarious reason), he’ll never finish, HBO is cannon now rest is just fan fiction and worse crap. But we keep the faith.
(Note to frustrated readers: I’m sure Mr. Martin would approve of trying the works of other authors while he finishes up – as an addition not a replacement for his work. Miles Camerons Red Knight 5 series has lots of Fanstorical flavor in great medieval setting.)
There are indeed a lot of great authors out there.
Thanks for all your replies so far! As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s generating a good few discussions. Good luck with Winds!
Congratulations on your new book George, I can’t wait to read it.
Since I just finished reading A DANCE WITH DRAGONS I still got some stamina left to wait for your most anticipated work. Though my selfish self hopes the book won’t come out much later than 2019.
Since you seem to always be working with the constraint of keeping the page count to about a thousand, I’m sure that leaves a lot of material and full chapters unpublished. Would you ever consider publishing these chapters after A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is concluded?
Hi George! I absolutely adore the world you’ve created and can’t get enough of it. I especially love the Dunk and Egg tales, even more so than ASOIAF proper. If you take up a non-TWOW project next, please oh please can it be the She-Wolves of Winterfell? I have re-read the 3 Dunk and Egg novellas countless times and find them so refreshingly intimate 🙂
SUPER excited for this book, but although I LOVE the history of the Targaryens, is there any chance we’ll get some history of the pre-Doom Valyrian families with this? Or with the Targaryens during the Century of Blood?
Regardless, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into more of this incredible world you’re creating. Thanks and congratulations!
As I recall, some of your minions have later been published in their own right. Do you employ any writerly minions now? If not, can I apply?
I know you have been getting a lot of crap for not finishing “Winds” in this post and elsewhere online. I just wanted to come here and say that I love the fact that your giving us another story in Westeros period.
Everytime I see someone giving you a hard time it makes me a bit upset because I feel as someone that has tried writing from what I have seen it seems we both struggle with similar issues while writing.
But there’s a key difference, you finished not one book, but multiple series of books.
And not just any book series, Westeros is one of my favorite fantasy worlds of all time to the point that when you announced Fire and Blood was coming in November it made not just my day but my week.
Westeros is a world I think about very frequently to the point that I have installed mods in some games I play a lot to make it Westeros.
Sorry if this is a bit of a rant, but I guess my point is, Winds of Winter could come out in 2019, or 2025 and I’ll be happy for you the same. I am willing to wait that long because if you say it’s done, then that means you the creator, are satisfied with the work. And I would much rather hear that then find out you rushed from pressure from fans.
Either way, I am very excited to hear about Fire and Blood and can’t wait to get my hands on it.
First of all, I want to thank you for this book. Even though some people might think “A Song of Ice and Fire” is the “main story”, what you created is a whole universe that needs to be written. “All fucking spinoffs and histories” are necessary for the legacy you are giving to fantasy literature and I hope you can finish not only ASOIAF, but also Fire & Blood and the Dunk & Egg tales. Actually, I better understood many things in ASOIAF after reading “The World of Ice and Fire” and D&E. With regard to this book, I am especially curious about Jaehaerys. He seems a very good king…maybe too good to be true? I’m just speculating…
Now…I think most of your readers are eager to read WINDS…If you, by any chance, start to consider dividing it into two volumes, I think the Feast/Dance division was not a bad idea as such. The problem was the way in which the POVS were divided. Maybe if they are not “geographically” divided, the division might work in WINDS. Other literary works have worked even if they have been published in that way…For example, “The Three Musketeers” was published by parts haha.
Likewise, I suppose your publishers want WINDS to be published by the time the eighth season of Got is released. If you publish part of WINDS by that time, people might see how the series has become distanced from the books and would start realizing that “Game of Thrones” is not canon even if it is already ahead.
Good luck finishing WINDS, George.
Props on the Fire & Blood book, looking forward to reading it, and also am super appreciative of you taking the time to answer some questions about Winds in here too. ADWD was my favorite part of ASOIAF so far so definitely looking forward to the next installment keep plugging away man.
Mets are looking solid too. Could be a good year.
This isn’t specifically about Fire and Blood or TWOW, but I was wondering what you had been reading about military strategy and capabilities while writing AGOT. I’ve started to write an analysis of TWoTFK, but I want to operate on a “fair’s fair” policy and look at it in the context of what you’d read at the time.
Just an a question out of curiosity- On the map of Essos in THE LANDS OF ICE AND FIRE, there is a city just east of Volantis without a name. I’m sure it’s of little consequence, but does it have a name?
All cities have names,
It is the city of Sarhoy, the great city of the Rhoynar whose destruction at the hands of the Volantenes (and three dragonlords) caused the great war between the Rhoynar and the Valyrians.
It seems to be an oversight on the maps that the ruin doesn’t have a name there, just as it is an oversight that the Rhoyne is not depicted as branching off at its mouth. Volantis is at one of the branches, and Sarhoy was at another.
Forget what I said, you asked about the ruin east of Volantis. No idea about that one. Sarhoy was to the west.
Grrm’s small council must be like Cersei’s in adwd( I think) Orton Merryweather as hand of the king and the bastard of driftmark as master of ships, Fire and Blood? Wonderful idea Your Grace, Sons of the Dragon? The people will love and appreciate that Your Grace. A World of Ice and Fire? The best idea you ever had Your Grace. You need a Davos Seaworth to tell you the hard truth. Your Grace, the people want Winds!
Quite a busy post! I asked a question before on your LiveJournal, and considering there’s so much activity here, I thought I’d ask again. “Just curious, would you be willing to share what POV you’ve worked on most recently in TWOW? Thanks! :)” Personally, Bran is my favorite character, and I’m really excited to see where his story goes, so hoping you’re working on his chapters. I also think his endgame is the most difficult to speculate about. All the same, I’ll “keep reading.” Thanks, and hope all is well!
Another alias of Arya? Please tell us more, we need stuff to talk about in the community. <3
I just wanna say I really appreciate just how much you care about the quality of what you’re releasing.
I’ve been immersed in this woven world of dragons, skinchangers, and others for a few years now, and not a day goes by where I’m not surprised by how delicately some detail of the story was handled that I didn’t see before. History, legend, mythology, fictions from fantasy to eldritch – I’m always trying to analyze bits of the series, and yet I keep getting dumbstruck – left with many possible contradictions to answer the known worlds many mysteries.
