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Lord Varys

FIRE AND BLOOD Volume 1

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Only reason to read these fake histories...

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“Archmaester Rigney once wrote that history is a wheel, for the nature of man is fundamentally unchanging. What has happened before will perforce happen again, he said.”

 

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I'll read it for the foreshadowing but am dreading the slog to be honest. I've found the majority of content in these Maester histories a dull read.

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600 pages in hardcover....how is this possible?  That's twice as long as the World book.

"70% never-published material"

By my calculations:

  • Aegon's Conquest - 10,000 words
  • The Peace of the Dragon - unpublished
  • The Sons of the Dragon - 17,000 words
  • The Heirs of the Dragon - 17,000 words (edited as The Rogue Prince with 13,000 words)
  • The Dying of the Dragons - 60,000 words (edited as The Princess and the Queen with 30,000 words)
  • Aftermath - the Regency of Aegon III - "nearly as long" as the Dance material, only a 3,000 word gloss in World book.

So....10 + 17 + 13 = 40, 40+30= 70....

If they consider those 70,000 already-published selections to be "30%" of the full version...70 divided by 3 multiply by 10 equals...

233,000 words

....but Martin wrote about 160,000 words on Aegon I to Aegon III for the World book.  

Did...did he write essentially 50% more material for this version?  

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1 hour ago, chrisdaw said:

I'll read it for the foreshadowing but am dreading the slog to be honest. I've found the majority of content in these Maester histories a dull read.

I couldn't have said it better. The Tales of Dunk and Egg are so much better. 

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1 hour ago, chrisdaw said:

30% is rehash? Oh joy.

I can get all my Targ history in two books instead of 12?  Yay!

What is wrong with you people? We're talking about all the intrigue, manipulating, and back-stabbing at a typical royal court...with dragons! Maybe the delivery style of the maesters leaves a lot to be desired, but think of the crackpots that could be fueled. I'll definitely be combing for any hints for my Daario theory.

1 hour ago, The Dragon Demands said:

"70% never-published material"

<snip

Did...did he write essentially 50% more material for this version?  

Never-published doesn't mean it wasn't written already. By your own numbers a good amount was cut from each of the previously published stories, so we'll be getting uncut versions of them, as well as other stories he hadn't published yet. 

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2 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

I'll read it for the foreshadowing but am dreading the slog to be honest. I've found the majority of content in these Maester histories a dull read.

 

23 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

I couldn't have said it better. The Tales of Dunk and Egg are so much better. 

Maybe it's because I'm a history buff, and enjoy fictitious histories like The Silmarillion but I really enjoyed it. Probably not in the same cover-to-cover way, I found that I only did that once but it's not bad to dip into now and again. And the artwork is gorgeous.

1 hour ago, The Dragon Demands said:

If they consider those 70,000 already-published selections to be "30%" of the full version...70 divided by 3 multiply by 10 equals...

233,000 words

....but Martin wrote about 160,000 words on Aegon I to Aegon III for the World book.  

Did...did he write essentially 50% more material for this version?  

If I had to guess, it was supposition and estimates based on nothing much in particular. I wouldn't take too much from it. After all, it seems strange that GRRM would pursue a project requiring a lot of new material for a book that won't necessarily sell well at the expense of the book that has already missed two deadlines.

Presumably most of it he already wrote. I hope.

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I've read this news and I felt nothing. No excitement at all. Honestly, I'm probably not even going to read it. I don't really see the point in wasting time on a dull backstory for an unfinished series, when there are so many amazing books out there that I could read instead.

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9 hours ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Only reason to read these fake histories...

If that's your only reason you can just as well not read them. George is not going to spoil his own books. And this quote is still nothing but a pretty obvious reference to Robert Jordan. It is not a metaphysical truism about George's world.

History thankfully does not repeat itself in this world. At least not on a meaningful level.

7 hours ago, chrisdaw said:

I'll read it for the foreshadowing but am dreading the slog to be honest. I've found the majority of content in these Maester histories a dull read.

If that's your interest I don't think the book will be all that interesting for you. There were some tiny tidbits of real foreshadowing in TWoIaF but those - like the Tyrion hints, Aerys II's dragon eggs that had turned to stone, or the news about the Year of the False Spring - were actually connected to events and characters that play a role in the main series.

