George talks Comic-Con, future novels
By Fire And Blood on in Media.

Photo by Nick Briggs

George R.R. Martin was recently interviewed by Diana McCabe of Sign On San Diego, and he gave his take on varied topics ranging from his upcoming book-signing tour for A Dance with Dragons, to ye olde days at Comic-Con back in the ’80′s, to his involvement with the HBO show.

Among many other things, George revealed a slight trepidation with dealing with the massive crowds expected to greet the author at this year’s ‘Con.

…as the popularity of his books increased, so did his crowds, and now he’s used to getting a couple of hundred fans at events. But thousands? The idea is flattering, but it’s still a bit mind-boggling. “How many people do those ballrooms (at Comic-Con) hold?” he asks.

Photo by Nick Briggs

Quite a large number, if memory serves. Those ballrooms are huge, and they really know how to pack ‘em in. It’s a little like the massive pile of press at the TCA’s, except this time everyone will be screaming. Not only is George going to be onstage for the long-awaited panel (Thursday the 21st, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. PST), but so will Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, Kit Harrington, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.

George also addressed the question regarding the number of books still planned for A Song of Ice and Fire—and when he can be expected to start working on the next book, The Winds of Winter:

Seven kingdoms, seven gods, seven books. Seven seems fitting, but until I get out of book six, I’m not sure. I won’t have a chance to start working on book six until next year.

With his schedule I’m not surprised.

Read the entire article here. Kudos to Diana McCabe and Sign On San Diego!

Fire And Blood: Can’t wait for Comic-Con; in 12 days the fabulous FaBster will be there with bells on. Likely there will be casting announcements—especially if they’re able to keep a lid on ‘em for another two weeks. I’ll be live-Tweeting the event as well as (attempting) to record it for posterity.

If any other stalwart members of House Gatewatch are attending Comic-Con this year, let me know. We’ll have a Gathering of Chairs!


178 Comments

  1. Winter Is Coming
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    And, for the record, the panel will be at:

    3 PM PDT
    6 PM EDT
    11 PM BST
    12 AM CEST

    I won’t be at the panel unfortunately, so I will be following along online with all of you guys. Looking forward to FaB’s coverage!

  2. Chris77
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    My guess is that book 6 is already largely finished, but he will take 5 to 6 years to straighten it out;)

  3. Starkgirl
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    A shame his busy schedule means he can’t get to work on it right away, but after how hard and long he was working on ADWD, I’m sure a bit of a break from it is welcomed at the same time. Hopefully next year he’ll dive in TWoW feeling refreshed and ready to go. :)

  4. Morlun
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Chris77:
    My guess is that book 6 is already largely finished, but he will take 5 to 6 years to straighten it out;)

    LOLOLOL

    PS – I’m posting like a newb. How hard is it to quote?

  5. MW
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Little bit worried about the show catching up and then ending due to lack of material. I suppose GRRM could help write the scripts for later seasons, then publish the books after the fact. Not a great situation though.

  6. Mario Mjoed
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Starkgirl,

    refreshed? from this whole travelling, signing and what not? i dont think so ;)

  7. Seawall
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like it could easily be another 5 year wait for the next book.

  8. Megan
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be there! I plan to camp out in Ballroom 20 for the day to make sure I have a seat (though this means I probably won’t be able to try to get a ticket for the autograph signing).

  9. Megan Tesch
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be there!! Sucks that its right after the ringer which everyone is making a big deal about since Sarah Michelle Gellar will be present. We got into True Blood last year so hoping we can get in to Game of Thrones this year!!

  10. Dreamlife
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that Jason Momoa will be present. Is this a hint that he might return to the series in some form?? As Dany said in the 10th episode before smothering Drogo, he will return to her when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. This is A Song of Ice and Fire not our world. If dragons and white walkers can exist, why can’t the sunrise/sunset change??

    As to GRRM’s quote about the next book—yikes. If he says he can’t “start working on Book 6 until next year” I worry. I was under the impression he already had several chapters written (at least the ones pushed from ADWD to TWOW), some people even saying it was halfway written. I really hope it’s not another 5 year gap between books. -_-

    I do think I read somewhere that it could possibly become an 8 book series and GRRM had toyed around with what to call the 8th book (A Time for Wolves). I just hope to be able to finish the series in my lifetime either in book form or TV form, lol.

    EDIT: or maybe that was the original title for Book 7.

  11. Amy Frey
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Love the pic of GRRM and Peter Dinklage in the article ! :-)

    I’ll be at SDCC this year and GoT is on the top of my list of panels to attend. I can’t wait! I’m feverishly working through book 4, awaiting the delivery of book 5 to my Kindle on the 12th and hope to have that finished before the Con.

  12. sjwenings
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Dreamlife: Interesting that Jason Momoa will be present. Is this a hint that he might return to the series in some form?? As Dany said in the 10th episode before smothering Drogo, he will return to her when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. This is A Song of Ice and Fire not our world. If dragons and white walkers can exist, why can’t the sunrise/sunset change??

    Are you high?

    No, it would be ridicoulus. He died twice. His soul (just not his body) died from the wound, and that too died when Dany smothered him to death with the pillow. And then she burned his body into ashes.

    If they were to bring him back, it would have to be done with some really, really cheap ass explanation to how both the spirit and flesh can once again take form, and… It would just seem like the poorest excuse to get a popular character back ever. It’s would just be so anti-asoiaf. Sewing Ned back up seems more likely.

    Edit: Just noticed that you said “in some form”. Well, certainly not simply alive and kicking. Maybe in a dream, but thats about it. So basically no.

  13. ApplePsyder
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Dreamlife:
    Interesting that Jason Momoa will be present.Is this a hint that he might return to the series in some form?

    Probably just he was gonna be in town for Comic Con anyways because of Conan, so no reason not to stop by and chat some GoT

  14. Maester Tcost
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I will be there too. If I remember right, Ballroom 20 is around 4000 people, but I will find out for sure (I’m having supper with a committee member tonight).

    I hope to ask a question about the Van Rijn story for the Poul Anderson tribute, but the panel is only an hour long and I have little hope of getting a place far enough forward in line. If there are cast announcements there will be even more people on the panel and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are few or no audience questions at all.

    If you really want to talk to George, go to the signing at Mysterious Galaxy on Sunday night. That will be a circus too, but nothing like Comic Con itself will be. Myxterious Galaxy isn’t a huge store and even if the crowd is out the door, which I anticipate, there should still be a chance to talk to the author.

    Going back to the panel, it will be interesting to see for whom the loudest and longest applause is forthcoming. If this weren’t Comic Con I might guess Peter Dinklage or GRRM himself, but it is Comic Con so I’d bet on NCW, possibly Emilia Clarke. Also, since Piper Perabo will be appearing at the con earlier that day, I wonder if Ms. Perabo’s friend Lena Headey might be at the con then too, perhaps an unnanounced panel member.

    Jason Momoa was probably going to the con to promote Conan anyway, so why not include him? There will be plenty of fans who will be thrilled to see him.

    I am optimistic that we will see Book 6 in about four years. I’m willing to believe George in that he had particular and nasty trouble with that Meereenese knot that really did delay this last one even more than it would have been otherwise.

    One more thing — if you’re going to Comic Con and want to see the panel, do get there HOURS early and wait to get in. Many of the people attending the previous panel, maybe most of them, will be staying after for the GoT presentation. Go ahead and sit through previous panels if you want to have a chance to see GoT there. I’d bet that no more than a few hundred people at most get admitted to the room at five minutes to three, because no more than that many are apt to vacate, and maybe a hundred of the people who do get in will be those entitled to wheelchair and disabled spots.

  15. userj
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    FaB – can you please ask NCW if he screen-tested with Brienne candidates (incl Gwen Christie)?? I MUST KNOW.

  16. Convivial Edd
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Kinda stinks that he can’t start working on book 6 until next year. If the series does continue it looks likely that it will catch up with George (seeing as how he will have to be largely done writing book 7 by 2016 for the series to not catch up).

  17. Brandon Stark
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    He could find an hour a day to write if he was so inclined. There’s no reason to wait until next year to start the next book except for the fact he doesn’t want to write it. A writer hungry to write will find a way even with a busy schedule. GRRM is not that kind of writer, though. To each his own, I guess. Still, as a reader, it’s irritating.

    I mean, write on the plane, write in the hotel, write a page while eating breakfast. It’s not that hard to put your fingers to the keyboard. You don’t need to plan out an eight-hour stretch.

  18. lollo
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Considering that the second season is about to begin shooting and a new season comes out every year. George RR Martin should start writing the sixth book and finishing it

  19. Ser Lemon Cakes
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Other than your tweeting anyone know where there be any streaming of the SDCC panel online? A live blog?

    I want WOW yesterday too, but I’m happy for George to have a break and from the ASOIF world to ‘clense’ and prepare. As much as some fans bitch about his other writing, I’m sure it helps him creatively. If that makes for better ASOIF books, then it’s a small price to pay.

    Slightly OT, but it appears Christopher Eccelston has just signed up for a new movie, so I guess that counts him out entirely.

  20. Maester Tcost
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Official seating capacity for Ballroom 20 is 4,908 people, theatre seating.

    George has a lot of other projects he cannot ignore too, and the book tour and Worldcon are going to eat up months. I don’t think that it’s unreasonable at all for him to be expecting to wait until after the holidays to really get started; and bear in mind that several chapters are already in the can, as it were, maybe as much as five or ten percent of the book. Even three years is possible.

    But ASOIAF is pretty clearly going to be his magnum opus, and if he wants to take a longer time writing it to get it to be just the best that he possibly can, I say good for George. He should be sure that the book he writes is the book he wants to write.

  21. Zack
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if this is the place to ask or not, but is anyone aware of midnight release parties being planned? I read that Hastings is doing it but there are none near me, unfortunately.

  22. JonSnow'sBastard
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    He should be sure that the book he writes is the book he wants to write.

    This, a thousand times. I get the frustration waiting for the next hit off the ASoIaF bong, but it’s GRRM’s book. It’ll be done when it’s done. In the meantime, there’s a sweet series on TV, and trade paperbacks of The Walking Dead.

  23. Disco
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe people are already bitching about when the next book will come out. Some people’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

  24. cardus
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark:
    He could find an hour a day to write if he was so inclined. There’s no reason to wait until next year to start the next book except for the fact he doesn’t want to write it. A writer hungry to write will find a way even with a busy schedule. GRRM is not that kind of writer, though. To each his own, I guess. Still, as a reader, it’s irritating.

    I mean, write on the plane, write in the hotel, write a page while eating breakfast. It’s not that hard to put your fingers to the keyboard. You don’t need to plan out an eight-hour stretch.

    So glad you’re here to plan out his life for him….

    Douche.

  25. GaR
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    GRRM only writes at home on a dedicated DOS machine. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  26. Adrian
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I like how somebody makes an offhanded critique and already the apologists are out to crucify him.

    “Can’t start writing” translates very clearly, obviously, to “won’t start writing.” Do I feel he owes me anything? No. And please don’t bring it up, because I know he’s “not my bitch.” But when you take forever to do something you said you’d do and fill the interim with hocking (out of date, damaged)crap, vacationing six months out of the year, and playing cruel jokes like announcing on your blog how “THE WAIT IS OVER!!!…for reprinted Wild Cards,” people get understandably upset and are well within their rights to question your commitment. Sucking his dick won’t get the book written any faster than roasting his ass for it, so really both sides are at a loss. But the person questioning it is much less a douche than the person making every possible excuse is some kind of pathetic sycophant.

    I love these books. I love the story, I love the world, I love the show. But I really, really hate that man.

  27. Brandon Stark
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    cardus: So glad you’re here to plan out his life for him….

    Douche.

    Ouch. The wounds. The pain. I’m sure George R.R. Martin, that poor, persecuted multi-millionaire, will be glad to know he has stout defenders such as you on his side. His very own Writersguard!

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being critical of his writing habits. He’s wed to archaic ways of doing things. That doesn’t mean I don’t like his material or the show based on his material. But I don’t like his process for writing. I buy his books and give him my money. That doesn’t mean I need to worship him too.