Please – Do what you do best. Art simply cannot be rushed – and that can’t be helped. No matter who cries and complains because several long nights have come and gone since the last book.
I have a quick question. I’m a big fan of Jon and Sansa being in a relationship linked romantically and king & queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Can you tell me if it happen in The Winds of Winter? Thanks
Not going to tell any more than I already have.
Is that your roundabout way confirming that Jonsa will indeed happen? I hope so -you left a lot of hints for Jon and Sansa’s eventual marriage in the books
I look forward to seeing it happen thanks
You posted two times. Grrm replied to the question you deleted.
“And the King and Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Can you tell me if that happens in the Winds of Winter?”
You’re asking about who becomes King and Queen and grrm said he won’t say who which is a standard response.
That doesn’t confirm anything.
It would be nice if grrm could clarify that point because the small jonsa faction are not exactly the sharpest bunch out there.
Commenters can’t actually delete their own comment
No? I am still getting used to this new blog, not familiar with all the rules.
Sansa is a lot more important that arya
& smarter too & resourceful
A perfect match for jon
Dear Mr. Eggonsnow,
Why so rude? Perhaps YOURE NOT the ‘sharpest bunch’ out there?
I’ve not chosen an endgame theory yet myself, and am not near convinced about ‘jonsa’, but I also hate pretentious killjoys who hate on others interpertations / perspectives. In fact (while I may not agree with them) their theories arent lacking in logic, political reasoning, and in strength – this coming from a lawyer myself, so Im quite used to hearing arguements. Works like ASOIAF should be analyzed to the fullest. Easter eggs arent easter eggs if they’re obvious.
Also Id like to point out that GRRM has outright debunked some aspects of a persons questions, w/o giving anything away – like the water gardens theory that was part of a question (read comments above). So he couldve easily said, “Im not giving the endgame theory away nor the plot of the books but any romantic link between jon/sansa is completely bonkers. Theyre just siblings.” That wouldnt be giving anything away, and like I said, hes had no qualms about debunking other theories.
And just a PS: The jonsa faction is hardly small in the fandom, at least when looking at the high number of fics and content. Either that or they crank out high quality works at a very fast rate compared to other ships in the fandom which, by your own ommision, you think has a ton more people. So unless that “small” bunch of people represents a shockingly high number of incredibly talented and creative people compared to the rest of the fandom…… well……. lets just say I dont think thats likely and I dont abide by that logic.
In fact I’d rethink your entire response; starting with the meanness, then with the precedent of GRRM’s comment history, and finally with an arguement that doesn’t rely on loopholes and bullying.
Just because you have a different opinion doesnt make yours automatically superior or ‘right’. Only GRRM knows how it will end, so don’t act like your opinion is the law of the universe (hehe get it. law…. because I’m a lawyer? anyways…I love puns).
Im excited to see how the series wraps up. Personally, I’ll enjoy it no matter who comes out on top, or who ends up with who…. and considering his work is largely about power, corruption, grey areas, and war, I highly doubt relationships are really the takeaway here.
A decent person of the fandom who doesn’t like entitled meanies ON EITHER SIDE who think just because they have an opinion they can a) bully others who don’t share it and b) think that their opinions are THE ONLY RIGHT ONES EVER as if they suddenly were the great GRRM himself. 😉
He didn’t confirm anything, he literally told you off. These crazy shipper sometimes…
Replying to your comment about “arya” — Canonically, Arya is very good at mathematics, manipulation, speaks several languages, knows plants and can tell directions by them. They’re both good in their own way, there is no point in trying to tear down a great female character for the sake of some crackship.
I definitely wonder if you ever considered this. They do seem to have similar dreams of the future, regarding kids and rebuilding Winterfell. And of course, there’s the snow that feels like lover’s kisses to Sansa which I felt was an interesting choice of words. And it makes a lot of sense politically with Sansa being the key to the north and Jon possibly being a Targaryen king. Of course I don’t expect you to answer this, perhaps at some point in the future when the books are finished we can ask if this was ever a consideration.
Oh and I forgot about them being the only one’s who refer to themselves as the blood of Winterfell. I know Jon/Arya have a lot of early book fans, and obviously, we now have Jon and Daenerys together in the show but I do wonder if it’s ever been a consideration. I guess I’ll have to keep wondering.
You should get a clout in the ear for that one
Do you ever get frustrated at all the criticism and expectations and want to rebel? After 21 years, I recently failed the military weigh-ins. I was so frustrated and over all the stress and anxiety and said screw it and ate a large pizza, 2 cupcakes and some ice cream. Mostly just to “stick it to the man” cause i can do what i want. Im just wondering if all the people wanting you to finish the last 2 books ever make you feel like that? Like you just don’t want to comply with any of the expectations people have thrusts on you or if it inhibits your natural will to produce. I want you to know for every loud critic pressuring you there are many many times more lurking fans that just want you to do you. Forget about the pressure and expectation and create something my grandkids can read and pass down to their grandkids. I love how thorough your stories are and how subtle your clues and foreshadowing are hidden in plain sight. And i’d rather wait 20 more years for something you are happy with, that stands the test of time, than get a book next year. I support your process! But take that for what it’s worth from a flee bottom princess that is self defeating –eating cupcakes rather than losing weight to keep my job because i’m stubborn.
Do I ever get frustrated at all the criticisms? Certainly. Though I’d be more inclined to say “annoyed” and “pissed off” rather than frustrated.
I do try to keep it in proportion, and I realize that there are way way more positive comments than negative.
The frustrations I feel are aimed mostly at myself and that stubborn, contrary, balky ‘moose’ (muse) of mine.
“Oh for a muse of fire that would ascend the brightest heavens of invention…”
Written by another rather gifted writer about another medieval King and his attempt to take a throne. The writer would have understood your pain.
(Another thing to do while waiting for the Winds to blow – go see a prefermonance of Henry V (or watch either movie – both great – or get the BBC Hollow Crown either original or latest.))
I have a feeling he’s seen Henry V. At least the St. Crispin’s Day speech. I suspect Martin is a fan of Shakespeare.
I don’t know that I’ll ever spot a perfect post in which to ask this question, so I’ll ask here.
What is the current maximum publishable length of TWOW in a single volume? I ask this because I remember reading that ASOS/ADWD are both close to the largest possible book you can write because if it gets larger than that it is physically impossible to publish the book.
However, I have noticed that Brandon Sanderson’s recent release – Oathbringer – has exceeded the word count of ASOS and ADWD, having reached 450k words versus 415k words in ASOS (about 9% larger than ASOS, which is fairly significant).
How did this come to be? Has technology improved in the past decade that allows for larger single volumes? Can you take advantage of this in the future? Essentially, what I’m asking is whether TWOW could (theoretically, because of course I’m not asking for you to commit to its length here) be physically larger than ASOS and if so, how much larger?
I think you need someone who knows more than I do about current printing and binding technologies to answer the question.
You can always go with smaller print and thinner paper to get a long book into fewer pages, but there are drawbacks.
And it is possible to publish tremendously long volumes if you don’t care about size, weight, or price points. Look at something like the OED.
That is not really feasible for a novel, however.
Sanderson’s book was 1248 hardcover pages, 208 more than Dance. The font was normal size, they used thinner paper than his previous books, but it was still high quality. Oathbringer was a NYT #1 seller, and people weren’t complaining about the physical quality of it.
At this point, you could deliver Winds written in blood on your breeches Marquis de Sade style, and you wouldn’t catch many complaints. Content trumps presentation (for mega authors like you at least).
I have thought about this overnight, and it’s a possibility that the physical lengths of ASOS and Oathbringer are the same – the latter might just not have an appendice like your ASOIAF books do (or it could have a significantly smaller one, admittedly I don’t know because I don’t own that book, just heard about it).
That would account for the word count difference though and put them at the same size.
Thank you for your response. Have a great day.
Curious to know what is the ratio of paper book sales compared to ebooks/audiobooks these days. When I first read ASOIAF it was the first time I used a kindle version and I became hooked. Mostly because I loved the ability to search through text (so much of your story is connected I was always going back to re-read scenes that connected to where I was at) and also because my birds always manage to put their beak marks on my paper books 🙂
Paper still crushes. Ebooks are second, audiobooks a distant third.
Brandon’s publishers had to buy (or rent) a special binding machine to manufacture books of that size. George is at a higher sales point, so I’d assume that Bantam could do the same if they wanted to, but it’s more practical to avoid that situation if you can. Tad Williams’ publishers had enormous problems with getting TO GREEN ANGEL TOWER (probably the longest fantasy novel ever written, a clear 100,000 words longer then ASoS or ADWD) into one volume back in 1993, but technology has improved since then.
Today is my birthday, for real, 1st May, what a birthday gift, writing in your blog!
Of course you should split the book in two.
It’s been more than 6 years since ADWD. Just publish what you have, with or without character POV split. It will a blast, the fans will love it, and it will be one of the best seller of all times!
Thank you for your magical work, you rock!
To me it’s pretty simple: the story is too big to be finished in just two more books.
The publishers understood it, you are denying it (because it means rewriting, replanning etc.).
I hope you solve it somehow.
That Targaryen banner on the cover of Fire And Blood is quite impressive, especially since we have seen HBO’s version so much that you basically can’t imagine it in any other way. And one could bet that the Isle of Man’s flag was the inspiration for this (or it was the inspiration for a certain sort of logo design technique that gave birth to this Targ banner).
Just looked at the banner again, and WTF, isn’t the background supposed to be black ?
That’s cover art, not an actual Targaryen banner. We know what the Targaryen arms look like.
Thank you so much for all these candid replies you’ve been giving us, George! You mentioned that your publishers have suggested splitting WINDS into two parts, which you’re understandably resistant to…but I have to ask, would there be a real downside at this point? Assuming that you have at least 50% of the book that you feel is in a publishable format (either geographically or chronologically), couldn’t you send it to the presses and therefore give yourself some breathing room to wrap up the other half of WINDS and extend the length of it if necessary, to put all the characters where they need to be as you head into writing ADOS?
I guess you’ve probably heard this argument from your publishers already, and I know some people would grumble if you did end up splitting the book…but there are people who will grumble no matter what they get from you, and the rest of us will be thrilled to see another Ice and Fire book on the shelf. Just throwing that out there. 😀
Hi George, greetings from Argentina.
Don’t worry about the malicious comments, it’s just frustration. Take your time, it’s your work … we wait anxiously, but respecting you. Meanwhile we will enjoy blood and fire. All your work is part of our lives, I was a teenager when I started reading you, today I am an adult who continues to maintain that fascination for the universe that you are creating. I hope 2019 is the year that we have winter winds. I wish you the best.
Sorry for my English.
I was rereading today and found that:
craster is half mad ( important!!)
craster marry his daughters!!
Craster is very old.
his father is from night watch!
his mother is a wildling.
The others and the wights does not attack his keep!
nor he or his mother was accepted in castle black.
His son with gilly is called abomination and monster !!
Craster says that his son got his blood!
everyone tries to keep craster son away from Melisandre (since she could sense magic power of someone.)
no one wants the craster son in Kingsland as well (since he should play a role in the wall)
master aegon say his vows were tested 3 times (one as old and blind, one when infant but one during his prime!)
master aegon also said that his vows were nothing compared to the love of a woman or a newborn.
Aegon broke his vows with a wildling and then caster born.
The night castle did not accept the baby since one cannot broke it’s vows.
Nonetheless, the night watch keep the mother and son near the wall, to praise aemon.
The night watch even offer gifts to craster, as crossbow.
And since craster got the dragon blood of aegon, the others keeps distance from crasters keep, fearing it’s blood power (fire), And as long as craster does not produce another dragon (a male boy, a Targaryen heir to oppose the others)
So aemon is caster father!!
This implies also that:
The others doesnt want to meet Targaryens.
There were Targaryens in westeros before the conquest and also dragons skulls, as noted in the world of ice and fire
But the others just came south when there were no Targaryens, at first in the dawn of history,in the very ancient times, and now, since aemon is dying (dead) and daenerys lives in the east.
So the others fears the blood of the dragon along with valiryan steel and dragonglass.
And because of it, Jon snow as a main character, should have Targaryen blood too, being son of lyanna and rhaegar.
Hello, and thanks for FIRE & BLOOD! I’m extremely excited for it. Does this feature a more in-depth history of Jaehaerys I?
Also, I just adore you as a writer, I think you’re in a class of your own. But I’ve only read most of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE so far (sick and tired of Joffrey’s ass, what book/chapter does he die??), and I want to read your other works. Which one should I buy first? Is there a specific order or does it not matter?
