Accepting Questions for a George R. R. Martin Interview

Yes, that's right!!!;-)

Voyager has just contacted me, revealing the wonderful news! The interview questions will be sent to George R. R. Martin in April, so the interview will coincide with the paperback release of A Feast for Crows.

As always, the best questions from the fans will be selected to comprise the interview. To submit your questions, just click on the comment section below. Remember that questions which would receive an automatic RAFO will not be considered.

I guess it is safe to say that we have a very interesting Q&A to look forward to!

28 commentaires:

Gary said...

1) If there was one character you could bring back from the dead (who is clearly dead), who would that be?

2) What is your biggest criticism of yourself?

Anonymous said...

At what point did you realize that A Song of Ice and Fire would be longer than three books?

Are there any specific scenes in A Song of Ice and Fire that you are particularly proud of?

What is your favorite of your earlier works? Do you feel that these works are unfairly neglected?

Ran said...

Ran from the ASoIaF board here. I'll try and keep my geekery down to a minimum. ;)

1) This novel seems somewhat different than the previous three, in that almost every character and chapter shares an overall theme, which I would characterize as "aftermaths" (both personal and on a larger scale).

What intent did George have with depicting these post-war aftermaths in terms of the greater, overall story?

2) A Feast for Crows is in some ways quite different from the prior three books, in terms of structure, the way POV characters are introduced, and things of that nature.

First, would Martin agree with this? If so, is this a permanent shift or is the plan to move back to something similar to the first three novels at some point?

3) Is there any particular piece of world-building that Martin is especially proud of?

4) Is there any particular historical fiction or non-fiction work that has either most inspired Martin when working on this novel, or proved the most useful in terms of world-building and/or story?

5) How is progress on A Dance with Dragon?

Sarah said...

Wow! GRRM!

Since my work is at 65K words and I am discovering a horrible tendency to "lose" things (characters, entire spaceships, hours and days), here's mine:

I read an interview in which you said once that you didn't enjoy writing as much as you enjoyed "having written." How do you keep yourself organized, with so many characters, such detailed history, and the great length of the series? What do you do to keep the timelines of your various POV characters straight?

Anonymous said...

Will he read any more chapters for the next book at conferences or hold back until the publication of "A Dance With Dragons."

My preference is to hold back -- too many of the chapters for AFFC were read before publication so a large percentage of the book was spoiled, and I'm sure that had an effect on how well the book was received.

the_corbie said...

I think I would ask, rather than 'who's your favourite/least favourite' chestnut, which character has surprised him the most... authors frequently talk about their creations taking on a life of their own, and I wonder which of them George finds the most unpredictable to write.

I'd also like to know more about the title of Warden, but that isn't a suitable question for an interview of this type, maybe?

Um... let's see. Westerosi religions. Where did the idea for the godswoods come from? Did the Old Gods have any priests, how are their religious rites (such as they are) passed down?

When he writes the songs, does he have music in mind for them? Can he hear them in his mind, however roughly, or does he simply come up with lyrics as if writing a poem?

Foreign lands. Is it normal for the Ironborn to raid beyond Westeros, or is Euron unusual in that? Does no other land than Westeros have a developed concept of chivalry? Has he thought about other stories, maybe short stories, set in other parts of the Westerosi world, for example Ibben or the Dothraki seas?

Jon said...

With the division of book four into two books, does this mean there will be seven books now, or do you still plan on having only six books in the series? If there will be seven, how do you plan on preventing this situation from escalating to a point where it is beyond your control? Afterall, this started out as a single novel, which grew into two, which grew into six, which now appears to be seven. Or, do you view the division of book four as simply one book?

You have said one of the major reasons you used "fantistorical" as the genre for your series is because you do not want to write historical fiction since it removes the element of surprise. Would you ever consider writing a completely non-fiction book on, such as the War of the Roses? This way you would be able to elminate the need for fictional conventions and just get right to the story. While it would simply be telling a story that many people already know, would you ever consider it since it would give you the opportunity to tell the story how you think it should be told?