  28. Rogue Entity
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Adrian:
    I like how somebody makes an offhanded critique and already the apologists are out to crucify him.

    “Can’t start writing” translates very clearly, obviously, to “won’t start writing.”Do I feel he owes me anything?No.And please don’t bring it up, because I know he’s “not my bitch.”But when you take forever to do something you said you’d do and fill the interim with hocking (out of date, damaged)crap, vacationing six months out of the year, and playing cruel jokes like announcing on your blog how “THE WAIT IS OVER!!!…for reprinted Wild Cards,” people get understandably upset and are well within their rights to question your commitment.Sucking his dick won’t get the book written any faster than roasting his ass for it, so really both sides are at a loss.But the person questioning it is much less a douche than the person making every possible excuse is some kind of pathetic sycophant.

    I love these books.I love the story, I love the world, I love the show.But I really, really hate that man.

    cardus:

    Douche.

  29. Adrian
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Rogue Entity:

    I’d love to hear it if you can come up with an actual argument to anything I said. Unless you want me to just stoop to your level and call you a cunt, I guess.

  30. metalgoddessamb
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    GaR:
    Brandon Stark,

    GRRM only writes at home on a dedicated DOS machine.I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    Haha, someone needs to introduce him to the 21rst century.

  31. obsidian
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    Easy for you to say…

    His process , by this point in his life ,is set. That’s how he produces what he produces.

    If we like what he writes ,and want to read more of it , we have to accept whatever process he finds necessary to produce his best work.

    As my mother used to say , ” Don’t teach your Granny how to suck eggs.”

  32. aaron
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Disco:
    I can’t believe people are already bitching about when the next book will come out.Some people’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds.

    exactly.

    this isn’t the only thing he works on. he has the tv show, he edits books, he tours all over the place for promotion, he contributes to other books. i understand wanted to read what happens next in the song of ice and fire, but seriously, i’ve managed to live 11 years since reading a tyrion chapter, and i’m doing just fine.

    not to mention book 5 hasn’t even come out yet, so complaining about book 6 is just a tad ridiculous.

  33. OhWhoCares
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I only just read 1-4 when the show began, so my wait for 5 will only add up to about a week and a half, and I won’t complain at all. As I understand it though, some have waited quite a bit longer. I can’t say I fully blame people for being a little annoyed at the comment, because although it may be misleading (I do realize some is written already) it seems like he’s saying he’s not starting til next year. I can understand the concerns with the show catching up with the books. I also worry a little bit about some possible changes in the show affecting the story. In other books turned movie/tv shows while the books are still being written, I have seen future books affected by changes in previous tv/movie productions. I don’t really see GRRM being the type to let that affect his writing but still. I understand concerns. Especially about the show catching up. If the show makes it that far.

    Also, I don’t understand why everyone on this website constantly attacks each other for EVERYTHING. I’m sure I’m opening myself up to being attacked simply by saying that… but can’t we all be civil and get along? I mean, honestly, it’s just a story after all.

  34. Fire And Blood
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the slings and arrows.

    It’s probably wrong that this argument amuses me, since I come out on the “Who Gives a Crap?” side. I love the books, the show, etc. But I don’t begrudge anyone their writing schedule. When you write for deadline (newspapers, or even tardly little television reviews like I have to do) it’s one thing. But writing literature is a different beast. It’s art. And everyone has their own way of doing things.

    When you don’t have a deadline, you don’t have to put out anything for a year. Or ten years. It’s not an obligation. There are no rules. And let’s be real here: when people actually get mad at a creator for not adhering to the schedule they imagine he should have—that’s juuuust a bit on the self-centered side. (“I really, really hate that man” is one of the funniest things I’ve read all week. I guffawed.)

    That said, I also don’t begrudge anyone their right to bitch, whine, and moan. I feel like it’s a bit of a waste of time, but… hey, if it’s cathartic, have at it!

    Try to keep the name-calling to a minimum though (especially you righteous, kneejerk defenders—you know who you are). Winter will yank your asses if the name-calling gets out of hand. And then it will look like you said nothing at all, your words evaporating into the worldwide nether. And then we’ll all just assume you simply agree.

  35. tysnow
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    You should write on a dedicated machine, that isn’t connected to any other network or the web, period. To easy nowadays for someone to hack in.

  36. OhWhoCares
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    Thanks for saying what I was trying to say in words that actually make sense. I’m distracted by watching Rob Pattinson die in HP4 and feel like my post was 100% nonsensical, but oh well

  37. Fire And Blood
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    I doubt Nikolaj did a screen test with Gwendoline. Unless they’re moving up events (and they might be!) most of her season two screen time will be with Michelle Fairley.

    Though it’s possible they also wanted to see if she was able to play convincingly head-over-heels for Renly, so maybe Gethin Anthony. Or Finn Jones, because of various conflicts.

    But 96.8% chance she simply screen-tested with a random somebody (or nobody at all) for Nina Gold. This isn’t the same as trying to find the perfect Romeo for a Juliet for a silver screen extravaganza. I think they were far more concerned with finding the right Brienne than how her chemistry with another actor played out.

  38. Rogue Entity
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    OK then!

    First off, they (we) aren’t apologists, unless your definition and our definition are totally different. If anything, you are an apologist for Brandon Stark.

    “Can’t start writing” doesn’t necessarily equal “won’t start writing”, or vice versa. Neither do you on your high horse get to decide whether he can’t or won’t, nor why unless you are as intimately familiar with his life as George himself.

    Out of date, damaged crap? Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion of the quality or value of his other projects. This does not, however equate to him being in the wrong for doing it, and you being in the right for not liking that he does it.

    Vacationing for 6 months…
    L.
    O.
    L.
    Period.

    Cruel jokes. Grow a pair, and a sense of humor while you are at it.

    Questioning his commitment. Where/what is your life’s work? He’s still going at it, and his life’s work includes more than just ASoIaF. He’s commited to getting it right, not simply getting it done. If he simply wrote to get it done, we wouldn’t all be here so passionate about his work. It’s too bad that you think your idea of what his commitment SHOULD be is not the same as what his commitment IS. Either way, this does not demonstrate his lack of commitment, only your selfish views.

    Sucking his dick vs. roasting his ass: /agree Neither will get the book done faster.

    The person questioning it is a douche like yourself for much the same reasons, as indicated above.

  39. Zach
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Are you… certain you understand the concept of “not your bitch?”

    Adrian:
    I like how somebody makes an offhanded critique and already the apologists are out to crucify him.

    “Can’t start writing” translates very clearly, obviously, to “won’t start writing.”Do I feel he owes me anything?No.And please don’t bring it up, because I know he’s “not my bitch.”But when you take forever to do something you said you’d do and fill the interim with hocking (out of date, damaged)crap, vacationing six months out of the year, and playing cruel jokes like announcing on your blog how “THE WAIT IS OVER!!!…for reprinted Wild Cards,” people get understandably upset and are well within their rights to question your commitment.Sucking his dick won’t get the book written any faster than roasting his ass for it, so really both sides are at a loss.But the person questioning it is much less a douche than the person making every possible excuse is some kind of pathetic sycophant.

    I love these books.I love the story, I love the world, I love the show.But I really, really hate that man.

  40. GaR
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    metalgoddessamb,

    Why? He writes some pretty awesome books using early ’90s technology.

    tysnow,

    Nah, I don’t think it’s worth it. My writing isn’t worth stealing; the only hardship would be embarassment.

    Anyway, I think WordPerfect is better than WordStar :P

  41. andrea
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,
    I´m reading the last posts and … i´ve nothing to say. I´m so bored (sick in bed for days) nothing NOTHING bothers me anymore.
    I´m so lost… just came here at this hour on a saturday night because I´ve a very important question to you. Very.
    I thought, don´t know why, that WiC, (you moderators I mean) were in England (?) and suddenly I found myself looking the time of these posts (I mean, hours, minutes, etc) and I think I was wrong (not be the last time).
    Pleaaase, be so kind and locate myself in time and space??? Fever is killing my last neurons.
    Oh! congratulations to you for your work here. I only complemented WiC before because I thought there was only one moderator and now I think there are three. Good night to all.

  42. metalgoddessamb
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    GaR:
    metalgoddessamb,

    Why?He writes some pretty awesome books using early ’90s technology.

    so if he had better, state of the art equipment and technology and updated programs, that would make his writing suck?

  43. Fire And Blood
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    WiC has three moderators. One on the east coast of the U.S.—the main man, the original, the lanky gunslinger with the copper hair—Winter Is Coming. One on the west coast of the U.S.—FaBulorious me. And one who roams wherever he pleases in Europe, because he is secretly a paid assassin working for the Soviets (or IS he?)—Hear Me Roar.

    We also have Rabbit, who is not our mascot (that would be Paul Gude)—she goes out and finds things for us. And is also secretly assigned to watch Hear Me Roar to make sure his murders don’t get out of hand. If they do, she has a kill order. We police ourselves.

    And we have sjwennings who just insults everyone. He’s not a moderator. We actually don’t really know who he is. But we think of it as hazing.

  44. andrea
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    people: are you always so smart and passionate so late at night??? I envy you… I envy everyone who´s not sick at the moment. Fight no more!!! you must drink some wine and be happy.

  45. John W
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    “he’s used to getting a couple of hundred fans at events. But thousands? ”

    He definitely deserves all the accolades he gets.

  46. OhWhoCares
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    andrea: Fight no more!!! you must drink some wine and be happy.

    I feel you Andrea!

  47. andrea
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    Oh thank you so much you FaBulorious you! It was killing me!!! Now everything is in place and I know that I´m just sick and confused, not crazy. Fiu!
    So, nobody in England or maybe Hear me Roar (don´t tell me his secrets or whereabouts just in case. I´m too far away but, you never know).

    Congratulations to Hear me Roar too, then!!! (I prefer to get alone with him).
    I spoke with your pet Paul the rabbit already I think and with sjwennings try not to. I´m too sensitive right now.
    You´re completely organized I see. That´s why the site receives so many hits and congrats. Good for you!

  48. andrea
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    OhWhoCares: I feel you Andrea!

    We´ve great wines down here at the end of the world… not that I might be taking some… because I´M SICK… damn it!!! But is the happiest idea that I can give you.

  49. GaR
    Posted July 9, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    metalgoddessamb,

    Probably not, but upgrading to new software can be a hassle; I had enough problems going from Office 2k to 2k7; skipping two decades of software can’t be easy.

    I guess what I mean is: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  50. andrea
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,
    don´t try to explain me again, don´t waste your energy with me today, just let me write all the nonsense that comes out of me this night.
    I was wrong again, i get it now.
    Rabbit isn´t Paul Gude (but Paul is some kind of pet with whom I spoke to). Rabbit is a female rabbit and sort of damage control agent of Hear me Roar.
    Buenas noches

  51. brian aufderheide
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    First I thought that it was going to be a ten book series but now he is talking seven books? He has been keeping busy finishing the first draft of Blackwater episode. However, I can understand those of us whom have read the first four books and being a little annoyed. Let’s be frank here. The fourth was not very good (can check out almost any site selling it and see its ratings drop considerably from books 1 to 3 as compared to 4). And if the ratings are not enough to tell you it had a huge drop off. Well, George ended it basically apologizing to the reader! Stating that he had so much material written that he could not simply put it into one book, and instead of chopping it in half, he decided to basically run half the story lines. But not to worry he says since most of it is written the new book would come out in a year. Well my friends it is six years later… And even if you can look past that half the storylines are missing the writing is pretty uneven. At times George is his brilliant self and at others you are almost screaming as another seemingly small part character POV is written. I will be honest I am looking forward eagerly for book 5 but with a lot of trepidation on what I will find in it.

  52. GaR
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    brian aufderheide,

    It was never supposed to be ten books; originally it was only to be a trilogy.

    I really like Feast. It is good and I don’t get sad about it.