Thank you for the advice and your time!
It seems that, gathering from your comments about the Targaryen history etc. that what we can likely expect in ASOIAF is a Targaryen restoration (looking at the show probably in the form of another Targaryen incest baby that we should hope doesn’t go mad I guess) The Starks will probably be second fiddle again. But knowing that I can move on with my life.
All jokes aside, most fans seem to forget that it is your life’s work and even if we are highly anticipating the book, you are the one who would be most happy if it was finished. It is after all your magnus opus (no disrespect to your other work, which you probably love just as much). But of course as a writer you know that ASOIAF will be the work you are gonna be remembered for. So I can’t even imagine how you must feel, knowing that it may not be finished for whatever reasons (be it the complexity of the story, rewritings, other projects “stealing” your time and so on and so forth). May I introduce you to an idea (and please forgive me for even trying to interfere in your work): why don’t you just give an outline of the two upcomming books, maybe in a way you did with World of Ice and Fire and the upcomming Fire and Blood. The remaing story in a “fake history” style? This would give the fans an idea how the story concludes and still let you the oportunity to come to write Winds if you feel that way much later. If not, well you have allready told the story and delivered five great novels. Also it would take all the weight from your shoulders and you can concentrate in other projects maybe? It is just an idea, so please don’t take it as an offence.
I remember you mentioning that cutting Lady Stoneheart from the show was the biggest deviation from your story ever. Around that time you also mentioned that you had come up with some very cool plot twist for TWOW that involves a character that’s dead in the show. I wonder, was that Lady Stoneheart after all?
And another smaller question: Season 8 is filming now. Any chance with that cameo?
George, thank you so much for your work. Your books have touched so many people, and I’m thankful for your vision and perspective. I loved World of Ice and Fire and I am forever hype for more dragons. Can I ask, how do you feel about Westworld? I feel it covers a lot of themes you’ve touched on in past work and melds with your style of writing. Have you ever considered writing or directing an episode? If Jona Nolan and Lisa Joy, or an executive at HBO approached you about writing an episode for Westworld, would that be something you consider? I know you’re hesitant to answer this question as some fans get upset if you focus on other material besides Winds. Winds is on its way and will be ready when it is ready, but Westworld only has 3 more seasons planned after this one. I would like to imagine you will have completed the 6th entry in your masterpiece by then, but I don’t wish to rush you and understand the importance of you taking your time. I bring it up because I’ve heard in the past that other creative, collaborative projects get you excited to work on Westeros, so it sounds like a win-win to me. Having the input of one of the greatest sci-fi writers on the current best sci-fi show on television would be amazing!
Love WESTWORLD. It deserves more awards recognition — Emmy and Hugo nominations both.
Personally, I think Feast/Dance was so good, even if there were never any more books the series would be a triumph. Endings are nice, but often the middle is where the best stuff is anyway. Super excited for what comes next, including Fire & Blood, but already satisfied.
It seems like you have to spend a lot of time doing structural things to make sure all characters are “set up” for the next book and remainder of the series. Do you suspect the concluding book will actually be easier to write because (1) you already know so much of the endgame; and (2) much of the structural work would have already been in setting everyone up for their starting positions on the last book? For example, a lot of the “payoff” work in Storm (quickly written if taken on its own terms) was set up in Game and Clash, perhaps making it easier to escape into the flow of events you’ve set in motion rather than have to do so much “meta” structural work.
A loaded question and I certainly understand if you feel like answering it will just come back to bite you. I hope it’s the case, though, purely for your sake because I imagine one of the best rewards for you would be for all your hard structural work to pay off and allow you to just sink into the flow state of living with the characters. Cheers!
Hi Mr Martin, first off, I’m beyond thrilled for Fire&Blood and already have it preordered. Probably just as excited for it as if it was The Winds of Winter you announced instead. Speaking of ASOIAF, and I’m truly sorry if this question is redundant/annoying but I saw you were answering questions about Winds so I figured I’d give it a try- at this stage, do you still believe that you’ll complete the series? If not, that’s totally understandable and doesn’t take away anything from the greatness of the series itself. Hope all is well, have a great day.
Do you have enough pull at HBO to get them to let Daniel Knauf finish the Carnivale story by graphic novel? I am really excited about the art in the new book. Your world brings out the best in artists.
I believe in you George.
Will courtesans play a bigger role in Arya’s story in the next book?
Wish you all the best in your time writing and creating.
Hey George, I know you probably don’t feel comfortable answering this, but is there anything you could say about the progress on the book you’ve made since 2015? Do you feel the book is closer to being done now than it was then?
Geroge, It has been 22 years since the first book got published. How do you keep yourself motivated?
For me personally, taking a long time to make things perfect is catastrophic. I tend to lose the magic which inspired me in the first place.
It’s a very important thing I need to learn though.
So, how do you keep yourself motivated?
Just an irrelevant comment. I just wanted to share.
I came across an article about how George Lucas, creator of StarWars, took so much time to perfect things. With the producers money dwindling and no proper CGI technology, he took a lot of time to make things good as per his expectations. The one thing which caught my attention was how him being an introvert made the things even worse. Being a director has enormous pressure and without anybody knowing much about what was going in his head made the wait much worse.
Looking forward to the “history” of the Targaryens! Any chance we could get a new excerpt from Winds while you continue “painting” the latest installment?
I recently read FEVRE DREAM and loved it. You clearly enjoyed writing that, it shows in the quality of the story. Is writing FIRE AND BLOOD more enjoyable for you to write or is writing THE WINDS OF WINTER still enjoyable since you made it through the Mereenese Knot?
I am not sure it’s accurate to say that I have ever “enjoyed” writing. What I enjoy is having written, the sense of accomplishment I get when a story is done, and has turned out well. The actual process of writing is hard work, and there are days and times when it is not going as well as I’d like when it feels like pulling teeth.
George, besides the Targaryen history, is there anything else you’d be interested to explore in length that’s reflected only relatively briefly in AWOIAF? If you had the time between other projects, would you write something like that?
Alas, I don’t have the time, that’s the point.
IF I had all the time in the world, I would finish THE WINDS OF WINTER and A DREAM OF SPRING, write another six or eight or ten Dunk & Egg novellas, complete the second volume of FIRE & BLOOD… then I might go back my unfinished historical BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER, do some Wild Cards stories and maybe a Wild Cards novel, write some new Haviland Tuf stories, spec a few pilot scripts for my own GAME OF THRONES successor shows, do a sequel to FEVRE DREAM, return to the Thousand Worlds for a huge space opera… and then do something completely different, like a murder mystery or a western.