What are some of the historical periods and cultures you have drawn on for the societies that exist beyond the Seven Kingdoms? Was Khal Drogo drawn strictly from the Mongols or were there other nomadic tribes from which you drew inspiration i.e. the Magyars?

For that matter, while you draw from the historical past for inspiration, how much would a new approach to a subject affect your writing of the remainder of the series? Would a groundbreaking discovery on, say something like tournaments, be reflected in your stories, or would you stick with the older beliefs that have already been reflected in the series?

Ran said...

I'd just like to correct jon's otherwise excellent first question about the splitting of the book:

"Afterall, this started out as a single novel, which grew into two, which grew into six, which now appears to be seven. "

From everything I've read and heard, at inception GRRM expected to write a trilogy. It became 4 as he was writing AGoT. During ACoK, he realized that that wasn't possible, so he stopped work to consider and outline. That's when he determined it was six novels. As far as I'm aware, GRRM has never indicated his plans were for less than three novels.

Also, he has stated several times since word of the split that he is aiming for seven books. I believe it's been most recently re-iterated at Boskone, or perhaps in the North by Northwest Bookclub interview.

Anonymous said...

This is Longhorn from

My question for GRRM is:
My favorite part of ASOIAF are the characters - they are so vivid, they feel like real people. How do you approach creating characters?

Anonymous said...

Dave here, not really from anywhere (but I occasionally put up some poorly phrased and arguably pointless stuff on Ran's ASoIaF board).

Anyway, I have questions about that most overlooked and least appreciated of organizations in Westeros, the Night’s Watch.

Night’s King. I’m not foolish enough to ask about his origin, since it’s been made clear that his name was wiped from history (and I get the feeling that it’s not something you’ll elaborate on yet), but I have another question about him. What was the origin of the sorcery he used to enslave the black brothers into the actions he made them do? Did it have anything to do with the vow? There’s clearly a supernatural element to the vow, as we’ve seen with Sam’s ability to pass through the weirwood gate in A Storm of Swords, which makes me think of the possibility of that being corrupted.

If it’s possible that Night’s King and his bride were able to somehow subvert the vow, what effect would that have on following brothers of the Night’s Watch? Is there any lingering trace of that enchantment or sorcery?

What happened to him at/after his death? I think I remember reading that there were rumors that Night’s King was a Stark and that a Stark killed him, with dire results. Can you share any specifics about his death and afterward?

Other than their crimes against the Night’s Watch, is there any connection between Night’s King and his cronies, the Rat Cook (was he one of Night’s King’s men?), and the seventy-nine deserters entombed in the wall, or those wildlings who got lost trying to cross under the Wall? My friend has a theory that Coldhands is not a recent black brother, but someone from ages ago. I figure the Bran chapters of Dance with Dragons will determine whether or not it’s Ben Stark, but if that’s not the case, there doesn’t seem to be a leading candidate.

Finally, how did the Night’s Watch originally come about, and from whence do they derive their authority? I’m wondering because it seems like, but for the North, the Seven Kingdoms like to pretend that the Night’s Watch doesn’t exist. Clearly the former Lords of Winterfell and Wardens of the North provided aid to the Watch, but they seem to be the only ones. I can imagine that some of their acceptance comes from their vows to never become involved in Westerosi politics, but even that’s clearly not enough for some people, especially those who like to think that every person that isn’t currently or wasn’t once part of their body is out to get them.

If you should choose to use any of my questions, feel free to edit them for brevity/clarity/not making me look like an arse-faced weasel, etc.

OsRavan said...

We learn in book 4 that Jaeharys was the one to Commission the kings road. Which makes sense since it wouldn't be realistic to have all these roads leading to KL before there was a Kings Landing. My question though, which of the major roads (if any) where in existence prior to the targaryns coming to westeros? were any? Was their a 'kingsroad' of a different name going through the north prior to Jaeharys

Jon Targaryen said...