  53. Fire And Blood
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    Yes, Paul Gude is like a pet. A Chia pet.

  54. MasterKat
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    So let’s say HBO’s tv show “Game of Thrones” remains popular and gets the green light to tell the entire Song of Ice and Fire saga… Even if you split one of the books into 2 seasons, doesn’t that mean he has 7 years to write 2 books? And he’s taking at least one year off from writing the next installment. Given George R.R. Martin’s inability to hit a deadline (not nec. a criticism, just an observation), isn’t HBO feeling a bit anxious about this? Frankly I’m surprised they agreed to produce the show before the penultimate book went to print. I’m nervous for GoT.

  55. Hilda
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    Thank you! ITA. I know he is busy,he has a life,ect but really why make the fans wait so long for a new book. If it were me,i would write my ass off.

    V.C. Andrews managed to write most of her best work and outlines,extra chapters,for future books before she died. Same for Robert Ludlum. I just don’t have the patience to wait!

  56. Rhiannon Jung
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I’ll be there!

  57. Hilda
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    OhWhoCares,

    Don’t fuck with Robert Pattinson! LOL!

  58. Michelle
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    As far as writing the books go…it takes as long as it takes. Now I’m a fairly new reader, so my wait hasn’t been nearly as long. I get where people are coming from on the waiting. I thought the three years between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix was a long time! lol But I would much rather have the book be good as opposed to fast. If that means 3-4+ years, then so be it. I’ll still be here when it’s finished.

    For the record, I love AFFC. It’s my second favorite after ASoS. :)

  59. GaR
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Hilda,

    Luckily it’s not you, it’s GRRM, so regardless of how long it takes we can pretty confident of getting one of the finest fantasy novels out.

    I know which I’d prefer.

  60. andrea
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood:
    andrea,

    Yes, Paul Gude is like a pet. A Chia pet.

    Chia seeds (used by the Incas) are good for cholesterol, that I know… so is Paul?
    Now I have to investigate the meaning of Chia pet!!!
    Lets see if I understood what Paul Gude is:

    1. Paul is a pet or a seed
    2. Paul is a good pet with Inca seeds that keeps your health
    3. Paul comes from a seed that keeps your Inca pet healthy
    4. Paul is a seed that speaks to people
    5 . Paul is a pet that speaks to people (or just to me)
    6. Paul is a peruvian Inca with no seeds or pets
    7. Paul lowers your cholesterol

    Don´t really know now, you´re confusing a helpless sick person.

  61. paulgude
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    It’s kind of a mix between 4 & 7.

  62. andrea
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    paulgude:
    andrea,

    It’s kind of a mix between 4 & 7.

    Oh, Hi Paul Gude! it´s all clear then!!! I can go to sleep now and perhaps regain some neurons.

  63. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    Fantastic summary of WiC.net FaB, you should add this to the ‘About this Site’ page! :-)

    Btw, I can understand GRRM not being able to start writing for a couple of months, I’m sure his schedule can be completely filled with other stuff. That doesn’t take away though that obviously he is not the most efficient writer out there (that prize goes to Brandon Sanderson). Ok, obviously the way he works makes him write very good(*) stories, but this doesn’t mean he could not work out a more efficient way while maintaining that same quality. Changing his writing programme would be one very easy change (c’mon, with specialist help, GRRM should be smart enough to completely figure out some ‘new’ software in about a week’s time) that could provide him extra writing time on his many hours waiting in airports and on planes and in hotels etc. (I for one am always happy to have my laptop along to do some work, makes the waiting time pass by much quicker!) Granted, none of what we say could or would change his (non-/re-/rerererere-)writing habbits, but the 2nd order complaining of über-fans telling ‘bad’ fans that you can’t complain about it for that very reason always makes me cringe harder than the 1st order complaining…

    *I won’t call them Great untill ADWD and the last books correct some of the few things that went astray in ASOS (e.g. Catelyn’s resurection) and the unbalance that is AFFC…

  64. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    paulgude:
    andrea,

    It’s kind of a mix between 4 & 7.

    So basically a shrink that lower’s people’s cholesterol? You could be the wealthiest man on this planet if that were true!

  65. andrea
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Tar Kidho,

    yes! perfect idea! jijiji

  66. Ginny
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    I was just earlier today complaining about people who treat actors like they aren’t people. Posting nasty things about their looks and judging them on insane, trivial things. Can you guys understand that GRRM is a person. And not only a person, but a really nice person who deserves respect as any decent person would.

    If you want to have an opinion on his work or anything else, that’s fine. If you want to be frustrated because you wish you had more books to read, that’s fine too. And if he personally did something bad to you, then by all means bitch away.

    But if what you are saying is not something you would say to someone’s face, then DON’T SAY IT.

  67. Alexander Dubrovsky
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    MasterKat:
    So let’s say HBO’s tv show “Game of Thrones” remains popular and gets the green light to tell the entire Song of Ice and Fire saga… Even if you split one of the books into 2 seasons, doesn’t that mean he has 7 years to write 2 books? And he’s taking at least one year off from writing the next installment. Given George R.R. Martin’s inability to hit a deadline (not nec. a criticism, just an observation), isn’t HBO feeling a bit anxious about this? Frankly I’m surprised they agreed to produce the show before the penultimate book went to print. I’m nervous for GoT.

    The greenlight will be on yearly basis, depending on how much money the series will make for HBO. At least 7 seasons for such a complex and costly series is not something that can be taken for granted. Let’s see how long True Blood will last.
    So I would suggest to everyone who’s worried because the series will catch up with the books to wait at least until the series start dealing with later half of AFFC+ADWD, which, in most pessimistic scenario of 1 book per season no matter the length, will happen around 2015. In this case the writing for the sixth season will start in 2016, giving GRRM ~2.5 years to finish each of the 2 remaining books. Even his editors say that it’s a plausible thing.

  68. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    (Utterly OT)

    Rhiannon Jung,

    Whenever I see your name I have to think of one of music’s best live performances ever: Fleetwood Mac Rhiannon Live 1976 (especially the second half)

  69. Balerion
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    On HBO television:
    2011 Game of Thrones
    2012 Clash of Kings
    2013 Storm of swords ( 1 season??)
    2014 Feast for Crows
    2014 Dance with Dragons ( season??)
    2015 ………..

    I imagine Storm of Swords and/or Feast for Crows/Dance with Dragons need more seasons but GRRM has to hurry up because HBO will catch up with him writing.

  70. Hear Me Roar
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    Thank you!
    You’d like to get alone with me, though? Whoa, easy there :D I appreciate your love, but I’m taken ;)

  71. EdibleBrain
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I’m a newcomer to the world of ASoIaF fandom so I’m sure this has been said before but I’ve read GRRM’s wiki page, familiarised myself with his background and I’m aware that his books are not the sole priority in his life, which I respect- the man has obviously played a major role in the development of the scifi/fantasy genre and fandom over the past few decades. I think it’s great that he has as much interaction with his fans as he does across all of his projects and I’m aware that patience is a valuable trait to have as a fan of his work.
    I am very new to the series, having picked up my first book only a couple of months ago and I can only guess at the agony more long serving fans have experienced over the last few years and the joy and excitement HBO’s series and the release of ADWD must inspire

  72. Pete
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    For those who are astonished/puzzled/bewildered by GRRM’s choice of word processing software, you may find this article worth a read: WordStar – A Writer’s Word Processor by Robert Sawyer (note the date it was written :)). This is probably the key idea of his argument:

    I’ve concluded that there are two basic metaphors for pre-computer writing. One is the long-hand manuscript page. The other is the typewritten page. Most word processors have decided to emulate the second — and, at first glance, that would seem to be the logical one to adopt. But, as a creative writer, I am convinced that the long-hand page is the better metaphor.

    Sawyer believes that WordStar follows the long-hand page metaphor, which makes it a better tool for creative writers.

    On a related note, there’s a modern movement of some professional writers towards the full-screen no-distractions editing environment available with apps such as WriteRoom and JDarkRoom. A few articles on the topic – Goodbye Cruel Word, That Green Again, An Interface Of One’s Own.

    The Wikipedia article on WordStar is also interesting. Note especially that Martin doesn’t even use the latest version of WordStar (version 7.0, released in December 1992), he still uses version 4.0 (released in 1987). :-)

  73. EdibleBrain
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Bah, accidentally published that comment before I’d finished, and when trying to edit I’m told I don’t have permission. Erk.

    I meant to add that I feel its unlikely that the series will get a full 7+ seasons; it’s just not that common in tv these days- especially amongst genre shows. I’m sure if any show has the potential to buck the trend it’s this one but I’m happy to take it one season at a time and be thankful for what I can get.

    Regarding GRRM’s trouble with deadlines I’d simply point out that man obviously surrounds himself with capable people who no doubt assist him planning his very busy schedule. Should writing assume a higher priority due to publisher or HBO demands I’m sure George will find himself with plenty of time to complete the task.

  74. Shock Me
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    If I were GRRM and I had a pile of dough as high as his, I don’t know that I’d be in as much a hurry as his fans want him to be. I’d take some time to enjoy the success and only sit down to write again when I had a clear idea of where I wanted the story to go and I’d only do that if I needed the cash and were sick of people asking for the next book.

    If I were GRRM, I’d giggle every morning because I was already finished with the tale and was holding it back just to mess with you. Then I would wait until the publisher was absolutely losing their minds and brush the dust of the manuscript and haul it into their offices with a hand cart.

    Thanks for throwing us a bone on Tuesday GRRM. Live long and finish.

  75. Eagle55555
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    George REALLY hates people busting his balls about when the next book will be published. Everyone should read the April article by Laura Miller (New Yorker Magazine) about it:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/11/110411fa_fact_miller

  76. Skyweir
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Adrian,

    Really? You hate him? For not writing a book fast enough for you?
    That must have been a great problem for you, not being able to read the next book in a fantasy series you love at exactly the time you wanted to. I can see that, and it really puts the worlds suffering into perspective…yes, hate is the proper response here…

    I’m glad you have nothing more pressing to worry about in your life, so that you can waste time hating the man that provides you with books you love to read a bit to slowly for your personal taste.

  77. Ashara Dayne
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    How can anyone be negative with only two days to go? I’ve got my dancing shoes on, and they aint comming off until I’m done. (which will be a suprisingly short number of hours from the moment it is available. I may spend tomorrow night camped outside of a nearby Starbucks in cas the Kindle download is available a few hours early – (Amazon this about 100 times. It is NOT unthinkable). I won’t be alone, some of friends will be doing this too.

  78. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Josh Atreides,

    Thanks for the reply Josh, and for the spoiler alert… (As the only person here probably) I actually don’t plan to read Dance when it comes out since I don’t enjoy re-reads, and hate to not being able to read a story in one go. I’ve read up to AFFC shortly after that came out, but now would have to re-read before Dance, and then would have to re-read everything again before the next book came out, and so on, and good as the read may be, I dread those repetitions. So for now I’ll also not read your reply, I’m sorry ;-)

    I truly hope I won’t unwillingly be fed too many spoilers here in the coming weeks, but even if(when?) that turns out to be false hope, I’d enjoy reading the final of the series more if I can start just one time over from the very beginning.

  79. spacechampion
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Tar Kidho:
    provide him extra writing time on his many hours waiting in airports and on planes and in hotels etc.

    You’d be happy with that at least until some airport employee steals that laptop with years of GRRM’s work on it. Seriously, that’s like guaranteed to happened.

  80. Knurk
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Ashara Dayne:
    How can anyone be negative with only two days to go? I’ve got my dancing shoes on, and they aint comming off until I’m done. (which will be a suprisingly short number of hours from the moment it is available.I may spend tomorrow night camped outside of a nearby Starbucks in cas the Kindle download is available a few hours early – (Amazon this about 100 times. It is NOT unthinkable).I won’t be alone, some of friends will be doing this too.

    I know, people already start complaining haha. Sometimes I hope he’ll be taking another 10 years for the next book to drive these people completely nuts. I can barely sleep these days with excitement, and I need my sleep to read the book in 2 days (can’t read for a couple of days after that, so I need to focus getting it done the first 2 days).

