You may remember me telling you that come 2014, George RR Martin would be putting out a new book in the Ice and Fire series. No, it’s not Winds of Winter, no matter how hard you’re hoping. (Nevermind that he should be releasing it this summer if he has any hope of keeping up with the show he’s spawned.)
Instead, the book we will be getting is entitled The World of Ice and Fire. (Current target release date: October.) It is a compendium of all those back story histories that are peppered in snatches throughout the novels. These tales are told in garbled myth form, spat back to us in half remembered children’s tales. If there were a Hermione character in the series she would walk around yelling at the Jon Snows of the world to put down their swords and read this book already. (Instead we’ll make do with Shireen.)
For those who have not read the books, these histories are almost completely left out of the TV show. Partly for time management, and partly because sudden flashback story telling to hundreds of years before the current drama can be an episode momentum killer. To their credit, Benioff and Weiss have made a concerted effort to include the histories that are cut back in as DVD extras. But divorced from their original introductions and not given in context of the story at hand, they lose a lot of their relevance. (To be fair, the first time someone tells the story of, say “The Year of The False Spring” to pass the time on the road, it doesn’t seem all that relevant either. It’s not until the story is retold for the third time from yet another point of view, that we understand the indirect reveal that makes the story relevant to our characters today.)
For the book readers, these histories are one of the layers interwoven throughout the series, and having them fleshed out into a full historical volume will enrich the story’s telling. For those who only watch the show, this book will give you a whole new level to be working off of as the story unfolds.
Below we have an excerpt from the chapter dealing with Aegon’s decision to unite the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule. Later, this time period will be known as “1 AL” (AL: Years after Aegon’s Landing.)
I’ll be back to update this post once I finish reading it, but there’s a brand spanking new Winds of Winter chapter. No, not the Tyrion one that got released last week. A brand fucking new one.
From a brand new character’s PoV. A character called Mercy. Go read it here.
We’ recently talked about how Martin needs an eight season run in order to have any hope of beating the show to the finish line with his books. An eight season show could be in the cards. HBO has said before they think eight is enough. But Benioff and Weiss, when asked, have all suggested seven seasons is probably the goal they are aiming for. (Right now they’re signed through six.) Seven makes sense. After all, seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven books, seven seasons. This means this season will be the halfway marker. It’s just nice and pat.
That was until Martin started talking about a movie.
The news is actually that there’s been a big update to George R.R. Martin’s A World of Ice and Fire app. (Available on both iTunes and Google Play.) The update includes new character profiles (58) and a whole lot of place descriptions. (164, if you must know. That would make for a very long show intro.)
But the reason to get everyone to sign up for the app and bring the eyeballs in is that a free chapter is included from the always forthcoming but never here Winds of Winter.
I don’t remember anymore what year was it that someone told me that A Song of Ice and Fire was being developed for HBO. I know it was post 2005, because by then we were deep into the long wait after Book Four: A Feast For Crows. I remember being both nervous and excited. Excited yes: after all–the books would make an amazing televisual. Martin began his career writing for TV, and though he has moved to novels in order to expand to a world building scale that was unheard of when he started writing the series in the 1990s, TV was starting to catch up.
But I was also nervous–producing a television show was a massive undertaking. How could he ever finish the series if he was doing that? (Robert Jordan had passed recently enough at this point that the idea of wildly expansive fantasy ever being finished felt like a fool’s hope.) The good news at the time of the show’s debut was that the series seemed to light a fire under him. Book Five: A Dance With Dragons appeared (clearly rushed through editing and post, but appeared just the same) the summer after season one of Game of Thrones. If there was one thing that was clear about Martin, it was that he has an ego, and, in his mind, he owns telling this story. In every interview during and since that time, he has sworn he’ll be releasing the books ahead of the show.
Book fans aren’t so sure. More importantly, the TV producers are suddenly not so sure either. And neither is Martin. When asked about the show catching up, he admitted it: “They are. Yes. It’s alarming.”
NEW BOOK NEW BOOK NEW BOO…. Oh, wait. No release date yet. Sorry.
But we’ve had a chapter released before in 2011. He read aloud a part of a chapter in 2012. And then dropped another one at the beginning of last year. So….yeah. Are we really any closer to getting the next book? The only reason I believe we might be is that with every passing season Benioff and Weiss draw a little closer to catching up with him, and I firmly believe Martin’s ego is such that (unless he passes away untimely) he wants to tell the story first.
Dying for The Winds of Winter? Or at least SOMETHING new in Westeros while we wait for HBO to continue its inexorable march towards overtaking Martin’s books? Worry not. While Martin has been not writing Winds of Winter, he has been penning a novella prequel for TOR Books’ anthology Dangerous Women.
To get us excited for this, TOR has released an excerpt of the story. The Princess & The Queen, or, The Blacks & The Greens, as it is titled, tells the story of the last civil war before Robert’s Rebellion. One Hundred and Seventy Years ago before the summer of Robert Baratheon’s rule, the Targaryens fought among themselves over the rights of succession. It was known at the time as “The Dance of the Dragons.”
THE PRINCESS AND THE QUEEN,
THE BLACKS AND THE GREENS
Being A History of the Causes, Origins, Battles, and Betrayals
of that Most Tragic Bloodletting Known as the Dance of the Dragons,
as set down by Archmaester Gyldayn of the Citadel of Oldtown
((here transcribed by GEORGE R.R. MARTIN))
Game of Thrones has ponied up for Neil Marshall again for the coming season. After bringing him in as a ringer to direct Season Two’s penultimate episode, Blackwater, HBO is turning to Marshall again to direct an episode that will be battle heavy.
Oh the spoilers! Don’t click on the jump unless you want to know…
No, it’s not Winds of Winter. What, are you crazy?It’s a coffee table book that back fills in the History of Westeros.
According to The Guardian:
…the author has been hammering out the pages of his companion to the Song of Ice and Fire series. According to a blogger at a recent convention attended by Martin, “he was supposed to write 50,000 words – he wrote 250,000″, and “the premise of the [World of Ice and Fire] book is that it is a copy of a tome presented to [the character Robert Baratheon] just after the Rebellion”.
We heard a while ago that martin had been signed by HBO to produce another show for them, since Game of Thrones was such a hit. Apparently, he’s considering pitching the GoT prequel series known as the “Dunk&Egg” adventures.
Here’s the interview: