Took a while and is to late to go back, here it is:
17- Now that we know how the "knot" of Mereen developed,what was really the problem with that part? Was it the order of the characters arriving to Dany? Who, when and how would free the dragons...?
A: An essential part in the development of Dance and the series is to see what was happening in Mereen. Basically, the story of Dany is there
, once she arrives what she wants is to take control and become Queen, but she has a series of problems...
For starters, the rebellion of the Son's of the Harpy with almost-terrorist attacks and stealthy assassinations on the street, which creates instability in her court. On the other side she has the external danger with her Yunkish enemies, who have rearmed and are preparing and alliance, and sending emissaries to parley with her and make her submit to their wishes. There is also the situation in Astapor, she had sacked the city but from the ruins a new King emerged who proposes marriage to create and alliance between the two cities.
There is also the decision of whether open the fight pits or not (Remembering she has to try to calm the Yunkish noblemen), Daenerys is trying to solve this problems to settle her power as she tries to find different solutions and different agreements. For example, there is Daxos's offer with his thirteen ships fleet, which she rejects, therefore going from possible ally to enemy and trying to blockade the city. All this creates instability in the city and outside the walls the Yunkish are preparing for battle with a ready army.
Dany's hand is one of the most valuable assets along the novel, different men seek her favor, Hizdahr, for example, which is the favorite among the Mereenese nobles to make a reconciliation. Or Daario, this dangerous and charismatic mercenary, the only one who really gets her interest. On top all this is the palgue ravaging the city and the releasing of the dragons...
There is also a series of characters going towards Meereen to take into account, there's Quentyn Martell, Tyrion, Victarion Greyjoy with his iron fleet, archmaester Marwyn of Oldtown an Aegon with the Golden Company. There's also to stand out the situation in Volantis, which didn't happen to be as it was expected.
What worried me about this matters was kowing when each of this characters arrived to the city. When
they arrived depended of when and where they departed from, and the medium of transportation. For that I had to consult what I wrote on Storm and Feast. Logically, I'm not hand tied and can take certain liberties, I can make some of the ones who departed later to arrive earlier by saying that one of the others had a drift, a shipwreck or an attack or whatever. But I did
needed to exactly control the cronology and moment of arrival of each one of them, because each arrival has an impact in the dramatic development of the plot.
If Qentyn arrives with his marriage proposal much before Dany gets married, or if he arrives after she is already married, logically the result is going to be very different. So in order to know how evereything would work out, I wrote those two possibilities, and finally also a third: That Quentyn arrives a day before the wedding, when thare was practically no time to change anything. As you can see, all this changes the different dynamics of the group.
And on top of all of that, there is the return of Drogon, where Dany makes the decision of reopening the fighting pits that have been closed for decades, this desicion initially was going to be the first chapter of Dance, before Dance was a separate book from Feast.
I know the answer I'm giving you is a bit ambiguous and I'm drifting a little, but basically I'm trying to transmit to you the uncertainty and bewilderment I had at the time, trying to solve this situation... And that's why I always talked about of the knot. The material could only be one, I needed to develop correctly each one of the situations because they had influence in the general argument of the novel. In the end I got all of them to arrive but one, who finally, doesn't even appear in the book.
edit: some spelling
Edited by Liar, 30 July 2012 - 09:41 PM.