Time is always the issue.
Speaking of Murder Mysteries, I was wondering if you are still planning on doing the Braavosi Murder mystery at some point?
Braavos is one of my favorite parts of the series, I would love to have more stories set there 🙂
I’ve been in a similar situation as you are, good sir. (Although on a much smaller scale and with a different project). All the criticism and negativity will go away the moment you finish it. So there’s no point in paying attention to it, it wouldn’t make a single thing better; not your health, not your motivation, not the books themselves. But one thing is certain: all the people that find their time to complain are just deeply caring fans.
I wish it was easier to ignore all that shit. Wish you all the best, can’t wait for Fire & Blood. And looking forward to anything you’ll throw at us in the future. <3
So I’m kind of late here so long shot question… As I am yet to read any of the accompanying histories and short stories connected to ASOIAF, is there any reading order which would be recommended by you (order of publishing perhaps) or would it be completely fine to jump in with Fire and Blood when released?
And thank you for creating such an amazing immersive universe!
Thank you, Mr. Martin! Can’t wait to find out the origins of Dany’s babies. ❤️ And everything else in between.
Uh… I never said anything about Dany, that was added by Bantam. Please disregard.
Was the part about finding out why travellers can’t go to Valyria accurate or was that an addition by them as well?
Hmmmm… well, I think some of the hype is overblown but that is the nature of advertising.
There are a few bits and scenes and suggestions in the text from which one can extrapolate certain things and concoct theories… but in the case of things like Valyria and the dragon eggs, it is all possible answers, not meant to be definitive.
Honestly, I’d say we do know why it is unhealthy to go to Valyria since Tyrion (and we readers) saw the place ‘where the Doom still reigns’ from the ship back in ADwD. And TWoIaF elaborated on the Doom as well. It might be that FIRE AND BLOOD adds more stories to the Doom of Valyria (you would know that, not I) but it is pretty clear that what the Doom of Valyria was is no longer a big mystery as such since at least ADwD.
Prior to that we had no real picture on the nature of the cataclysm, although some volcanic eruption was a favorite theory at least since the kindly man told Arya about the slaves working in the mines beneath the Fourteen Flames (back in AFfC).
And the biggest hint towards the true origin of Dany’s dragon eggs can be found, at least in my opinion, in TWoIaF where you have Aerys II find dragon eggs on Dragonstone shortly after Duskendale that are so old that the ages have turned them to stone – just as Illyrio describes the dragon eggs to Dany back in AGoT.
Since the Baratheon regime in KL apparently doesn’t have those dragon eggs Aerys II found and failed to hatch – and Stannis/Melisandre and Loras Tyrell’s men apparently also didn’t find any dragon eggs on Dragonstone – it is not unlikely that Varys may have stolen those eggs during the chaos of the Sack, giving them to his old buddy Illyrio who, in turn, pretended to have bought them in Asshai and handed them back to the daughter of Aerys II as a wedding gift – or some of them, at least. Others may be hidden in those chests Illyrio gave to Prince Aegon as a gift. It would be very odd if Illyrio threw all his dragon eggs on a girl he expected to die while ‘the noblest lad who ever lived’ didn’t get so much as a single dragon egg…
Somebody really has to open those chests in the near future. There might also be a sword in there, after all.
But I’m rambling on.
Theon and Sansa should get married. Many people want them together.
First of all, let me say your work has a great impact for me, both in a personal level and professional, as I am planning to start a big reasearch on A Song of Ice and Fire.
My question, though, is on another matter: Someone pointed out that the short story “With Morning Comes Mistfall” mentioned a planet tat was also mentioned in “The Stone City”. The background, though, has nothing to do with your Thousand Worlds, but it could be in the very first years after humanity went to space. So, probably the only person who has an answer for that is you: Is Mistfall set in the Thousand Wolrds?
Thanks so much
Yes, “Mistfall” is a Thousand Worlds story. Very early in the sequence.
I made a comment above you replied to. I can’t reply to your reply for some reason. Maybe a limit on depth in replies?
In any case,just wanted to be clear that, in contrast to some others, I purposefully steered away from any commentary on death. Speculating on someone’s mortality is rude.
But I can imagine a whole slew of reasons why someone could find themselves incapable of completing a monster book like any of the SoIaF novels without having the Reaper…or the Stranger…knock on their door. The mildest simply being loss of interest, which I would expect is a prerequisite for such an enormous project.
Martin, did Robb love Jon more than Theon?
Hi George, I was bit let down by the latest season of Game of Thrones. If I had to list the season from favorite to the one I liked the least it would go something like this (4,3,1,2,6,5,7)
Anyway, I always hated reading fiction, it might have been because every time I did it, it was in school and didn’t have a choice or because of my ADHD.
after this season, I decided to give your books a try, I always thought it would be a useless thing to do since I already know most of what happened. it’s almost been a year since I started AGOT and I am currently reading A Feast for Crow and Dance with Dragon combined. I love the addition of new characters like the Greyjoys and the Martels.it feels really refreshing to get the POV from other great houses. I really hope to see more POV from other houses like the Tullys or The Tyrells so that we can have one POV for each house. I know it will probably never happen since I heard you say that you didn’t want any more POVs.
anyway, I’m rambling, but I’m writing this to let you know that I never thought I could ever enjoy reading, but after reading ASOIAF. I can tell you with certitude that I will try other novels, Now I understand why people enjoy reading so much, to get inside the head of a character is something truly a unique experience that no other media can give us.
I am a lot more optimistic than most people on the Reddit and on your blog, maybe it’s because I am new to waiting and I still have 2 books to read + Dunk and egg and AWOIAF.
but I can only imagine how hard writing these books can be. especially when you have angry fans + a tv show that spoils some of your plot points. I also know what it’s like to procrastinate and be distracted. I really hope you still enjoy writing and you don’t grow to hate ASOIAF because of the negativity.
I’Ll finish this long message with a question. If I had to pick another TV show that is close to perfect aside from the first 4 seasons of game of thrones, it would be Fargo (all three seasons) and Boardwalk Empire.have you seen these two shows? what are your thoughts? any characters you like?