Jon Targaryen from Ran's board

1. Why was Maegor I crowned when Jaehaerys I, son of the last king, was around?

2. Are you still planning to publish a timeline for Robert's war in one of the books? If yes, will it be in the next book?

Anonymous said...

When and where will the next "Dunk & Egg" story be published? Does it have a title yet?

Blaine23 said...

Has any of the negative opinions of AFFC affected you? Did you expect to receive some?

Do you think that those negative opinions are because of the long wait for the book, the missing characters or the fact that AFFC isn't as action-packed as the first three books?

Seawolf10 said...

There's a comment in either ACoK or ASoS about how "during the Age of Heroes, the Boltons used to flay the Starks and wear their skins as cloaks." Was this a case of the Boltons technically bending the knee, but attacking the Starks whenever they were led by a weak ruler/in a bad situation or was it more along the lines of regular skirmishing?

If you hadn't thought about this-ahh, don't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

Does GRRM find that as the popularity of the aSoIaF series has continually increased, that the amount of time he has to spend on writing has continually decreased? Should fans stop speaking to him/writing him emails until the series is finished? Should we (the fans) try to shut down the NFL to free up GRRM's sundays for writing?

Also, could you ask George to rank the 4 books published thus far, so that the fans can stop arguing about which is best (aCoK) and which is worst (aFfC)? Not that I'm biased...

If you could spend a day in Westeros , where would you go?

Anonymous said...

Just one question :

"How old is Brienne?"

Thats been bugging me for a while and I don't think it's mentionned anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Fallen Murk:

Are there characters in the story that are based off family members or childhood friends? If so, can you tell us a little about them?

BitchySmurf said...

Hi! I'm so glad you're getting to do this interview. I think most all the questions listed so far have been really good. I'm very tired of reading/hearing interviews with GRRM where all the same questions are asked (Who is his favorite character to write?, etc).

As a writer myself I wonder how long was it from his first inspiration (the direwolves in the snow) to a point when he knew enough of the story to write it down? It's a very richly imagined world and I would assume it took some time.

With the books getting closer and closer to page lengths that are physically impossible to publish, have there been any backstories or fun bits that he had to cut?

unJon said...

The next book is entitled A Dance With Dragons and some readers have commented upon the similarity of that name to the old war "A Dance of Dragons" between some of the Targaryens. So the speculation is that we will finally get to see some dragons in action!! Did you mean to emphasize any differences between the old war and the new book, when you chose the preposition "With" instead of "Of" in the title of the new book?

Anonymous said...

Ask if he's familiar with Sweeney Todd.

There are some very similar themes in the whole Littlefinger/Ned/Cat/Sansa/Arya storyline.

The 6950 said...

1.) When first developing the dynamics between the earlier generation of Stark children (Brandon, Ned, Lyanna & Benjen) were you in any way influenced by the movie "The Godfather" because one could draw a few parallels between the two, with Brandon being the ladies man, hot-headed Sonny, who gets himself killed at a young age trying to protect the honor of his sister. Ned being Micheal Corleone, the level headed second son who in hindsight might have been the one better suited to lead the family. And Lyanna being Connie, the only daughter of a powerful family.

2.) Are there restrictions in place, or perhaps checks and balances to prevent Lord Dayne from handing the title "Sword of the Morning" to someone who the rest of the family might feel is not worthy? And what is to prevent him from just giving the title to himself? Also, if you are a Dayne on your mother side can you possibly be considered for the title, or what about a Dayne bastard? Or is the title reserved for true-born Daynes solely.

3.) Is Robert's Rebellion the reason why Westeroes seems like a less united kingdom at the begining of the books? I mean when we look back upon the previous generation, there seemed to be numerous connections between the different families and peers not only through marriages but genuine friendships also. Ned himself was raised in the Vale, with a best friend from the Stormlands. When Brandon rode into the Red Keep, members of his entourage included Northmen, Valemen, and those from the Riverlands. Rhaegar himself had a squire from the Riverlands (Myles Mooton) and a friend from the Stormlands (Jon Connington) yet we see very few of these friendships among the current generation of young folks. Joffrey and Tommen have no friends, Robb's closest friends were all Northmen, Margey Tyrell's female companions consist of cousins and girls solely from the Reach.