  81. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    spacechampion: You’d be happy with that at least until some airport employee steals that laptop with years of GRRM’s work on it.Seriously, that’s like guaranteed to happened.

    Huh? What about hand luggage?? And of course: multiple back-ups???

  82. OhWhoCares
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    neurons dont grow back haha!

  83. Mike Chair
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Leave That Boy Alone

    Stephen King wrote his first draft of Dreamcatcher on paper with a notebook and a Waterman fountain pen, which he called “the world’s finest word processor.”
    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/people/Stephen-King/biography/

    I shake my head at the criticisms of GRRM. There is a great country music song called “Leave Them Boys Alone.” The lyrics address the hypocrisy in criticizing the behavior of certain U.S. country music singers and suggest “Why don’t you leave them boys alone. Let ‘em sing their song? … If you don’t like the way they sing, who’s gonna cast the first stone?”

    The piece was written and performed by several artists, including Hank Williams, Jr., who often sings of his father. Hank senior died tragically at the age of 29. His death was attributed to drug and alcohol problems linked to a spinal condition. Many believe that those around him pushed him in certain career directions and this, also, exacerbated his problems.

    The third verse goes like this:

    “Hank Williams was the king of country soul
    My dad took me to see him in Lubbock but he didn’t show
    Now the people got mad and they all went home
    The first thing we did was put his records on.
    I guess we should have left him alone and let him sing his songs.”

    I know what I’m doing first thing Tuesday morning.
    What about you?

    Leave that boy alone. Let him sing his Song of Ice and Fire.

  84. Mimi Miéville
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    really bummed that i won’t be at comic-con! but kyle from the podcast will be there, so i absolutely require the two of you to meet and make awkward conversations about manwoody. promise me, fabio.

  85. OhWhoCares
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    FaB, whats your twitter? I can’t seem to find it and wanted to be able to follow for comic con :D

  86. Grant Gould
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Reading the negative/snarky comments about GRRM and his writing approach, etc., man, it drives me NUTS.
    Great art isn’t something you can schedule. It isn’t something you can chip away at an hour a day. Inspiration strikes, or it doesn’t… Just let GRRM do his thing and be grateful for the amazing stories he’s been giving us. Adding pressure and making criticisms will only slow him down more. Positivity, people – it’s your friend!! :P

    That said, I can’t wait for Comic-Con!! The Game of Thrones panel is the ONE panel I’m making time to go see, so I’m really excited. :)

    And, yes, that picture of GRRM and Dinklage is awesomeness. Love it!

  87. sjwenings
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Grant Gould: Great art isn’t something you can schedule.

    Well, George just did.

  88. Grant Gould
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    And I’m sure he instantly regretted saying it the moment it came out of his mouth.

  89. Aldaris
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I find it hilarious that some people are attacking his choice of software now.

    Dear god, this man has some messed up fans. I’m still giggling.
    :-)

    As for that New Yorker article that mentioned there are dedicated hate sites just for bitching about the time it takes to finish the books: color me astonished. Or maybe not. After all, bitching about stuff you think you deserve is – besides porn – seemingly one of the main reasons the internets exists…

  90. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Great art isn’t something you can schedule.

    How about pulp fantasy fiction? Can that be scheduled?

  91. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I find the black-whiteness of most (internet) discussions so tiring. Would be nice if more people would try to look at a topic from more than one side…

    Here’s a personal example that makes me question the ‘you can’t force art’ viewpoint. I’m in research and, rightfully so, have to write reports and publish peer-reviewed articles in order to keep the funding organisations happy (and secure my own future). As such, I am often forced (like many people in other types of jobs) to work long days when a deadline approaches, even though performing the research and writing up the results is entirely a creative process, and as such quite similar to an author writing a novel. Would my research be better if I had more time? Maybe. I simply don’t know. Fact is, without the external factors pushing me to ‘get things done’, I would be less efficient with the tax-payer’s money. And, also important in the light of this discussion, I’ve known some of my most creative moments in those times I worked frantically to meet a deadline. One of the best creative spells I ever had was during an 8h train ride, and it gave me the key to publish my first article. (Hence my idea that GRRM using software that actually will run at any computer might be good for him. Then again, as a writer, I can imagine that he would always carry SOME ‘recording tool’ with him in case of a sudden flash of inspiration…)

    I’m not saying GRRM is not a good worker – basically we don’t know how much he works on a regular writing day, so how could we judge – but why should fans not be allowed to be frustrated about his working habbits? Apart from his publishers (who apparently let him on a very long leash), are we not very alike his ‘external funding organization’, and shouldn’t we be allowed to pressure him if it looks like he’s never going to end a series? (I’m just throwing in some questions here to provoke thinking) Would that criticism aid GRRM in writing faster/better? Well, as in my own example, I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that. Maybe the criticism of Dance taking so long to finish DID push him beyond the difficulties he encountered, (and/)or maybe it actually upset him so much that it slowed his progress at some point? Probably not even George knows the answers to those questions.

    Everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, but I just wished more people would understand that opinions don’t always have to be extremes…

    [edit: Most of all I really wish for some real Season 2 news so that we can go back to more intersting discussions]

  92. Aldaris
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho:

    Apart from his publishers (who apparently let him on a very long leash), are we not very alike his ‘external funding organization’, and shouldn’t we be allowed to pressure him if it looks like he’s never going to end a series?

    There is a very simple word for that “external funding organization”, which is “customer”. Buying something in a store doesn’t come with a membership badge and seat on the board in most cases.
    And just because there is a demand for a product does not oblige anyone to meet that demand in any particular timeframe.

    As to your writing tips, I’m sure the idea to write in other places has occured to him. At least I would be very surprised if Martin chimed in here to say “Wow! I could write on the plane or train! In several decades of this being my chosen occupation I never, ever thought of that!
    ;-)

  93. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Aldaris: There is a very simple word for that “external funding organization”, which is “customer”

    I was just making a parallel with my own work situation, and taking your words out of their context in much the same way you did with mine, I could have just replied with “There’s actually a fundamental difference between the two”…

  94. Aldaris
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho,

    I am genuinely sorry if you feel I somehow took what you said out of context. I fail to see how, however. I also fail to see the fundamental difference you mention. Could you elaborate?

  95. Wastrel
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s valid to say that taking a break after finishing a novel is a good idea, creatively. On the other hand, he didn’t say that. He said he couldn’t start until then – so either he can start before then but is lying to us (understandable but bad), or he can start but he’s deceiving himself (most likely, I think, and not a good sign either), or he really literally can’t write anything for another six months, in which case he’s being over-worked and someone isn’t prioritising his commitments very well, given that the series has put him under time pressure. Whichever it is, I really hope he doesn’t have to take 6 months out of every year, given his already slow writing pace.

    On the “great art can’t be forced” line: I do have some sympathy with the sentiment, but there are two clear problems with this reasoning.

    First: this isn’t great art. Sorry, but it’s pulp entertainment. It’s quite good pulp entertainment, and like all good pulp entertainment it has a dimension of something deeper as well, but let’s not deceive ourselves.

    Second: quite clearly great art CAN be forced. The great composers, for instance, until perhaps the mid-19th century all worked under great pressure, including time pressure, from their employers and their patrons – Bach’s cantatas, for instance, were composed at a hectic rate because his contract demanded a new cantata every Sunday. The great painters of an earlier age often often faced even stricter controls.

    [On a related note: GRRM IS our bitch. He writes the books, we pay him the money, he enjoys an enviable lifestyle. He is accountable to us, and if he wants to profit from us he needs to please us. Moreover, given the implicit and explicit promises he and his publishers have made, I think it would be improper of him to retire from this relationship without fair warning. Of course I respect the right of artists to not be bitches: to exercise this right, all he has to do is write all the books for himself and not publish them. Once you enter the commerceplace, once you commoditise your product, inevitably you will be held up to scrutiny just as any other supplier of goods and services is - when your career depends on an audience, you give up your independence as regards your career. Besides, what's bad about being a bitch? Much of the greatest art is produced through the process of having to be somebody's bitch. Oscar Wilde, for instance, excels precisely because he was society's bitch, forced to take money and prestige from those he despised, finding ways to mock and criticise those people while still pleasing them; Shostakovich was denounced by Stalin twice, and many of his friends and patrons and colleagues were murdered by the state, and as a result he had to find ways to place both his political views and his artistic creativity within a shell that was sufficiently traditional and pro-government that he would not be killed. It's often this tension between artist-as-creator and artist-as-pragmatist that gives birth to the highest art, as one acts to impose discipline on the other.
    Gaiman and friends seem to want it both way: the sacred creative independence of the romantic artist starving in a garret, AND the massive salaries, comfortable lifestyles and semi-celebrity statuses of an entertainer who pleases their audience. But the whole point of the artistic myth was that they gained a sacred status BECAUSE they were willing to starve in garrets rather than be simple entertainers. The moment GRRM releases all his 'art' for free on the internet, I will immediately stop criticising anything to do with his professionalism. Until then, he IS a professional, and it's called 'professionalism' for a reason...]

    I don’t think any of this is particularly a sense of entitlement as regards GRRM: if he never writes another book, I’ll cope perfectly well. It’s only the good reviews for ADWD that have made me want to buy THIS book, let alone hypothetical future ones. For me it’s a point of principle: if you accept somebody’s money, you don’t get to complain about them frowning when they hand it over.

  96. andrea
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:
    andrea,

    Thank you!
    You’d like to get alone with me, though? Whoa, easy there :D I appreciate your love, but I’m taken ;)

    FaB said to me pretty dangerous things about you so I just want to “get ALONG” with you???? this is ok?
    As I said in an earlier post my english gives me this kind of problems.

  97. HandmaidenofDany
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Everyone read ADWD REALLY sloooooowwwwwwwwwww! LOL

  98. Chris77
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho: Thanks for the reply Josh, and for the spoiler alert… (As the only person here probably) I actually don’t plan to read Dance when it comes out since I don’t enjoy re-reads, and hate to not being able to read a story in one go. I’ve read up to AFFC shortly after that came out, but now would have to re-read before Dance, and then would have to re-read everything again before the next book came out, and so on, and good as the read may be, I dread those repetitions. So for now I’ll also not read your reply, I’m sorry ;-)

    I truly hope I won’t unwillingly be fed too many spoilers here in the coming weeks, but even if(when?) that turns out to be false hope, I’d enjoy reading the final of the series more if I can start just one time over from the very beginning.

    Since I first started reading in late December and finished AFFC last week, I am already on my reread ( or rather relisten, bought the audiobooks). I reeeeaaally love those audiobooks, I hear them in my car or walking the dog. I haven’t got AFFC as audiobook, since it i not read by Dotrice, but the other 3 are great and I bet you could quickly catch up with Dance…

  99. Rogue Entity
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Did you pay to see the last Tom Cruise (or insert any other actor/actress here) movie? And did you get to see it? Good! Have you paid already for the next Tom Cruise movie? No? Ah, so you won’t feel to bad then if he decides to retire and never make another one (even a sequel).

    You’ve preordered ADWD? If not, then you have not paid him for his work. You (presumedly) paid for his previous books, which you have received and no doubt feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth. If you have not aleady paid for ADWD then he owes you nothing. If he retired right now, he would owe you nothing, but your argument seems to suggest otherwise.

    If M&M/Mars discontinued your favorite candy bar, or if Kellogg’s stopped producing Corn Flakes, are these companies then your bitch?

    Sigh…the mentality of some people. I guess GM owes you a new car for discontinuing the Saturn brand.

  100. Maxwell James
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    I don’t have a strong opinion on whether or not GRRM “is our bitch,” but I am fine with him feeling pressured to finish the series. And he is now, which is a good thing. As for the six months thing, I think almost everyone here is ascribing far too much meaning to it. It’s a one-off line in a pretty brief interview; he knows that he has to keep the pace if he wants the HBO series to be all it can be, and it’s pretty clear he wants that.

    First: this isn’t great art. Sorry, but it’s pulp entertainment. It’s quite good pulp entertainment, and like all good pulp entertainment it has a dimension of something deeper as well, but let’s not deceive ourselves.