I am delighted that the show, and my story, led you to begin reading. I cannot imagine life without books. Read on! There are so many great authors and wonderful stories out there.
George, do you think it’s still possible to complete the series in just 7 books? Even without splitting TWOW, I get the feeling there are way too many story arcs that need to reach some sort of conclusion, and we might be looking at an inevitable 8th book. Any thoughts?
My thought is I want to finish book 6.
Thank you so much for the response, George! Here’s wishing you good luck in your TWOW endeavors 🙂
The sense of entitlement in some people is astounding. I think if I were a bestselling author and had people flooding my social media with remarks about how I was going to die before giving them the final story, I’d consider refusing to publish it out of spite. Good things take time. ASOIAF is miles and miles above good.
Thank you! I can’t wait… my birthday is the 14th so I know what I’m getting!
I have an unrelated (?) question/comment:
I’m hoping to, at some point, see a new sigil for Jon Snow. I don’t think it would be right that he adopt the Targaryen sigil as it is now. I would love a new sigil. I know it’s a way off in ASOIAF but a woman can dream.
Maybe it would be a good idea to split the book in two after all. Not in two books as in affc/adwd but in a volume I and v.II way. It would still be one book, the two volumes released at the same time, and you wouldn’t be restricted by the physical limitations of the binding.
What authors have most informed your writing? Outside of the usual suspects within Sci-fi and Fantasy (ie Tolkien, Herbert, etc). Have any authors informed your writing outside of the genre? Is it gratifying to change styles with different works? Such as the historical documentation of Fire & Blood/WOIAF, versus the more minor differences distinguishing POV characters in ASOIAF.
I’m not George, but perhaps I can help with your first questions. In this post at the old (Not A) Blog, he recommends many authors and works that have influenced him to some extent or another:
Good afternoon GRRM, absolutely love ASOIAF. Wanted to thank you for writing it and also ask a question.
Obviously it has become your most well-known work, but I saw you mentioned Tolkien’s Simarillion as being his life’s work. Do you consider ASOIAF your life’s work? And along the same lines is it the story/book you’re most proud of? If not what is?
I’m a big sports fan and you hear stories of athletes talking about the greatest golf shot they ever hit or a certain catch that a receiver made that they considered absolute perfection. I wonder if there’s ever been chapters or whole books that you look back on and think, “That was even better than I thought I could do!”
Thanks again for all the hours you’ve put in perfecting your craft over the years!!!
I really don’t think in those terms. There are times when I am very pleased with my own work… usually just after a story is done, or just after it is published… but often, when I go back and reread my older works, I am all too conscious of their imperfections. I always want to do better.
Hey George, I saw that your novella, “Nightflyers” is being made into a television series on Syfy. What would you tell viewers they can expect when watching the first season?
I haven’t seen it myself, but I hear the shoot is going well.
One thing they can expect is Melantha Jhirl the way I envisioned her way back when.
Hey George, I’m absolutely hooked with ASOIAF and am constantly thinking about it. You’ve truly inspired me to read on and write about plenty. That said, I’m super excited about Fire and Blood’s announcement and I simply wanted to ask whether your excited for TWOW and all the content you have in store for us whenever it is that it comes out.
Hey, and for an embarrassing and pointless add on, can you call me a “Bert”. If you do somehow see my comment and respond, “Bert” is the most silly and lame inside joke with my friends, and we all love ASOIAF. Haha
Thank you so much George for answering TWOW questions.
You can’t imagine how reassuring your comments are for me personally, if not for most of the fandom.
I hope the next discussion we’ll be in the release of TWOW post.
Wish you the best & keep on writing!
GRRM – You’ve said that you are a “gardener” type writer as opposed to an “architect”; however, it appears that certain events/characters which have happened in GOT (and may or may not happen in ASOIAF i.e. – Hodor? R/L/J?) seem like they have been put into motion and created all the way back in your first book.
Did you always have specific points in mind for the book series which you anticipated happening as you began writing ASOIAF? And a vision for how it would all map out in the end? Has it changed over the years?
Many thanks if you respond…
Yes, I had certain reveals and twists and scenes in mind all the way back to the early 90s. And none of those have changed.
However, in the process of writing, new ideas are always coming to me. That’s one of the things that separates the gardener from the architect.
Is there any chance that it’s Sansa who will be the girl in grey coming towards Jon, rather than Alys Karstark like I believe we’re suppose to believe it is?
Thank you for sharing your stories with us George. We really appreciate it and look forward to more, in the form of WoW, next year.
Is something in particular holding you up? Another “knot”? Certain POVs? We, as a fandom, are curious.
Again thank you!
hi grrm! not trying to add more work to the pile, but is the winterfell dunk and egg book in any form yet?
No, afraid not.
You made a comment on Better Call Saul in the past,and since then I’ve always wanted to ask you what were your thoughts on Chuck’s character/performance/finale,and in addition what about the show appeals to you (the Chuck question is more pertinent)?
I’m hesitant to even ask, because I know you don’t really like giving guesses to publication dates, but I just can’t resist. Do you have any kind of an idea when we can expect WINDS? Do you care to give any kind of a progress report on where the novel stands (like you used to years ago)?
I know it has to be frustrating getting these questions all the time, but I feel like, at least in my case, fans would ease up a bit if we just had an idea of how far along you are. Even if you came out and said, “I have 10 pages written right now” at least we know and we can stop asking a question that I’m sure is asked hundreds of times a day.
Thank you for your time!
My past experience has proved to me that progress reports do more harm than good. Some people dislike the answer and that triggers a fresh wave of nonsense. Or they do like the answer, but having answered one question just guarantees I will get a hundred more the next day. Also, since no one ever seems to go back to old posts, I get asked the same questions over and over and over again, even if I have already answered them a dozen times.
Sadly, that seems to be just what is happening here on this new blog. Replying to comments just brings in more comments that people want replies to. And the commenters will not stay on topic, no matter how often I ask. This post, for example, was about FIRE & BLOOD, but I am getting tons of comments about WINDS OF WINTER and the GAME OF THRONES series, including some very specific questions about specific characters… questions of the sort that I have never replied to, and will never reply to. Character reveals belong in books, not blogs.
I do like to engage with my readers, but this does get frustrating.