Anonymous said...

It’s common nowadays for DVDs to be released with bonus materials such as ‘deleted scenes’, but I haven’t seen anything quite like this in the literary world yet. GRRM has been quite generous in the past with providing sample chapters at the end of books or on his website. But I also wonder if GRRM has an ever-growing pile of scenes that had to be cut from the series, or re-written to the point where they are totally unrecognizable. Is this the case? If so, would he ever consider publishing some of this ‘bonus material’?

For instance, who wouldn’t want to see, just for fun, an alternate aGoT ending where Ned outwits Littlefinger …

Ran said...

I'd like to add a new one, given the recent news that iBooks (publishers of the recent continuation of the WILD CARDS series) has declared bankruptcy:

1) Given iBooks bankruptcy, will WILD CARDS be on the back-burner for the forseeable future, or is there the possibility that a new publisher may be found relatively quickly?

Anonymous said...

Question for GRRM:

Have you ever thought of doing maybe an alternate universe 1 shot or short story, maybe showing a scene from the book had something in the past turned out differently, like perhaps a scene 15 years after the Rebellion showing Westeroes, had Robert lost to Rhaegar on the Trident. Or a scene some years after the Rebellion with the 3 kingsguard who were at the Tower of Joy had they defeated Ned and his friends. Or perhaps a scene with a Benjen Stark having not joined the Night's Watch and decided to raise Jon away from Winterfell but somewhere in the North.

Anonymous said...

Here I come with my mostly Targ questions which relate to pre-history and thus shouldn't merit a RAFO:

1. Did all of the sisters of Baelor the Blessed die before him? And if not how did Viserys II become king?

2. Did Daemon Blackfyre's Targ descent on both sides and particulary his mother's position in the line of succession play a significant role in his claim to the throne?

3. Who was Daemon Blackfyre married to and why did he marry so unusually early for a Westerosi nobleman (at 14) and King Daeron allowed it? Wouldn't it have made more sense to keep Daemon umarried and try to steer him towards KG?

4. Why wasn't Aegon the Unworthy married to one of the daughters of Aegon III anyway? IIRC Dragonbane had 3 daughters, but only 2 sons... a somewhat dangerous imbalance, given that his brother Viserys had 2 sons of his own, and one that could have lead to a dynastic squabble if Dragonbane's sons died without issue.

5. Did Aegon the Unworthy have "lesser" (i.e. with a common mother) male bastards who were older than Daemon?

6. Who was the husband of Rhaenyra Targaryen and the father of her children? How came that she wasn't married to her brother Aegon II and why was _he_ unmarried and childless when their father died?

7. What's the difference between positions of a noble squire and a ward? I.e. was there any difference in situation of Doran when he served Lord Gargalen, Jaime when his served Lord Crakehall, Edric Dayne when he served Beric Dondarrion... and say Robert and Ned when they were _wards_ of Jon Arryn or Quentyn Martell when he was a _ward_ of Lord Ironwood?

Thys said...

A few questions from France ! ;-)

1. Do you know, by sure, how exactly the story will end ?

2. Which one of your characters resemble you most?

Et puis une en français, désolée, parce qu'il est beaucoup moins facile de traduire dans ce sens...

3. Qu'avez-vous envie de dire aux lecteurs qui vous "accusent" d'aimer tourmenter vos personnages, alors qu'à l'évidence, ils adorent eux-mêmes lire leurs histoires parce qu'elles sont sans concession?

Anonymous said...

In Westeros, seasons last multiple years, which is very different from how our seasons work:
a) what causes the change of the seasons, and why is length of the seasons random?
b) why did you decide to treat the seasons this way and how does it relate to the rest of the story?