    I’d say check back in a couple hundred years. Plenty of what we now call great art was very much pulp entertainment in its time. No one thought Hitchcock was a great artist in the 1940′s and 50′s, and no one thought Shakespeare was a great poet until the 19th century. FWIW I think ASOIAF is better than many literary fiction “instant classics” of the past few decades, but I have no idea if it can stand the test of time, and no one else knows yet either.

    Second: quite clearly great art CAN be forced.

    Yes, great art (and all art, for that matter) can be forced, and probably should be. But fans overstate their own importance in that regard. We don’t matter, and there’s no point in acting like we should.

    Despite years of fan complaints, George spent 11 years composing Feast and Dance because there was nothing forcing him to move faster. I suspect this lack of pressure, plus the inherent complexity of the narrative, is also what made Feast such a disappointment. And he knows that – see his old essays on the Wild Cards series. Whatever his other faults, GRRM is someone who has standards for his own work and knows when he’s not living up to them.

    But what did speed him up – and what probably resulted in Dance being better than Feast if that is in fact the case – was having his work picked up by HBO. That level of exposure puts a kind of pressure on him that satirical websites and comments by ornery fans can never hope to match.

    Which is why I think all the handwringing about his pace is misplaced. He feels the pressure now, because a lot more people are paying attention than ever have before, including some very influential people with lots of money. He has a chance to establish this series as his legacy. And if he fucks it up, it will all be on him.

  101. Steve
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Rogue Entity,

    Those aren’t good analogies.

    George was paid a rather large advance for his books, which is mostly based on the success of books 1-3. So he definitely owes his publishers some professionalism, which he sorely lacks. As for the fans, especially the ones who have been with him as long as I have dating back to AGOT, he doesn’t really owe us anything even though the success of ASOIAF was mostly due to word of mouth up until the tv show hit. I personally got almost 30 different people to read the books and every single one of them has become fans. So he does rely on the goodwill of his fans but at the end of the day, he can do whatever he wants and unless the fans speak by not buying the books, which they won’t, then there is nothing we can do about it.

    But as George has a right to take his time, the fans have a right to complain about how long it takes him and about the number of vacations he takes. He probably only writes for about 6-8 months out of the year, which I am sure makes his publishers mad and eventually will make the HBO executies mad when the show catches up to him, which it will.

  102. Epic the Suezilla
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    GRRM is also not exactly prioritizing the writing of SoIaF. SoIaF is really the only books that sell he’s written. In other words, it’s really what most of his fans want from him. They don’t want shooting the breeze on a blog, not other books he edits, not licensed SoIaF products, or collector’s items. So you can expect a little negative feedback when that’s all they get for x amount of years. Especially when that man’s private life is so present on the web by his blog.

    Add to that GRRM is old, obese, four eyed, and pasty. He’s the picture of laziness. This aging 70′s slightly perverted uber-nerd is practically begging for bullying abuse a la web; anything that smug face does ‘wrong’ will get him some anonymous criticism.

    As GRRM has stated repeatedly, he is lucky to have his ‘external funds’ or ‘customers’ or ‘fans’ or however you want to paint it. Of course he is! But he also knows he’s not going to lose his fans. Especially these days. He can do anything he wants and you just have to wait.

    While waiting, go ahead and vent on the internet. I dont’ see why people are so against complaining… it is our due. Personally I believe GRRM can’t finish a story and cannot bring himself to admit it, therefore, I can’t complain at him, I just pity him. New Yorker chose the topic of angry fans because there’s nothing really exciting about GRRM besides that. He’s like a normal guy who wrote fantasy novels; not exactly NY conversation material.

    Personally, I don’t care when he writes his books. I’m just hoping the booksellers overstock so I can buy the damn hardcover in 2 months for $1 with a black line on it. Oh, and I’ll probably download a hacked ebook from germany first to see if I want to buy that $1 hardcover.

  103. EdibleBrain
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Epic the Suezilla,

    Wow. Just wow.

  104. GaR
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Rogue Entity,

    I’ve preordered Dance, but my card doesn’t get charged until it ships, so I haven’t paid for it yet.

    Obviously perordering at a physical book store isn’t like that, just thought I’d nitpick.

    EdibleBrain,

    Don’t feed the trolls, yo :)

  105. Knurk
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    EdibleBrain:
    Epic the Suezilla,

    Wow. Just wow.

    Amen, more shouldn’t be said…

  106. Epic the Suezilla
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    … Guys, read without prejudice. You might disagree with my observations, or an exageration of how cheap I am, or my theory that he’s can’t finish a story. But I have never complained about when he writes his books, or anything else about him. So I would appreciate not being called a Troll, even though I am not entirely surprised you stooges are still (and universally) incapable of being a little more open minded.

  107. Ser_G
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I gotta love posts prefaced with “I don’t have a sense of entitlement but…” that then proceed to display a considerable sense of entitlement.

  108. Knurk
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Epic the Suezilla,

    I don’t call you a troll, I am simply amazed by your mentality.

  109. EdibleBrain
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m just amazed how fast this thread turned nasty. One minute excited speculation about Comicon, the next; petty accusations of laziness and fan contempt. I’m used to seeing this kind of swing on anonymous boards, had expected better here.
    Makes me sad guys.

  110. saluk
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    I see two sides.

    On the one hand, when you pick up a book in a series, there is some level of commitment you expect. It’s not the same as Tom Cruise retiring. Most people, if you read the first book in a planned series and like it, feel like they are investing in something. It’s a little more than just, “well if I like this book, and he writes another, maybe I’ll buy that.” It’s more like, “this is a good series, I’m going to get my friends to read it so it is successful, hopefully that success will enable to series to be completed.”

    Grrm is not your bitch, that’s a stupid way to think of it, but there are certainly expectations to be met, and it’s not useful to pretend that there aren’t. If you don’t want people to have expectations, end the story in one book, and don’t give readers an expectation at the end of a middle book of the series of a timeframe for the next part of the story :)

    On the other hand, it is more than “Great Art can’t be rushed”. Criticizing someones art is one thing, but criticizing their process is another. It is very simple to either objectively, or subjectively judge a work of art on its own terms. Whether you like it, whether it accomplishes what you think it is trying to accomplish, whether it resonates with readership, and whether it will be long lasting in a meaningful way, or what have you.

    But how can a process truly be judged? None of us, I assume, know George personally. We have theories and ideas, and statements he has made that we interpret in various ways. But how are we to know what effect a proposed change in the process (spend more time writing, use better software, go to less signings, burn wild cards from history, eat less, etc) would have on the resulting work? We don’t know if any of those things would make the book come out faster, and we don’t know if any of those things would have a positive or negative effect on the story. It is completely opaque to us.

    And more than that, none of us are in a position to ask George to behave in such a way. People who are close to him have that right; we absolutely do not. We don’t know enough about how his creative mind works. I think it’s maybe fair to tell him not to do so many signings – but then there are the 1000′s of fans who show up and tell him to come to their town.

    Mixed messages much?

    We can criticize the timeframe, we can complain that the book when we read it is not a high enough quality to justify the timeframe, but I don’t see how criticizing how George spends his life is any fans business. It’s not any better than gossiping about which celebrities are dating or cheating on each other or pregnant. Which I guess many of you probably feel is fine :)

    Just know what you are doing when you say those things about George, because it’s the same thing.

  111. Tar Kidho
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    saluk,

    Now this is a nicely reasoned opinion. I salute you Saluk!

  112. Jo
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, saluk. That was well said.

  113. tysnow
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    GRRM is not at anyone’s beck and call (with one exception, and that is Paris, and I am not talking about France either), but you can rest assured he is well aware of the commitment to GoT on HBO’s part and will plan accordingly when it comes to writing the next installment. He even has said he would like 2 seasons for SoS, and probably 3 for Crows and Dragons. I have a feeling HBO might give him at least one extra season, what I am hoping for though is a filler season where we get a prequel mini-series covering Roberts rebellion and ToJ, that would be my perfect idea to extend the life of the show to give Martin the time he needs to finish the books.

  114. Fire And Blood
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    If I ever need the “odd man out” opinion I can always count on you, though not without your usual pomposity. (One could argue your brainier-than-thou facade is a large part of your charm, however.) In your opinion, A Song of Ice and Fire is not art. And you’re usually not dead wrong, but here we have a glaring error.

    I take Webster’s view that art is “the conscious use of skill and imagination.” And art is of course subjective. It doesn’t take the controlling board of TIME Magazine or a secret, cloaked council tucked beneath the Louvre to declare something art. It doesn’t even take a wait-and-see approach, as some would suggest. It takes one person to think of it as art. Art is the most subjective thing on the planet. If something is created with the intent of being art, and no one else agrees that it is art—it’s still art to that one person.

    “Meat is Murder” is art. The Larry David Show is art. a-ha’s fourth album, East of the Sun, West of the Moon is art, because me and three other people still think it is.

    A Song of Ice and Fire is art not because it is being crafted skillfully or with imagination, not wholly. It is art because an asston of people believe it is the most gripping, or the most unique, or the most epic story they’ve ever read. That’s really all it takes.

    The debate should not be whether or not this story is art—a losing argument if there ever was one—it should only be about the quality of that art.

  115. brian aufderheide
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Really my criticism lies more in saying that the turn around for this last book would be one year since he had already written so much of it already. Well six years later we see that clearly was not the case. He was completely disingenuous. I hope he took the time to make a much better book than A Feast of Crows. There is no way that HBO will do a single season solely on that book. Too many storylines are completely gone. So some characters we have not heard anything for 8 years or so… Book 3 could easily be two seasons of good material so the producers will have something to work with to supplement the fourth book somewhat.

  116. Abyss
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    You have my absolute agreement. In short:

    If you celebrate it, it’s art, if you don’t, it isn’t.
    - John Cage

  117. Baldwin IV.
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    That so many people who don’t like modern fantasy are enthralled by Martins writing shows that there is something more to his writing than it being just good fantasy. If it transcends the genre barriers there has to be. If you looked on twitter during or shortly after the series was broadcasted you read thinks like: “Normally I’m not into fantasy but this is good” and other thinks like it.

    I think for one thing the story is simply very good. Good story’s will always get a following.

    But I also think that the structure of the novels with its POVs that makes it outstanding. It shows us the flawed process of decision-making which is inherent to each of us. It shows us what consequences (seemingly right) decisions can have. And it shows us what it means to make a decision, without knowing al the facts you should know. And it shows us that what is granted for one person isn’t for the next. In some regards, I think Martins World (and especially his characters) are reflections of the sometimes diffuse world we live in. There is no more Black/White, the World Wars are long over as is the cold war with the thread of the Atomic-War. The dangers are more subtle today. Terrorism, threatening unemployment, earth-warming, debt crises, natural catastrophes, etcetera.

    Today there is a perceived lingering threat which does not really materialize. I think that is reflected in Martins writing and in the thoughts of his characters on their world and its people.

    For me, there was never a book or a series of books which gripped my like A Song of Ice and Fire. So if this books are no Art, then f**k Art, because this is better.

  118. Epic the Suezilla
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    I don’t disagree with you necessarily, as a result of perspective. But I think by ‘great art’ in literature, it is usually assumed (by people with various degrees in literature) that what is being referred is the body that composes a western tradition of literature since Homer or that arguably deserves to be in it. And which automatically excludes any ‘high fantasy’ novels. No matter how many ‘people’ like SoIaF, it is just not ‘great art’ by that standard. In fact I think that standard doesn’t think much of ‘people’.

    So to use the term great art, it is fighting words. I’m pretty sure most people here know that I’m pointing out the facts you already know, so unless the motive is to force out another unproductive ‘genre fiction should be considered as high art’ argument, I’m not sure why you are bring out those guns. It will only end with distinguishing the difference between Hugos and Pulitzers, and people saying ‘I don’t know what art is, but I know what I like.’