While I can certainly understand being frustrated with the lack of staying focused on FIRE AND BLOOD, it is fair to point out that the post does start off by telling fans that WINDS isn’t coming to a bookstore near you in 2018. So, naturally, fans are going to be disappointed and want to find out all they can on where things stand with book 6. It’s going on 7 years now since ADWD was published, and I think people just want some kind of a peek through the window to see where things are with a novel they are dying to read (since there really hasn’t been any updates in years).
I don’t sit here and pretend like I’m entitled to anything. I have nothing negative to say about your process, and am so appreciative that you even took the time to respond to my post. It just would be nice to know how close we are to that elusive book 6.
Congratulations on the big announcement for FIRE AND BLOOD. And thank you, again, for the response. I wasn’t expecting one, and find it pretty cool to be acknowledged by the likes of you.
Can’t wait to get my hands on the Fire and Blood book George! I also want to say that I greatly admire and appreciate the way you’re handling all of the fan responses here. I’ve been trying to write a joke about how the progress-report questions from the fanbase remind me of how I feel when my supervisor is asking me for dissertation news. But every variation of the joke I pen down feels a bit trite. Oh well, I’m sure you get the gist :).
I’m sure it’s frustrating that people are commenting on Winds, but you DID lead off your post with it (haha). On another note, I’m not sure if it was the official explanation, but it’s certainly been bandied about that several chapters at the end of Dance were held out at the publisher’s request. I’m sure it was done with the best of intentions, and probably with practical issues in mind (I’m a printer, so I get these things), but have you considered whether in the future, if you feel a book as a whole is one volume of work that you will be more likely to resist these requests. I feel half the frustration with waiting for Winds is that it feels like the End of Dance was hacked off to many people.
My original intent was to end DANCE with the two big battles, yes… intercutting between the two of them, each told through several different points of view. And both battles were partially written. But NOT COMPLETE, which became the issue. Also, maybe even more to the point, not yet good enough in my estimation. Battles are bloody hard, and I wanted these to be great.
The book had already been scheduled for publication, I had blown through several previous deadlines, and we simply ran out of time. Initially I decided to push one battle back to WINDS to focus on the other, but that did not work either, and neither of the sequences came together the way I wanted them to, so ultimately the choice came down to moving both of the battles to WINDS or cancelling the planned publication and pushing back DANCE. And given how far ahead publishers schedule their releases, the pushback would not have been a few days or a few weeks, but at least half a year, and maybe longer.
Also, DANCE was already very long, and the battles would have made it substantially longer. That could also have affected the pricing.
Did we make the right decision? I don’t know, even to this day. I understand your frustration, and some days I do feel the same way. But back then I had the fans howling after DANCE the same way they are howling after WINDS now, and my publishers really really did not want to push back again. And DANCE, even without the battles, was extremely well received — yes, there were dissenters, I know that, readers who did not like the book as well as the earlier volumes, but out in the wider world, DANCE had extremely strong sales, rode the bestseller lists for a long long time. It was a Hugo finalist, won the Locus Award for best fantasy of the year, and was named by TIME magazine as the book of the year. So even without the battles, it worked pretty well… but part of me still wonders if we made the right choice.
These things are not easy. Those who think they are have obviously never written anything, or had to deal with the realities of publishing,
Speaking for myself and for a lot of fans, we really do appreciate the answers to some questions and understand the need to be vague or non-responsive for future plot points and/or progress reports on WINDS. Some of it is “when is the book coming out” but a lot of it is genuine curiosity/interest/support.
I’ve read it said that some folks (myself included!) are nearly as interested in the “Talking about WINDS” notablog post after you’ve finalized and submitted your manuscript — things like were there knots? What were good years/bad years? Did you feel like the tale grew in the telling, etc, etc.
These are all questions I’m not asking now. I’m sure all will be revealed in time, and I don’t mind waiting. So, FIRE AND BLOOD: let me ask a question or three about that! In writing F&B, were there things that surprised you in writing the history? What was your favorite time period/Targaryen king, queen, pretender, advisor, character to write about? Will we learn a lot more about Septon Barth?
Really and truly, I thank you for answering all of these questions. It makes us feel happy, and of course congrats on F&B! Can’t wait to read!
Long time listener, first time caller from Bayonne. I go back to your “Heart of a Small Boy” speech often and wonder your feelings about the gentrification of the city? If you’ve been back recently there’s been a ton of new construction and the city seems to be changing rapidly. On a lighter note, what was your favorite pizzeria in town?
I’m really excited about Fire and Blood and already ordered a copy!
I have a question whose answer I really need to know. I know you like the Beauty and the Beast fairytale, with you writing for a show with that name, praising Jean Cocteau’s film and playing with the trope in your stories. However, what I’d like to know is what are your thoughts on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (the 1991 version)?
Thank you again for everything you’ve written for us.
I enjoyed Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST… I like almost all Disney animated films… but I liked THE LITTLE MERMAID more.
No surprise, then, that Ursula showed up in TWoIaF, no?
George, how do you feel about crazy fan theories? Does it make you laugh? Or does it make you want to tell people that they completely misunderstood your characters and stories?
I am not really familiar with most crazy fans theories. Well, at least not the new ones. I stopped looking at fan boards many years ago. There are too many of them, and while I loved the enthusiasms, I did not want to take the chance that any of it could influence the work.
Been a fan of the Sandor / Sansa dynamic for years. Because the show scraped much of their interactions, there are not many of us left to “ship” them now-a-days. Before the last few of us old lady SanSan fans die off, I have some long shot questions I hoped answered one day in the next two books… May as well try I suppose?
1) Is Sandor her replacement dire wolf, or is this simply a ‘tale as old as time’ romance subplot in her story?
2) Is the green cloak Sansa/Alayne wears Sandor’s old white cloak he left in her room during Blackwater?
3) Do you regret the ‘SanSan’ phenomenon? Or are satisfied with the popularity of it?
Issues like these should be resolved in the books, not on my blog. Sorry.
Being A Song Of Ice And Fire fan is very similar to being a Jets fan…
Thanks so much for all the pleasure your works have given me.
Looking forward to any and evreything you publish.
Any chance of you being at the Dublin World Con in 2019?
I attend worldcon every year. Though no longer the largest SF con by any means, it remains the most important, far and away.
Yes, I will be at Dublin in 2019… and at San Jose this year… and (I hope) at New Zealand in 2020.
