A place for small questions that you feel don't need a thread of their own...
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For an overview of GRRM's ASOIAF-related Not a Blog entries, look at The Complete Notablog ASOIAF Resource
For a quick overview of all that we know about The Winds of Winter, look at The Complete Winds of Winter Resource
A list of all Small Questions threads of the past:
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Most Frequently asked Small Questions
On The Winds of Winter:
When will "The Winds of Winter" be published? What's the latest news?
The best bet is to follow GRRM's blog.
GRRM himself has expressed in December, 2014:
Look, I've said before, and I will say again, I don't play games with news about the books. I know how many people are waiting, how long they have been waiting, how anxious they are. I am still working on WINDS. When it's done, I will announce it here [on GRRM's site]. There won't be any clues to decipher, any codes or hidden meanings, the announcement will be straightforward and to the point. I won't time it to coincide with Xmas or Valentine's Day or Lincoln's Birthday, the book will not rise from the dead with Jesus on Easter Sunday. When it is done, I will say that's it is done, on whatever day I happen to finish.I don't know how I can make it any clearer.
On January 2nd, 2016, GRRM stated the following on his blog:
THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished.
Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You're disappointed, and you're not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed... but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, "I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER" on or before the last day of 2015.
But the book's not done.
Nor is it likely to be finished tomorrow, or next week. Yes, there's a lot written. Hundreds of pages. Dozens of chapters. (Those 'no pages done' reports were insane, the usual garbage internet journalism that I have learned to despise). But there's also a lot still left to write. I am months away still... and that's if the writing goes well. (Sometimes it does. Sometimes it doesn't.) Chapters still to write, of course... but also rewriting. I always do a lot of rewriting, sometimes just polishing, sometimes pretty major restructures.
The blog entry further details the writing process of 2015, and states that it is almost certain that the book won't be released before the sixth season of GOT airs, mid-April.
What's the material that has already been published or revealed from The Winds of Winter? Spoiler tagged for obvious reasons
On the tales of Dunk & Egg, and links to the main series:
How many Dunk & Egg stories have been published? Where are they published in?
Three Dunk and Egg stories are published at the moment. For now, they are
1. The Hedge Knight
A short story to be found either in "Legends, edited by Robert Silverberg" or in "Dreamsongs II by George R.R. Martin". There is also a rendition as a graphic novel by the same name: "The Hedge Knight".
2. The Sworn Sword
A short story to be found either in "Legends II - Dragon, Sword and King, edited by Robert Silverberg" or in the original hard- and softcover editions of "Legends II" from 2003 & 2004. There is also a rendition as a graphic novel by the same name: "The Sworn Sword".
3. The Mystery Knight
A short story to be found either in "Warriors, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois" or in the paperback "Warriors 1, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois". No graphic novel... yet.
Two more Dunk & Egg stories yet to be written have already been described. They are known as "The She-wolves of Winterfell" and "The Village Hero". Both of these are working titles, though, not final titles. Four additional titles have been mentioned by Martin: "The Sellsword", "The Champion", "The Kingsguard", and "The Lord Commander".
Will the Dunk & Egg tales be published in one book?
The first three tales of Dunk and Egg will be published in one book, titled "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", to be released in english on 6-10-2015. In some other languages, however, it has already been published. "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" will contain pages filled with artwork, which the other versions don't have.
Was Dunk ever knighted by Ser Arlan?
In spoiler tags:
Are there any descendants of Dunk alive in the series today?
Yes. GRRM has expressed that we'd meet one of Dunk's descendants. Brienne of Tarth finds the shield Dunk owns in The Hedge Knight. Hodor is often heavily suspected to be a descendant of Dunk's due to his enormous size, and the fact that people believe the young girl and the "knight as tall as Hodor" in the vision Bran sees in A Dance with Dragons are Old Nan (in her youth) and Dunk, and that the event is to take place during The She-Wolves of Winterfell. Small Paul (from the Night's Watch) has also been suggested to be a descendant of Dunks, due to his size and the mention of "thick as a castle wall", which is also used to describe Dunk.
On the main series:
When was Robert Baratheon declared King? Around the time of the Battle of the Trident.
Why were Ned and Robert at the Eyrie when mad king Aerys II sent to Jon Arryn for their heads?
It is true Ned and Robert were past their squiring and fostering age, when they visited Jon Arryn together at the Eyrie at that certain time. There is clarification on this both in TWoIaF and an older SSM telling that they liked to spend some of their time there together.
What is the right of the first night?
The right of the first night, better known as droit du seigneur (which only looks French, although it is English usage, the French use different terminology) or jus primae noctis is a medieval custom that has been abolished in Westeros (by Jaeherys I & Septon Barth) as in the real world (apart from a few small islands in the English channel).
It allows the lord to be the first to consummate any marriage before the husband, thus potentially to sire numerous bastard children. In the real world, husbands would pay a fee to their lord for not making use of this right.
What is "guest right" and why is it so important?
The guest right is a sacred law of hospitality. When a guest, no matter the station of birth, eats the food and drinks the drink beneath the host's roof, the guest right is invoked. Bread and salt are the traditional provisions.