    To put it in perspective even Tolkien current king of fantasy will never get there. Lord Dunsany will never get there. Hans Christian Andersen will never get there. Poe is in the scope of great american lit perhaps because of the american gothic tradition JC Oates loves to trace. P K Dick perhaps will get there because he writes like a vietname vet on LSD (historically important in the US) . Culturally relevant books, authors who draw from their ‘times’, are relevant. And okay, Poe and Dick do a pretty good job of bringing out a human conscience that resonates in a timeless way.

    And overall, for whatever same old reasons, most likely a good old fashioned Harold Bloom argument, GRRM’s writing will never be ‘great art’, even if he is remembered like Tolkien, which is unlikely.

    If you are a big fan and love SoIaF, there is no reason to convince yourself that GRRM belongs in a group above his own lit caste. Just enjoy it (for what it is). And it is great cliff-hangin’ fantasy that is accessible by non-fantasy fans.

  119. Strong Belwas
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Usually I hate this whole debate, but I just thought of something…

    Stephen King’s magnum opus was the Dark Tower series. He wrote one book every seven years or so (right?), whenever he had the creative energy to return to the world. The first four books are fabulous. Then he got hit by a car, and, confronted with his own mortality, decided that he couldn’t wait to finish the series. It needed to get done NOW. So he finished the last three books in the series as quickly as he could, and they came out TERRIBLY.

    The Dark Tower is an excellent case in point for why sometimes it’s best to take your time.

    There are countless differences between King and Martin, and I don’t think this analogy makes any kind of decisive case. Could George work harder? Probably. Would this mean the books would get done faster? Almost certainly. And if he did this, would the books be at the same consistently high quality as the first four (hopefully five)? Ah, there’s the rub.

  120. brian aufderheide
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Belwas,
    I cannot agree more. Is there a worse book to end a series than what King wrote? I mean here we are were the two protagonists face off and then a kid just draws the foe out of existence? I think King just got lost in the journey more in having a real conclusion and at times I wonder if George has an outline for how this will finish or not. But it has been a fun ride. And I am probably in the minority here but I like the HBO series better than the books. I think they have done a wonderful job with this material and have added many excellent scenes that were not even in the book. That said I am happy for George to get a boost from this and get some more credit.

  121. Eric Bigpicture
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Strong Belwas:
    … And if he did this, would the books be at the same consistently high quality as the first four (hopefully five)? Ah, there’s the rub.

    You mean the first three (and hopefully the fifth) I believe? ;)

  122. obsidian
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s pretty presumptuous (and futile ) for us to pronounce on whether a thing is Art, Great Art , Semi or Demi-Art ..or whatever, since only time will determine that ( and to what degree ). Of course we’re entitled to our opinions , but we probably won’t live long enough to see our opinions become widely accepted as fact or dismissed as laughable. In the meantime , ” I know what I like ” is probably the best thing to go by.

    As far as process goes , there are still writers who use an old-fashioned typewriter ,and there are still authors who produce long hand manuscripts..because they’re at their most creative in that mode . And there are readers ready to snap up their work whenever it’s published. To assume that a writer of Martin’s stature doesn’t have to be careful about being hacked and plagiarized would just be silly in this day and age.

    He doesn’t owe it to any of us to produce at a given rate. We can buy his books or not ( in protest of the wait , if we like ..self defeating as that may seem ). He does owe it to his publishers to do promotional tours, signings,etc. in support of the work. And the more popular the author , the more demanding and time consuming those are likely to be. He knows his success or failure depends on whether anyone wants to read his work ; whether they’re interested in what he has to say in print or in person. That’s a gamble he’s been taking for more than 4 decades..most of his life ..and I’m sure it brought him a few lean times along the way ,as I’m sure that his hefty schedule has taken it’s toll in many ways.

    Yes, people are entitled to their opinions, but not everyone’s opinion is worthy in the judgement of society at large. Not every opinion is equally valid to any other. To be so verbally abusive to the person whose work one purports to admire is mean ( in the sense of being small as well as cruel ) and to be resentful , as some people seem to be , of his imagined earnings , after he’s dedicated most of his life to his work..seems the height of spitefulness to me.

  123. Eric Bigpicture
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Josh Atreides,

    I didn’t read your ADWD spoilers, and in my opinion that sort of comment has no place here, no matter what context you think it may have. It should be deleted.

  124. Titus Crow
    Posted July 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    This is totally unconfirmed but I know some people that work with HBO reps. Word is if the series is well received and it happens to catch up they will push on independently. Things could get interesting with two endings….

  125. Daniel Fox
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I somehow doubt that he will make it to book 7, unless he dramatically changes his style and standard of writing.

  126. DH87
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    I’m of the camp that believes if GRRM could write faster (assuming that speed is a virtue), he would. For all we know, he has tried and discovered that what he produces under a “deadline” is so substandard or otherwise unacceptable that it is a waste of everyone’s time or has to be so heavily rewritten that what seems “speedy” is in fact not. I’ve known bestselling authors whose publishers are panting for their new book throw one hundred thousand words into the fire without showing them to anyone.

    What writers find hard to say is, “I have no idea why some things I write are good, even great, and others are not. It all seems good when I write it. How would you like it if every day—everyday—you woke up not knowing whether the skills you used to earn your living were gone for good—-poof? That’s what we deal with. Some of us drink. Some of us procrastinate endlessly. Some of us have breakdowns and kill ourselves, like Virginia Woolf or Sylvia Plath, just after producing some of our greatest work. Some of us quit while we are ahead, like Harper Lee. Some of us continue to churn stuff out, to the increasing dismay of the critics and readers who used to be our fans. There isn’t a writer on earth who can guarantee that, because he wrote great things yesterday, he can do it today. Admitting all of this is a downer, however, so we come up with other stuff to say or, like J.D. Salinger, end up saying nothing at all, for decades.”

    Probably no one hears time’s winged chariot hurrying nearer than GRRM. He knows what the verdict will be if he’s unable to finish the series. He simply can’t do anything about it.

  127. The DarkStar
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Strong Belwas,

    I don’t like king. But I’ve heard for years n years everything he’s written post accident was terrible, not just dark tower.

  128. Ser Karnaan
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    im at less then 24 hours to go… My day involves waking up early, going for a nice walk and a power breakfast, then picking up my copy of Dance and ensconcing myself in a comfortable spot until 1016 pages have been poured over and consumed.

  129. Damryn of Dorne
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    So guys, been away for a day or two.. whats going on in this threa… whoah!

  130. obsidian
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Damryn of Dorne,

    ( Giggle ) Yep , I’ve been there.

  131. Hear Me Roar
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    andrea,

    Haha, I see. Just a type, your English is good enough.
    It’s okay, we’re friends :) and you should never ever believe everything FaB says ;)

  132. Hear Me Roar
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Just to note: I deleted, without reading, the ADwD spoiler, even if it was blacked out. We’ll be strict on that outside a dedicated post (upcoming).

  133. Ser Lemon Cakes
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    The Great Oscar Wild said it best “All art is quite useless” http://www.public.iastate.edu/~garden/art.html” rel=”nofollow”

    The arguement about what is’ worthy’ and ‘best’ has been a hot topic in music criticsm for the last several years (the poptimist versus rockist debate-see a good article about that here, though warning, it is from Slate for grudge holders: http://www.slate.com/id/2141418/). I think the popularity and aclaim of authors like Rowling and GRRM are bringing literature to a similar point soon I predict. A similar thing has been happening in TV for a while too-see Buffy, BSG, Lost and not GOT “genre” shows being better than 90% of traditionally higher brow fare.

    a-ha’s fourth album, East of the Sun, West of the Moon is art, because me and three other people still think it is.

    Are you freaking kidding me? I thought my friend Angel and I were the only two? Scoundrel Days is a work of genius, seriously!

  134. the goat
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Holy shit, FaB & I are gonna be in the same room, at the same time!?! With George and the Mother of Dragons!?!

    Pretty sure nothing important will happen. Honestly, the letdown will be biblical. It might even eclipse the Great Whinyness of the Lack of Direwolves, from back in 2011. But I doubt it.

    And for the record, I get your point, but East of the Sun, West of the Moon is not art. Its shit. For profit. 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds of Light is art. A deaf motherfucker could tell the difference. Arguing otherwise is like arguing that Joff should be forgiven.

  135. Knurk
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Two songs to get us through the day!

    (maybe time to post an official ADWD spoiler policy somewhere on the mainpage?)

  136. Mike Chair
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: A Song of Ice and Fire is art not because it is being crafted skillfully or with imagination, not wholly. It is art because an asston of people believe it is the most gripping, or the most unique, or the most epic story they’ve ever read. That’s really all it takes.

    My lawn is not art. I mow it. I water it. Occasionally, I fertilize it. It grows fine and looks really nice. Not art. My neighbor’s lawn, however, is art. Seriously, you should see this thing. It is deep green and thick and weed free and perfectly perfect. My neighbor let me step on it once. I weigh … over 170 pounds. I did not touch the ground — elevated solely by a dense fabric of grass. It felt like really expensive carpet. When I stepped off it sprang back with alacrity. He is always out there picking and pruning; shaping and clipping; feeding and treating. He mows it twice or three times per week. I’m not sure how much imagination he uses in its care. He’s nuts, to be sure. But, his lawn is epic. It’s a masterpiece.

  137. Josh Atreides
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Eric Bigpicture,

    To be honest it wasn’t really a spoiler but a speculation that I had that could be considered spoilery as retort to what someone said regarding the pointlessness of certain twists (see no spoilers) in the story. I am of the belief that there IS a reason why GRRM opted to include such twists. Anyway, sorry guys, I’m new here I was trying to defend GRRM’s work but if anything we’ve learned from these books is that the path to hell is paved with good intentions…

    *walks away with tail between legs*

  138. Kingthlayer
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Epic the Suezilla:
    Fire And Blood,

    I don’t disagree with you necessarily, as a result of perspective. But I think by ‘great art’ in literature, it is usually assumed (by people with various degrees in literature) that what is being referred is the body that composes a western tradition of literature since Homer or that arguably deserves to be in it. And which automatically excludes any ‘high fantasy’ novels. No matter how many ‘people’ like SoIaF, it is just not ‘great art’ by that standard. In fact I think that standard doesn’t think much of ‘people’.

    I agree with you here but come to a different conclusion – I think Tolkien may not be in that category today but may someday (it’s really too early to tell). In addition, I would be hard pressed to try to explain why the Iliad or the Odyssey are not “high-Fantasy”. In fact, there are thousands of examples of fantasy fiction that are considered classic art. Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Once and Future King, Beowulf, Don Quixote (with fantastic elements but maybe not pure fantasy), The Aeneid, countless theatrical works of the Middle Ages, the Magical Realism movement…and there are many I’m forgetting. These may not all fit into the “High Fantasy” genre but they are high art in the general opinion of scholarship. I think it’s interesting to note that serialized literature of Martin’s scale seems to rarely make it into the annals of high art, in fantasy fiction or non-fantasy fiction (I know that many literary works were released serially originally but the end product was still much smaller than ASoIaF). I wonder if that also makes it difficult to have high fantasy categorized in this way. In the end I think that Martin’s work will end up like the stories of Dumas – they’re no Joyce but they are truly artful and enjoyable. My two cents anyway.

  139. Fire And Blood
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Ser Lemon Cakes,

    I can play East of the Sun, West of the Moon in its entirety, over and over (possibly skipping song 2), and not get tired of it. Great album.

    The song “Scoundrel Days” may actually be their best song ever. Top three at least.

    the goat,

    Sheit?!

    I will see you in that ballroom. And we will duel, ser. (My chosen weapon will be an iPod.)

  140. Wastrel
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    Thanks for the flame. At risk of looking as though I’m illicitly using a ‘brain’, I have to disagree with you, on the basis that I’m not sure you read what I wrote.

    I never said that ASOIAF wasn’t art, I said that it wasn’t great art. That’s nothing to do with it being fantasy. It’s not great art, in my opinion, because although it is a little great and a little artistic, it is neither great enough nor artistic enough to be ‘great art’.