The account on the regency government of King Aegon III, for instance, is not likely going to give us any foreshadowing on events in the future of the series (in fact, if anything foreshadowed that plot line then it would have been King Tommen's regency government in ASoS, AFfC, and ADwD).

It is also very unlikely that the characters we meet in those stories are going to be of any deeper significance in the main series. Characters might compare Aegon and Daenerys later to Aegon II and Rhaenyra, when their conflict is called 'the Second Dance of the Dragons', but things won't bleed into each other or connect with each as they are doing in the Dunk & Egg stories.

In that sense - if you don't care about the history of the world as such you don't have to trouble yourself with reading that stuff.

But then, I really don't understand why people don't care about the back story and history of the world they are apparently invested in.

5 hours ago, Yukle said:

Presumably most of it he already wrote. I hope.

Sure, everything in that book was already written years ago. It is basically a welcome side project that developed out of TWoIaF. The only new piece in that book is the account on the reign of King Jaehaerys I and Good Queen Alysanne. Everything else was basically written for TWoIaF.

This wasn't a project that took much of George's writing time. In fact, many people - including myself - were very annoyed about how the publication of this material was handled. Writing hundreds of pages of historical material only for it to sit in the drawer for years wasn't exactly something that filled the people who are obsessed with this world with joy.

My cancer back in 2011 wasn't serious enough for me to write George a touching letter, but I'm actually interested enough in that kind of stuff to have it rather high up on my list of things I want to read before I die. In that sense, it is really good to know that this stuff gets out this year.

As for the percentage numbers:

If correct - that's a press release, not gospel - then we are talking likely about the difference between the published material (TPatQ, TRP, and TSotD) in comparison to the amount of words FaB is going to contain.

In regards to content we already know much and more - nearly everything, in fact - about the text, with the sole exception of some details from the Dance (which weren't mentioned either in TPatQ and TWoIaF), a lot of stuff from the Regency of Aegon III (which wasn't covered in detail in TWoIaF at all) and the reign of Jaehaerys I (which was only given a cursory overview in TWoIaF, wasting more time on Corlys Velaryon's travels and the Old King's troubled succession than his actual reign). We already knew that Alysanne and Barth were his closest advisors, that he was a great king, etc.

There are a lot of blanks there, and apparently George has filled them with in a compelling way. I mean, this royal couple had thirteen children (nine who lived to adulthood) and that fact alone should make their court a very interesting and compelling place in comparison to earlier or later courts. We know pretty much nothing about their children aside from the stuff written in that side bar. And in the earlier years the relationship between Jaehaerys I/Alysanne and their mother Alyssa Velaryon and their Baratheon stepfather is interesting - not to mention to their Baratheon half-siblings (and their half-sister Jocelyn's eventually marriage to their oldest surviving son and first heir).

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21 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

If that's your only reason you can just as well not read them. George is not going to spoil his own books. And this quote is still nothing but a pretty obvious reference to Robert Jordan. It is not a metaphysical truism about George's world.

History thankfully does not repeat itself in this world. At least not on a meaningful level.

If that's your interest I don't think the book will be all that interesting for you. There were some tiny tidbits of real foreshadowing in TWoIaF but those - like the Tyrion hints, Aerys II's dragon eggs that had turned to stone, or the news about the Year of the False Spring - were actually connected to events and characters that play a role in the main series.

The account on the regency government of King Aegon III, for instance, is not likely going to give us any foreshadowing on events in the future of the series (in fact, if anything foreshadowed that plot line then it would have been King Tommen's regency government in ASoS, AFfC, and ADwD).

It is also very unlikely that the characters we meet in those stories are going to be of any deeper significance in the main series. Characters might compare Aegon and Daenerys later to Aegon II and Rhaenyra, when their conflict is called 'the Second Dance of the Dragons', but things won't bleed into each other or connect with each as they are doing in the Dunk & Egg stories.

In that sense - if you don't care about the history of the world as such you don't have to trouble yourself with reading that stuff.

But then, I really don't understand why people don't care about the back story and history of the world they are apparently invested in.

Sure, everything in that book was already written years ago. It is basically a welcome side project that developed out of TWoIaF. The only new piece in that book is the account on the reign of King Jaehaerys I and Good Queen Alysanne. Everything else was basically written for TWoIaF.