After seeing this comment section, I just want to say “Hi, George.” 🙂 I hope you have a lovely day and congratulations on the book! Very exciting and it must feel great to have it done, no matter how many books under your belt. (Well, I wouldn’t know. But I would assume every book feels like an accomplishment.) Thank you for being you and stay awesome!
I get the feeling that I would handle the wait much better if Pat Rothfuss published his “The Doors of Stone” in the meanwhile. Or that I would be able to cope with the anxiety for that to be released if I had WoW.
You two are making me go insane, Mr. Martin. Why do you have to be such good writers?
This almost feels like an AMA session (Ask Me Anything) on the reddit page!
Big league thanks for doing this, please do so once every year until – you know, we get WINDS!
Will F&B shed more light on why Aegon decide to conquer Westeros? Perhaps some more about his visits to Oldtown and Lannisport? And hopefully a bit more on his involvements in Essos and why he decided to help Lys against Volantis? What exactly did Dorne purchase against dragons from Lys? Did Corlys’ journeys play any role in the wars to come? Those are 2 aspects of his life which feel so dissociated. Is there any story behind Velaryons sounding so similar to Valyrians?
These are a few questions which came to me while reading the World Book and I hope to see them resolved. Once I get into your history, there is no limit on how deep the rabbit hole goes. And then there is the dance. While it is relatively easy to figure out the roots of Robert’s rebellion, I can say if these 3-4 events hadn’t occurred, the rebellion might have been stemmed or prevented altogether. The Blackfyre rebellions are more complicated but still manageable to analyse. But you have created a monster in the dance of dragons George. I am yet to come up with how the perfect storm of breaking up the Velaryons and Targaryens could be stemmed. Too many seeds sown over decades to fuel the fire, too many players with their personal agendas, too many crossings and double-crossings and team changing to figure out what could have turned the tide of the wars. Looking forward to cracking all that.
If Theon were Azor Ahai, the ending would be unexpected. Jon and Daenerys are so typical that they get bored.
Hello, Mr Martin! Hope you’re doing well.
I’m sure Fire and Blood is going to be a great read but I was wondering when you think we can read She-Wolves of Winterfell. I think I anticipate that novella almost as much as Winds of Winter.
Love the new site!
Purely to say, I look forward to reading the 1st part of Fire and Blood. Any chance to revisit this marvelous world you’ve created is a total pleasure.
Keep up writing, whatever that may be, and I (and many, many, others) will keep on reading. The gift of writing and the gift of reading are joys that are almost unparalleled, so thank you for continuing to do one to provide the other.
Great work on the books, avid fan and reader of both the series and books.
I completely appreciate that writing numerous books and projects has got to eat up your time, but i’m sure there’s a reason why you’re getting these books out.
Do the F&B bulk out any of the existing ASOIAF or will it have any impact on TWOW? Not wanting any specific details….
Very much off-topic, but the wikipedia page for GRRM states that he is a Jets fan. I thought he was a Giants fan?
Both. See all my past football posts.
I am here only to thank GRRM for his work and to assure him that the bunch of lunatics that are expressing their frustrations at him in this comment section are not at all representative of the ASOIAF fandom, which is a place full of smart and generous people, that appreciate GRRM’s work and enjoy discussing it.
Please, GRRM: just ignore these people. I am happy that FIRE AND BLOOD v.1 is about to come out, and will be happy when you publish THE WINDS OF WINTER. Comments on your age, your eventual death or what you *should* be working on are simply crazy. You work on what you will, we will appreciate it, and if not, we will read something else.
Unfortunately, our society produces a large amount of unhappiness and frustration, and people, instead of addressing it psychologically or politically, come here and harass you for no reason. As an ASOIAF fan, let me apologise on their behalf. Keep on writing, at your own pace, we are not entitled to your books, and most of us know it well.
first that all, congratulations for another book George, sure this will be agreat one! …but oh my heart!!! the pain is real…another year for winds of winter??? mamiita querida!
But greatness take time, i understand …and I must thank you for the massive masterpiece that is a SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. for let me discover and fly between all the seven kingdoms, the north beyond the wall, Essos and all the free cities…for allow me feel love, fear, joy, hate and thousands of feelings by reading every page, every chapter of the books…simply amazing, what an incredible journey this has been so far. THANK YOU, MASTER!
It seems to me that there exist two things that are equally difficult – adequately describing to you just how masterful we believe your creation of Westeros, the surrounding world, and all the characters within it to be…and you being able to comprehend the extent of passion and wonder you have instilled by creating such a world(although it is clear from the years I have followed your blog posts that you are condemned to continuously suffer the fruits of these passions – usually present as a showcase of humanity’s inferior and more selfish qualities). I, for one, apologize that the majority of the time either insults, demands, inquiries, or some other inconsiderate nonsense are the only thanks you get for dedicating a large portion of your life to the continued creation of this world that provides so many people worldwide with such a level of insight and enjoyment (and for me – reminders that there are deeply rooted morals and evils in the fabric of the human heart that are in danger of being forgotten or ignored completely). So please accept my sincere thank you for your work – FIRE AND BLOOD included, and for facing the absurd adversity created by the egotistical notion that these characters and this world belongs to us rather than you . Also thank you for deciding to post so many responses as of the last few days – I wish I had a question to ask that is so ingenious it would prompt a response from you that makes everyone else say “Oh OK, now we understand, I’ll leave GRRM alone to enjoy his work now”…but I don’t. So instead I’ll just say this – FIRE AND BLOOD can only add to the mastery and the wonder of your creation as a whole, therefore making the other novels to come even better. I look forward to it.
We know, or I’ve gathered, that Aegon looked East briefly before his Conquest, involving himself for a short time in Essos… will this, or any time before the Conquest itself begins, be covered in the new Fire and Blood book?
I know you have received it a thousand times, but as a new reader who has just finished the 5 books of ASOIAF I would very much like to say that you are a magnificent writer with an engaging story with very well built characters.
The balance between fantasy and a realistic medieval environment is one of the best things that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. As well as the inner feeling of the characters that makes us immerse in their conflicts is the best part of it all.
I really find exploration of character nuances more interesting than critical facts like “character x won the battle” or “character y stayed on the Throne at the end”.
I imagine the writing process can be difficult at times, and some hard nights can made you frustrated but do not let it make you feel sorry for yourself. You are a great writer and you will succeed.
My congratulations for this great work and for giving me such an incredible experience. This was the first fantasy work I read and I was really amazed.
Thanks if you have read this far.