    I don’t think retreating to dictionary definitions is very helpful, as they rarely capture the nuances of a word as used in the context of a particular discussion. However, if we really want to define things, I’d say that all art is quite useless, and that art is what is done for the sake of art. Of course, in reality, nothing is pure art in this sense – and many, if not most, things are art to some degree or in some part. The art comes when the creator departs from the simplest and easiest route to his pragmatic goal and adds elements that have no reason for being there other than his own artistic decision. Art is what you do because you have to do it, not because you need to do it, as it were.

    The fact that ASOIAF is entertaining does not make it great art, it makes it competant entertainment. The two are not the same. Lesbian Schoolgirl Orgies #47 may well be greatly entertaining for a great many people, but it isn’t great art. It’s just entertainment, and pulp entertainment at that. As with all human activities, it has an artistic element to it, but it is not a dominant element. [Although of course porn CAN be great art as well. Or could be, at least]

    ASOIAF isn’t great art because its ambitions are too low, and because it’s not that well written on the scale of things. It’s well enough written on the scale of pulp genre fiction, but not on the scale of literature as a whole. What it IS is entertaining – and you don’t need great craft or great artistic vision to be entertaining. You just need enough craft to not distract the audience from the story you’re telling. I’d call ASOIAF great entertainment with enough artistic depth to stop more picky readers from getting bored with it. [Because art is entertaining and entertainment is artistic, so if you want to entertain it helps (but is not necessary) to include some art, and if you want to create art is helps (but is not necessary) to try to make it entertaining]

    Or to summarise: we can’t of course objectively and definitively divide all endeavours into art and not-art; but that doesn’t mean we have to go to the other extreme and say that all endeavours are artistically equal. Some are better artistically than others – and equally importantly, some TRY HARDER to be art than others. I don’t think being art is the main objective of ASOIAF, and I think that that’s good, because if it were the main objective it would not be able to succeed. Instead, it tries to do what it can do, and should be judged by those criteria, not the criteria of great art.

    ==

    And there’s nothing wrong with that – indeed, great entertainment may be rarer than great art. But the Romantics created the idea that only ‘pure’ art, only art that is ONLY art, and not entertainment, is true ‘art’ – and those who pursued such art, giving up the rest of the world in payment, had a special status, a sacredness, an inviolability from criticism and complaint. They had, or claimed to have, no master but art, so nothing but Art Itself could rebuke them. Gaiman and company seem to want to claim this mantle of inviolability, without having to make the sacrifices that were supposed to warrant it. You can say you’re only accountable to your muse if you’re willing to starve in a garret rather than betray her, but when you’re sitting in a leather armchair asking for money from people who are poorer than you, you become accountable to them as well as to your muse. Serving two mistresses must be very annoying for the artist, but history shows it is no great impediment to creating either art or entertainment.

  141. Ser Lemon Cakes
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood

    “I’ve been losing you” is my late night jam!

    Possible song for season two trailer? Cry Wolf-
    Night I left the city
    I dreamt of a wolf.
    He came from where the winds are cold
    and truth is seen through keenholes.
    Strange longings that will never sleep

    now he’s come where no heart beats.

    Cry wolf
    time to worry
    cry wolf
    time to worry now.

    (ok, sorry for the a-ha :) to bed to pick up my ADWD in Sydney in the morning).

  142. Josh Atreides
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    As everyone says here, Art is subjective. And yes, I agree that ASOIAF is not art per se, but like all fictional worlds that one can easily get lost in, be it Tolkien, be it the tales of King Arthur or the epics of Homer and other classical writers, or shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica or even the Star Wars universe, they are something that are very important to us. There is an inherent emotional connection that brings us into their mighty orbit. I mean why else are we commenting in this forum, on this site?
    So it is ASOIAF art. No. At least not in the purest sense of the word.
    Do we think it supersedes art, or what we construe to be art? Hell’s Yes.

  143. Wastrel
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Josh Atreides:
    Wastrel,
    As everyone says here, Art is subjective. And yes, I agree that ASOIAF is not art per se, but like all fictional worlds that one can easily get lost in, be it Tolkien, be it the tales of King Arthur or the epics of Homer and other classical writers, or shows like Lost, Battlestar Galactica or even the Star Wars universe, they are something that are very important to us. There is an inherent emotional connection that brings us into their mighty orbit. I mean why else are we commenting in this forum, on this site?
    So it is ASOIAF art. No. At least not in the purest sense of the word.
    Do we think it supersedes art, or what we construe to be art? Hell’s Yes.

    Well, speak for yourself there. I’m perfectly capable of following something, even commenting about something online, without thinking it’s the Best Thing Ever. Having an emotional connexion to something doesn’t mean it supersedes great art – for one thing, lots of great art evokes emotional connexions that are just as strong, and for another, ‘emotional connexion’ isn’t the only way we respond to things.

  144. Assunta
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Mike Chair
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink
    Fire And Blood: A Song of Ice and Fire is art not because it is being crafted skillfully or with imagination, not wholly. It is art because an asston of people believe it is the most gripping, or the most unique, or the most epic story they’ve ever read. That’s really all it takes.

    My lawn is not art. I mow it. I water it. Occasionally, I fertilize it. It grows fine and looks really nice. Not art. My neighbor’s lawn, however, is art. Seriously, you should see this thing. It is deep green and thick and weed free and perfectly perfect. My neighbor let me step on it once. I weigh … over 170 pounds. I did not touch the ground — elevated solely by a dense fabric of grass. It felt like really expensive carpet. When I stepped off it sprang back with alacrity. He is always out there picking and pruning; shaping and clipping; feeding and treating. He mows it twice or three times per week. I’m not sure how much imagination he uses in its care. He’s nuts, to be sure. But, his lawn is epic. It’s a masterpiece.

    You live next door to my Dad????

  145. The Young Wolf
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Some people are GRRM haters. Some are GRRM apologists. Some, like me, fall in the middle. Can I completely defend his writing process? No. But do I channel my incredible anticipation and frustration at the wait for the rest of the series as rage towards the author who has given me the immense pleasure of reading ASOIAF? No. That would be silly. Because that is what this is about. Everyone wants DwD and WoW and DoS SO BADLY and unfortunately some can’t handle the wait so they decide to get impatient and angry and get all morally righteous about how they shouldn’t have to wait for the book longer than X amount of time. So whenever this debate pops up on an ASOIAF thread my response is always something like this.

    To all the haters:

    Despite what you may feel about GRRM and his writing process, there are a few things that are true for all who have read this series.

    1. You will buy A Dance with Dragons, probably at the absolute earliest opportunity.
    2. Upon purchase of A Dance with Dragons you will clear your schedule (if you haven’t already), lock yourself in a room and read it until you fall asleep/your eyes bleed/you manage to finish it. If you fall asleep or your eyes start bleeding you’ll fix that and then finish the book at the earliest opportunity.
    3. You will enjoy A Dance with Dragons on some level, and you will want to buy The Winds of Winter right away, but you will have to wait and find something else to read. There’s a lot out there, some stuff even comes relatively close to GRRM in terms of character development, plot twists, and general epicness.
    4. This process will be repeated until A Song of Ice and Fire is completed. And once it is completed, whenever that may be, and you have read it, you are not going to know what to do with yourself because the greatest thing you have read (and probably will ever read) in your entire life will be over.

    It is known.

  146. Wastrel
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    The thing is, it’s not really a division between haters and apologists. It’s a division between neutral people and gaters – people who magnify all perceived dissent into a great ‘-gate’ in order to make dissidents appear extremist. Let’s keep some perspective: only ONE PERSON has said they hate Grrm. One semi-anonymous possibly-trolling person. Do you not think addressing things to “all the haters” is a BIT of an over-reaction? It seems like an attempt to shift debate from the perfectly reasonable debate over whether Martin’s professionalism merits criticism, to the far more sinister debate over whether it is even legitimate for mere fans to dare to criticise the Author at all.

    The fanaticism underlying such defensiveness is well displayed by The Young Wolf’s assumptions about what everybody HAS to feel about ADWD, including the ludicrous claim that we will all think it’s the best thing we’ve ever read. Well no, it’s not. I think you may need to read more. And while it’s wrong and disappointing, but wholly legitimate and understandable, to think ASOIAF is the best thing ever, it’s ludicrous to expect everybody to feel that way.

    We can’t have sensible discussion until we do away with this pathetic dichotomy of ‘people who think ASOIAF is the Greatest Thing Ever and has no faults and Martin has no faults and we must trust him utterly and even if he did have faults We Are Not Worthy to talk about them’ and ‘GRRM haters’.

    It’s also rather insulting to try to psychoanalyse those who disagree with you as though not being a fanatic were some sort of disorder.

  147. Josh Atreides
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    You’ll have to excuse my assumptions, I have always been a lurker and only recently have been making comments on this site (or any site for that matter). It is one thing to speak to someone in person and capture the nuances from very little dialogue as to what their actually saying or things that person may leave out. But it is difficult at least for me to write online and communicate my ideas without being deemed presumptuous in my opinions without the mark of clarity that so many great internet posters are capable of doing. Perhaps a little more thought and a little more knee jerk reaction posts from moi will go along way in dealing out a measured, weighted argument. I was not trying to be belligerent in any way, and my use of “we” was relating to people who are not in agreement to your position on this art or great populist entertainment argument that has been going on here in such a colorful manner.

    And to further “bury the tomahawk” you are one of my favorite posters on this site for your very educated and restrained appreciation of the GRRM’s work and for willingness to point out flaws and yet be unfazed if others call you condescending or merely labeled a “troll”.

    I would like to add though, while you are able to maintain a detached composure, for some this is the ‘next big thing.’ As you said to me: “speak for yourself”.

    With that closing salvo, I hope you have a good day.

  148. Eagle1
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Has anyone seen any published interviews of Christie or Dormer re: their Season 2 roles? It seems odd that some agressive reporter out there hasn’t landed at least a telephone interview by now.

  149. Knurk
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Eagle1:
    Has anyone seen any published interviews of Christie or Dormer re: their Season 2 roles?It seems odd that some agressive reporter out there hasn’t landed at least a telephone interview by now.

    yeah FaB, what’s up with that?

  150. Winter Is Coming
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Eagle1, not really. It’s rare for actors to do interviews just based on landing a part. What is there to talk about? Generally the interviews don’t come until after filming and during the ramp up to release.

    EDIT: And I know you’re probably joking around Knurk, but for the record, we have tried to continue getting interviews with cast members but HBO has shut it down until we get closer to season 2. This is just the way the publicity-side of the business works, unfortunately.

  151. Eagle1
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Eagle1,What is there to talk about? .

    Are you kidding? I’m not looking for a 15,000-word opus, but I think that there’s a shitload to talk about, especially with Christie, e.g., (1) background to discovering role (especially re: involvement of Ice and Fire fans), (2) she showed up to the casting call according to GRRM looking like Brienne – ton to talk about there -, (3) what she currently knows about Brienne, i.e., how much of the story has she read, (4) how does she plan to transform physically? Has she starting taking roids yet? When does she expect to be able to bench press 325 lbs. ?, (5) when does the sword training start? With whom and where?, (6) does she have an existing relationship with any of the other castmembers? I probably could dream up another 20-30 relevant questions for her alone.

  152. purplejilly
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    We need an ADwD discussion thread. I need to talk about my anxiety, as Amazon has told me my book has shipped, and now I am feeling extremely anxious about what might actually happen in the book.

    It’s like going back out with a bad boyfriend, one you know has cheated on you before, and lied to you, but still, here you are, getting ready for another Saturday night. And all I can think about are all the previous things he’s done to piss me off before; Bran out the window, Headless Ned, The Red Wedding, Undead Cat, Brienne going endlessly in meaningless circles, and those boring, annoying Greyjoys..
    WHY am I going out with this man again? WHY am I paying and waiting for my next dose of abuse? This is a terrible addiction. Yet that book won’t sit in its Amazon box for 60 seconds when I get home from work today or tomorrow.. Gods help me…

  153. Eagle1
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: Knurk for the record, we have tried to continue getting interviews with cast members but HBO has shut it down until we get closer to season 2. This is just the way the publicity-side of the business works, unfortunately.