This wasn't a project that took much of George's writing time. In fact, many people - including myself - were very annoyed about how the publication of this material was handled. Writing hundreds of pages of historical material only for it to sit in the drawer for years wasn't exactly something that filled the people who are obsessed with this world with joy.

My cancer back in 2011 wasn't serious enough for me to write George a touching letter, but I'm actually interested enough in that kind of stuff to have it rather high up on my list of things I want to read before I die. In that sense, it is really good to know that this stuff gets out this year.

As for the percentage numbers:

If correct - that's a press release, not gospel - then we are talking likely about the difference between the published material (TPatQ, TRP, and TSotD) in comparison to the amount of words FaB is going to contain.

In regards to content we already know much and more - nearly everything, in fact - about the text, with the sole exception of some details from the Dance (which weren't mentioned either in TPatQ and TWoIaF), a lot of stuff from the Regency of Aegon III (which wasn't covered in detail in TWoIaF at all) and the reign of Jaehaerys I (which was only given a cursory overview in TWoIaF, wasting more time on Corlys Velaryon's travels and the Old King's troubled succession than his actual reign). We already knew that Alysanne and Barth were his closest advisors, that he was a great king, etc.

There are a lot of blanks there, and apparently George has filled them with in a compelling way. I mean, this royal couple had thirteen children (nine who lived to adulthood) and that fact alone should make their court a very interesting and compelling place in comparison to earlier or later courts. We know pretty much nothing about their children aside from the stuff written in that side bar. And in the earlier years the relationship between Jaehaerys I/Alysanne and their mother Alyssa Velaryon and their Baratheon stepfather is interesting - not to mention to their Baratheon half-siblings (and their half-sister Jocelyn's eventually marriage to their oldest surviving son and first heir).

:o

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36 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

:o

Testicle cancer, in fact, which is quite fitting if you consider the whole 'Lord Varys' nickname thing (better not name yourself after a eunuch if you don't want to become one ;-)). But it hasn't gotten this bad (and most likely never will) but I do count as a half-eunuch now...

In 2011 I had to go through chemotherapy because the thing returned, but it is all over now and in fact the best cancer you can hope for due to the high rates of complete recovery (I caught it so early that they decided I didn't have to go through chemotherapy the first time, but it did return after 5+ years).

But it gets you thinking - and if had been some worse cancer, and I had had not enough time to live to see the publication of (then) TWoIaF I sure as hell would have tried to get a glimpse at the manuscript pages already written at that time before I die. I mean, under those circumstances, who the hell cares about that stupid art?

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18 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Testicle cancer, in fact, which is quite fitting if you consider the whole 'Lord Varys' nickname thing (better not name yourself after a eunuch if you don't want to become one ;-)). But it hasn't gotten this bad (and most likely never will) but I do count as a half-eunuch now...

In 2011 I had to go through chemotherapy because the thing returned, but it is all over now and in fact the best cancer you can hope for due to the high rates of complete recovery (I caught it so early that they decided I didn't have to go through chemotherapy the first time, but it did return after 5+ years).

But it gets you thinking - and if had been some worse cancer, and I had had not enough time to live to see the publication of (then) TWoIaF I sure as hell would have tried to get a glimpse at the manuscript pages already written at that time before I die. I mean, under those circumstances, who the hell cares about that stupid art?

Here's to many more years filled with fake history, relatively meaningless debates over what is going on in some fat man's mind, and a good quality of life. :cheers:

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If I had to guess, it was supposition and estimates based on nothing much in particular. I wouldn't take too much from it. After all, it seems strange that GRRM would pursue a project requiring a lot of new material for a book that won't necessarily sell well at the expense of the book that has already missed two deadlines.

Presumably most of it he already wrote. I hope.

George  wrote 300,000 words for the World Book, which was way too much. A couple of pieces (like the Conquest) were used verbatim but otherwise Elio and Linda had to summarise everything else.

So as far as I can tell all of the material in Fire and Blood was written for WoIaF in 2012. The exception is the Jaehaerys I material which I'm gathering is not voluminous (lots of accounts of how amazingly peaceful the reign was isn't of much interest to anyone).