When invoked, neither the guest is allowed to do harm to his host, nor is the host allowed to do harm to his guest for the length of the guest's stay. For either to do so would be to break a sacred covenant that is believed to invoke the wrath of the Gods both old and new. Both the teachings of the old gods and the Faith of the Seven hold to this. Even robber lords and wreckers are bound by the ancient laws of hospitality.
Guest gifts can be given when the guests depart, ending the guest right. House Manderly practises this tradition in A Dance with Dragons.
Breaking the guest right is seen as a terrible thing. The example stated in the books concern the Rat Cook. A cook in the Night's Watch who killed the kings son, and cooked the son in a pie he served to the king, leading to the unknowingly eating his own son. The gods punished the Rat Cook, by turning him into a giant rat who could only feed by eating its own young. The gods did not punish the cook for feeding the king his own son, but for killing a man beneath his own roof.
Does the Wall block warging?
It appears so. Jon Snow isn't capable of connecting with Ghost anymore, when they have the Wall in between them, nor can Jon, warged in Ghost, feel Summer when Summer is north of the Wall, and Jon and Ghost south.
Whether this is the same for each warg/skinchanger, or depends on the strength of the individual, is a matter of discussion. It does appear that Bran, warged into the weirwood net, can see south of the Wall, whilst being north of it.
What's the kindness Jaime never did?
Jaime is referring to Tysha, and how Tyrion believed that Jaime bought Tysha's services to make Tyrion into a man (making him lose his virginity). Jaime never paid Tysha, however, as Tysha wasn't a whore. In other words, a kindness that Jaime never did.
In A Dance with Dragons, Septon Chayle is at the Wall. Wasn't he the septon at Winterfell? Didn't he die in A Clash of Kings?
Indeed. This is an error., Septon Cellador is the Septon at Castle Black. Septon Chayle, as far as is known, is dead.
If the gates in King's Landing were closed, how did Arya get to the harbor? You need to cross a gate...
A well known issue. People have tried to find explanations for it, but most have not yet been satisfied. Here's the most recent given explanation.
How come Cersei and Margaery need a Kingsguard Knight to defend them in their trials in A Dance with Dragons, while Gregor Clegane, not a Kingsguard Knight, was allowed to defend Cersei in Tyrion's trial in A Storm of Swords?
Because in Tyrion's trial, it wasn't Cersei who stood accused.. Tyrion was accused, Cersei the accuser. Tyrion didn't necessarily need to use a Kingsguard knight in that trial because he isn't royalty.
In Cersei's case in Dance (and in Margaery's case, should she opt for a trial by combat, should her first trial fail), Cersei is the Queen Regent, Margaery the Queen. They are royalty, and it is them who stand accued. They are not the accusers. Thus, they need a Kingsguard to defend them.
If knights are custom of the followers of the Seven, why there are knights in the North (Old Gods) and in the Iron Islands (Drowned God)?
There aren't many. So far we know of a single Ironborn knight. Knights from the North spring forth from a few sources:
1. White Harbor and the Manderlys
The Manderys in White harbor brought the new gods and Southern customs along, so knighthood is more common there.
2. Houses near the Neck
Houses who have business with the South may have a few knights, as customs mingle.
3. War returnees
Some Northerners simply get knighted by Southern nobility during war time, it cannot be helped. Ser Jorah Mormont is an example.
4. Hedge Knights and Freeriders
People living the life of a hedge knight or freeriders in service in the South might face the same treatment, when the do too many chivalrous deeds, although an example is missing here.
Who can make a knight?
Any knight can make a knight. As knighthood is a form of distinction, the higher in renown or social status the maker, the better for the image of the knight made. Kings can also knight people, but lords cannot (unless they have once been knighted themselves).
So for example, King Robert Baratheon, knighted in his youth, can knight people (and has) because he is a knight himself, and because he is a king. King Baelor I, a king, but not a knight, could have knighted anyone he wanted to. Lord Eddard Stark, never knighted himself, can't knight anyone.
Which Targaryens had deformed children? * King Maegor I Targaryen (multiple malformed children by multiple wives)
* Daemon Targaryen (a malformed son by Lady Laena Velaryon)
* Rhaenyra Targaryen (a malformed stillborn daughter, Visenya, by Prince Daemon, according to Mushroom)
* Daenerys Targaryen (a malformed stillborn son, Rhaego, by Khal Drogo)
How big do dragons grow?
Dragons seem just to grow if they get enough food and space.
How old are Dany's dragons as of the end of Dance?
Born in early 299 AC, the dragons are currently around 1,5 years old.
Who is Jon Snow's mother?
Have a look into the first post of the current (fixed) R+L=J thread in the General ASoIaF forum. It links to collections of theories on Jon Snow's parentage.
Who are the marcher lords?
Marcher lords are powerful lords who guard region near border with Dorne, known as the Dornish Marches. They have large keeps and maintain large forces, to defend lands of the Reach and Stormlands in case of Dornish attack.
- in the Stormlands:
House Selmy, House Dondarrion, House Swann, House Caron
- in the Reach:
House Tarly, possibly House Peake
When Arya is serving at Harrenhal, she sees Roose Bolton cautionly turning the pages of a very ornate and fragile book, before throwing it to the fire. Do we know which book was that? No.
Any other questions:
Is The Ice Dragon part of the asoiaf universe? No, it is not.