    Do you know why? This seems like a lost opportunity by HBO to build interest in the show between seasons. If the company is concerned about an actor leaking certain information pertaining to negotiations, filming, etc., then it simply can (1) restrict the interviewers to a limited trusted group and/or (2) pre-screen the list of questions.

  154. Winter Is Coming
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Eagle1, all of which are very interesting questions… to us. A (comparatively) small group of dedicated fans. But the general public? They want to hear the actors talk about the show itself, not about the audition process or their training regimen.

    And it seems, for better or for worse, HBO is committed to keeping interviews and other publicity ventures as broadly focused as possible. That doesn’t mean they won’t grant interviews to fan sites, but it seems they want them to at least be around the time the show is going to air, to maximize publicity. Even if I don’t agree with it, I understand why they want to do it that way.

  155. The DarkStar
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    purplejilly: We need an ADwD discussion thread. I need to talk about my anxiety, as Amazon has told me my book has shipped, and now I am feeling extremely anxious about what might actually happen in the book.

    I ordered my book with rush shipping. It hasn’t shipped yet. WTF. I think I’m just gonna buy another copy @ 9am tomorrow.

  156. Knurk
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Only half kidding, I just love those fan-exclusive interviews.

    purplejilly,

    The cheating boyfriend analogy is one of the best I’ve ever encountered haha.

  157. Sadface McBastard
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    MW,

    A better solution could possibly be a flashback season to when the Mad King was still in power. Not ideal as it would likely disrupt the overall flow of the series, but certainly preferable to having a season come prior to the book it’s supposed to be based on.

  158. Epic the Suezilla
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Kingthlayer,

    Homer and the Hebrew bible are equivalents; spanning through religion, history, and morality of a group of people. Rehashing myths of greek, judeo-christian, and roman antiquity is the basis of a tradition of western literature, more or less “for art’s sake” (Ovid through Dante through James Joyce). Quixote begins as a farce about a man who has read too many adventure books about knights and as a result he has gone crazy. The book finds acclaim in its modern self-awareness. I wouldn’t call Magical Realism a movement. I don’t believe Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Once and Future King, Beowulf are in the same category (even among themselves–TS White is 20th century for instance). I would not call the others ‘great art’ just because they are ancient. For a more interesting discussion please see Wastrel’s comments–he doesn’t make the generalization that high fantasy is automatically excluded from ‘high art’ but his conclusions are somewhat similar. I admit I overstepped my own capacity for sober discussion in the above posts. I’ll just stick to my usual little rants that-I-think-are-funny.

  159. Feanor
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Yep, Amazon is telling me my book is on schedule to arrive today. I had it preordered with 2-day shipping (the fastest available.)

  160. purplejilly
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Feanor: Yep, Amazon is telling me my book is on schedule to arrive today. I had it preordered with 2-day shipping (the fastest available.)

    That’s what I did, too – and mine came today! My husband just called me from home, and read me the prologue! He’s going to read as much as he can before I get home, then we can switch. I’m so nervous!!

  161. The Young Wolf
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Sorry if you found my post to be offensive. I didn’t mean to flame or anything. That was not my intention at all…

    I don’t like the assumed division between the ‘apologists’ and the ‘haters’ either really, I mean why would anybody? We all agree that we like aSoIaF, otherwise we wouldn’t be posting/lurking on this site, or any other site like Westeros, Tower of the Hand, his blog, etc. that pertains to the novels. It just seems that a lot of people have firmly placed themselves in the ‘everything GRRM does is acceptable because the end result is worth it’ camp or the ‘he is to be condemned for his lack of discipline in working on the series with consistency, efficiency, and focus’ camp, in a manner of speaking.

    The thing is, there’s really no final answer to the debate, there’s only what everyone’s different opinions are. We know many details about why ADwD has been delayed so long, unless there’s something that GRRM hasn’t been telling us about his writing process (and he has been extremely open about this, especially given the numerous, vehement flame wars all over the internet). My personal opinion, which I guess I failed to get across in my previous post, is that we all want the same thing. We all want A Dance with Dragons so we can read it, and many of us want it really badly. My list of things that we will do when the book comes out was meant to be humorous, not completely serious in tone. I never said that A Dance with Dragons will be the best book ever, but a lot of people think that A Song of Ice and Fire is maybe not the best thing ever, but one of their favorite book series/works of art/works of entertainment/whatever you want to call it not only from a creative standpoint, but also from a technical perspective in terms of the way it is written (to explain my exaggerated statement that aSoIaF is the best thing ever; many people seem to think so, I happen to be one of them…that’s just my personal opinion). People appreciate the series for different reasons, and there is no denying that a large portion of the fanbase for it is, well, fanatic. There have been many articles written about it, and how lots of these ‘fans’ have been too fanatic. The debate about his writing process has merit from an intellectual standpoint and it shouldn’t be ignored, many who are not in favor of GRRM have good points to make. Unfortunately it seems that whenever a group of people try to discuss, as an intellectual exercise, whether it is fair or whether GRRM has the right to make us wait this long for book 5 in a series while working on other stuff and taking time off someone inevitably flames/trolls/attacks GRRM as a writer or a person and derails the discussion entirely, like the one comment above that you referenced. This has happened so often that I just wonder why we bother, since whatever we think about his process, the argument only happens because want the next book and we’ll read it anyway.

    I can only imagine what it must have been like for people who started reading The Dark Tower 30 years ago or whenever it came out…hell Stephen King wrote entire NOVELS in between books in the series…

  162. Wastrel
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Josh / The Young Wolf: thank you for the tempered responses, which make me feel as though I’ve been somewhat intemperate myself. My apologies to you, or anyone else, if I’ve been a little brusque at all.

    Regarding King: I think that’s actually better. Like it or not, the regular and rapid production of the first three books has set up regrettably high expectations among fans, expectations which have not been met, leading, legitimately or not, to unrest. If the first three books had taken five years each, and GRRM had said all along each book would take five years, we’d be sighing to each other about how GRRM was the slowest author on earth, but I don’t think people would be angry at all – they knew what they were getting into, or at least would have learnt early on. I think that even if he said tomorrow “I’m totally burned out at the moment; I still know what I want to write, but I’m going to have to take a break and I’m going to work on a small unrelated novel in the meantime – see you in five years!”, there would be a tsunami of complaint of course, but once it had passed, that would be that. It’s the fact that a) we know he CAN write these books quickly, from experience, and b) we’re always being told “it’s absolutely my top-priority”, and yet c) it takes forever these days that together results in unrest. It’s hard for people to put ‘it’s my top priority’ together with looking at what he spends his time actually doing instead of working on his top priority that makes many people angry – and makes some people doubt his sincerity. I think that the anger next time will be smaller – just as I seem to remember there being more angst over AFFC than over ADWD, even though it’s the latter that came with an explicit timetable that was not met.

    [Personally, I don't doubt his sincerity - I doubt his self-awareness and self-control.]

  163. HandmaidenofDany
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Dangit, my book just shipped this morning, so it’ll be a couple days. I’ll probably be one of a very few on here for the next week! LOL

  164. Kingthlayer
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I think the ’90s MTV sketch comedy show The State put it best when it said:

    “Art is, well, you know, paintings and stuff…”

  165. purplejilly
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    AH.. Ah.. I’m home! Book in hand! Too panicked to actually open it up and read. Must take xanax first. See ya on the spoiler thread when it opens tomorrow!!

  166. Knurk
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    HandmaidenofDany:
    Dangit, my book just shipped this morning, so it’ll be a couple days. I’ll probably be one of a very few on here for the next week! LOL

    I can totally see HBO do a Melisandre castingannouncement tomorrow and you’ll be here discussing it on your own haha. I’m picking my book up at 9.30 AM in Amsterdam tomorrow and then I’ll be off the internet for a couple of days!

  167. Mike Chair
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    L.A. Times:

    Was “A Dance With Dragons” worth the six-year wait? Absolutely. … Martin’s love for sophisticated, deeply strange fantasy permeates “Dance” like a phantasmagorical fever dream. … Martin seems poised in the last two books to bring home one of the best series in the history of fantasy.

    I’m still waiting for the Kindle download to dance. Tic toc.

  168. Orka
    Posted July 11, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    sjwenings: Are you high?

    No, it would be ridicoulus. He died twice. His soul (just not his body) died from the wound, and that too died when Dany smothered him to death with the pillow. And then she burned his body into ashes.

    If they were to bring him back, it would have to be done with some really, really cheap ass explanation to how both the spirit and flesh can once again take form, and… It would just seem like the poorest excuse to get a popular character back ever. It’s would just be so anti-asoiaf. Sewing Ned back up seems more likely.

    Edit: Just noticed that you said “in some form”. Well, certainly not simply alive and kicking. Maybe in a dream, but thats about it. So basically no.

    I could see Drogo very easily coming back. Use your imagination and it could be possible for his Spirit to be embedded in a Dragon and morph between the two, therby allowing him to continue in Season two and beyond.

  169. Epic the Suezilla
    Posted July 12, 2011 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Orka,

    Me too. It would make for good TV. Kind of like the shifters in True Blood.

  170. A Bear_A Bear
    Posted July 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I…honestly don’t think we’re going to see Drogo back, unless it’s a flashback, and GoT doesn’t do flashbacks. Yet! :D

    Waiting for the postman to drop my copy of ADWD into my sweaty grasp tomorrow morning… Good to see the inane debate about GRRM’s schedule, commitment and personal morality has kicked back into gear already. Suffice to say; he’ll write the books in his own time and when they come out you will all read them – anything else is just people trying to make themselves look big on the internets.

  171. Sent from my iPhone
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    A Bear_A Bear,

    Never trust a person with a sweaty grasp.

  172. Felix Zschieschow
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Adrian,

    here here!

  173. coraxery
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    MasterKat:
    So let’s say HBO’s tv show “Game of Thrones” remains popular and gets the green light to tell the entire Song of Ice and Fire saga… Even if you split one of the books into 2 seasons, doesn’t that mean he has 7 years to write 2 books? And he’s taking at least one year off from writing the next installment. Given George R.R. Martin’s inability to hit a deadline (not nec. a criticism, just an observation), isn’t HBO feeling a bit anxious about this? Frankly I’m surprised they agreed to produce the show before the penultimate book went to print. I’m nervous for GoT.

    No, they aren’t. And there is a simple reason why: Money. This show is expensive, I am not sure how the principles contracts are structured but some of them won’t be around down the road. (ie. they die in the story)

    Many of HBO’s shows go into hiatus (Curb does it almost ever time they end a season. I think Entourage has skipped seasons as well.) So just because we have two seasons back to back doesn’t mean the next 4 books will go that way. In fact considering the amount of story rewriting that will be required for books 3,4 and 5 I would guess it is almost certainly going to happen at some point.

    And finally, if we do get seasons back to back they can simply end the thing and say we will come back to it via movie, ala Deadwood and let the thing die because of costs. Or simply say we will do a final season down the road – wink, wink, nod, nod

    Any of those scenarios are possible.

  174. coraxery
    Posted July 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Strong Belwas:
    There are countless differences between King and Martin, and I don’t think this analogy makes any kind of decisive case. Could George work harder? Probably. Would this mean the books would get done faster? Almost certainly. And if he did this, would the books be at the same consistently high quality as the first four (hopefully five)? Ah, there’s the rub.

    Actually I think AFFCs is the poster child for taking your time with a novel. Talk about completely nose diving you story progression. If the tv show makes it that far I think they have a really good case to push elements from books 3,4 and 5 any which way they want to. It could make for a much stronger story in many respects.

  175. Comet
    Posted November 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m starting to worry about his health. If he takes another 6 years to get Book 6 out and then another 6 years to write Book 7, that’s 12 more years minimum that he has to stay alive and healthy. How old is he?

  176. Auction Goods
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  177. Mercedez Liakos
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

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  1. [...] is why the first three books are awesome and the next two are messes).  Also frustrating? Martin doesn’t plan to start book 6 until next year.  I have to say I feel better everyday about cutting the Martin cord after book 3.Jia is slaving [...]

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