Going through the numbers, Fire and Blood is c. 275,000 words long, so it looks like George shaved off 25,000-odd words in editing even after the Jaehaerys material was added.

Quote

30% is rehash? Oh joy.

As we already knew. The Princess and the QueenThe Rogue Prince and Sons of the Dragon were all excerpts from Fire and Blood and GRRM made that clear at the time each was published

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12 minutes ago, Lost Melnibonean said:

Here's to many more years filled with fake history, relatively meaningless debates over what is going on in some fat man's mind, and a good quality of life. :cheers:

Thanks. Things are looking rather good right now ;-).

Has anyone an idea what that sample illustration is supposed to depict? No Targaryen dragonrider ever attacked and burned a large city in Westeros as far as we know. The only scene somewhat in line with the illustration might be Maegor's attack on the Sept of Remembrance, but that would then be up a hill, not close to some harbor (which wouldn't be part of KL, anyway)?

Are we looking at something new or a scene where correct detail is simply not important...?

Come to think of it, could be depiction of the Conqueror lending assistance against the Volantenes. The only Westerosi city which could remotely resemble the one depicted in the illustration would be Oldtown (considering those are clearly complicated stone buildings) - but Oldtown was most definitely never burned by any dragons...

12 minutes ago, Werthead said:

George  wrote 300,000 words for the World Book, which was way too much. A couple of pieces (like the Conquest) were used verbatim but otherwise Elio and Linda had to summarise everything else.

I'm losing track. Weren't those 300,000 words the entirety of the stuff George wrote for TWoIaF, including the sections on the Seven Kingdoms as well as the Lands beyond the Sunset Kingdoms?

From what we can draw from the example of the History of the Westerlands (George's unedited sample vs. the text in TWoIaF) Elio and Linda only edited that material. It is still mainly George's words - what they had to summarize was all that Targaryen history stuff up to the Regency of Aegon III. The Targaryen stuff up to Aerys II was then completely written by them based on notes the got from George, whereas the history of the reign of Aerys II and the Year of the False Spring was again new stuff written by George and only edited by them.

In that sense the Jaehaerys I's material might actually not be that insubstantial after all. Or not. I'm really confused now.

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10 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm losing track. Weren't those 300,000 words the entirety of the stuff George wrote for TWoIaF, including the sections on the Seven Kingdoms as well as the Lands beyond the Sunset Kingdoms?

From what we can draw from the example of the History of the Westerlands (George's unedited sample vs. the text in TWoIaF) Elio and Linda only edited that material. It is still mainly George's words - what they had to summarize was all that Targaryen history stuff up to the Regency of Aegon III. The Targaryen stuff up to Aerys II was then completely written by them based on notes the got from George, whereas the history of the reign of Aerys II and the Year of the False Spring was again new stuff written by George and only edited by them.

In that sense the Jaehaerys I's material might actually not be that insubstantial after all. Or not. I'm really confused now.

I recall Elio and Linda's approach, a lot of their work on the world book was based on GRRM's raw notes which he'd written over the period of writing the novels and other stuff was taken from email exchanges. This was where they themselves had to write the material using GRRM's knowledge. This process sometimes involved them creating material, ideas and names (to bridge one GRRM chunk of information with another), which they'd mark as such and send to George. Sometimes he'd approve their material, sometimes he'd change names to something he liked more and sometimes he'd write back with a completely different linking event. In that process they built up the book.

Only the white-box material ascribed to Gyldayn is 100% GRRM's words (edited or not). Everything else is Elio and Linda's summary of George's notes and material.

It could be that the "Lands Beyond" and other sections with lots of new canon information (like Sarnor and the Grasslands, which I believe George penned through notes when working on Lands of Ice and Fire) was provided by George as large blocks of material which Ran and Linda summarised in a similar manner. That could also explain where the 25,000 words has disappeared, since it was material that George wrote for WoIaF but is not relevant to the F&B Volume I time or geographic period.

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15 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Has anyone an idea what that sample illustration is supposed to depict? No Targaryen dragonrider ever attacked and burned a large city in Westeros as far as we know. The only scene somewhat in line with the illustration might be Maegor's attack on the Sept of Remembrance, but that would then be up a hill, not close to some harbor (which wouldn't be part of KL, anyway)?

 

Could it be Sunspear?

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