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Ckram

Secrets of Braavos by Jonathan Roberts

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9 hours ago, Ckram said:

The route you've laid out for the story fits the timeline, but I personally just think it would be a bummer.

why a bummer? 

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Back on the map, Roberts provided a gif with shots from the mapping process of the Iron Bank surroundings for a wired magazine article on TLOAIF.

What is really interesting about this gif is that we can see that:

  1. The coloring and shading process of buildings #2, #3 and #5 were not done at the same time as the common buildings or even with the Iron Bank or Sealord's Palace.
  2. The gardens of Sealord's Palace were not added until the end of the process and had their own coloring and shading process.

As I see it, doing these separate processes shows that there was extra care in presenting the unnamed buildings, and so my suspicions are grounded.

As for Sealord's gardens, perhaps it was add due GRRM's intervention, because he prefered the gardens to remain on an island apart from the main palace. I do credit last minute changes to GRRM taking into account this news update here on Westeros.org (probably written by Elio, but posted by Linda) which says that "all of these maps are based on George's hand-drawn maps, and were made with his direct oversight".

However, I am not an illustrator, so I may be confusing a normal process with deliberate attention.

Edited by Ckram

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40 minutes ago, The Weirwoods Eyes said:

why a bummer?

Maybe it's just another case of my bad English.

I meant "disappointing" because outside the FM all other "mentors" of Arya were unexpected, whereas the Black Pearl seems a very obvious thing. Of course, the things that Arya can get to know when working for the Black Pearl may be interesting and revealing, but the author's decision to join them would be quite tropy (in the bad sense of the word).

Edited by Ckram

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Back on Braavos map...

After I realized that the Titans of Braavos in TLOIAF holds a spear and shield and not a broken sword, I almost lost all interest in this topic. Even considering that GRRM has oversaw the entire work and that copyright is under his name (not Robert's), this mistake reveals a rather pronounced degree of inaccuracy and sloppiness.

However, taking a second look at that Wired article, my interest came back when I was able to notice two new things: A - Roberts said "Martin's notes also included real-world locations to be used for visual reference in different cities"; B - This image of Braavos illustration progression.

Someone on reddit summed up the city's architecture as being "multiple Galata Towers and the Doge's Palace". In fact, Braavos has ten such towers, while Istanbul neve had more than one since the days of Constantinople. In antiquity, this tower controlled the end of an sea chain (boom), such as that forged under Tyrion's orders in ACOK. Thus, the towers we see are part of an intricate defense system, which may be to be used at some point in the upcoming books.

The image of the progression of the map shows exactly that the location was planned, marked with a circle (empty in the left sketch, filled in the right). A good example is the Arsenal of Braavos: an island with five towers similar at first, but the only one which has its location demarcated on the sketch is the one who looks like Galata Tower.

A minor detail: in the early sketches, The Gate was located in the middle of the Drowned Town, having been moved to firmer ground in the final illustration.

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I think Jonathan Roberts was referring to the Mercy chapter, where we find what's "Gate" in TLOIAF.

Palace of Justice is in fact an error, see 

 

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I would agree with you @zionius if J. Roberts hadn't spoken of "chapters", plural, in that interview for Quartz.

Spoiler

And I think Roberts was talking specifically about Arya's chapters, which we have reasons to assume probably will no longer take place at The Gate ("She would miss her, and she would miss Daena and the Snapper and the rest, even Izembaro and Bobono." - TWOW, Mercy).

It's not uncommon for GRRM to give away information about the future of a particular character to those who participate in his projects.  People like Anne Groel (GRRM's editor) and Daniel Graham (who adapted AGOT as a graphic novel for Groel) seem to know where the stories of Bran and Tyrion will end up (respectively). Thus I assume Roberts' inside information as a real thing and that he's not just refering to The Gate.

As for the Palace of Truth / Justice thing, you're probably right. And so I have no idea what Building # 7 is.

Edited by Ckram

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I was re-reading ADWD recently when I noticed for the first time that the House of Black and White was built on a rocky knoll. In TLOIAF we can see that its terrain really differs from those in which the other temples were built. This detail wouldn't have any relevance if ADWD hadn't reveal the underground tunnels complex below HoBaW.

Much has been written about a connections between the Faceless Men and Iron Bank, and even about the chance of the abandoned mine on which the Iron Bank was built having another entrance, just below the HoBaW. Some even think that the vault in which the thousands of faces are stored would be owned by the IB, and Kindly Man would its official keyholder.

Although all this is speculation, one thing is fact: the temple stairs lead to deep chambers, "under even the canals" (ADWD, The Ugly Girl). The stairs have 94 steps, total (18+22+54). If we consider the standard measure of steps (4-7 inches), then the depth to the chamber would be between 31 and 54 feet (10-16 meters), something like a 4-story building.

However, it isn't only the depth of the passages that deserves note, but also the distance traveled. Although Arya doesn't provide us references to measure the path horizontally, she notes that there are passageways and tunnels between the flights of stairs mentioned above. 

After the first staircase, "five arched passageways spread out like the fingers of a man's hand", which means that there are 5 paths arranged in a 180-degree range. Then, after the second flight, "cramped and crooked" tunnels, plural. So it is possible to assume that there is as much path to go horizontally as there is vertically.

Problem is that, looking at the map, there is no direction in which it appears that HoBaW could have 5 tunnels arranged in a 180 degree range without having its subsequent lower floor directly below at least one of the others temples of the Isles of the Gods. Thus, the other islands should be connected somehow to the rocky knoll, which is supposed to be huge, to the point of spreading through much of the body of water in the center of Braavos.

That said, it may be true that there is an underwater tunnel to the Iron Bank (or even the Sea Lord's Palace), or at least to some of the Temples or the Palace of Truth. Anyway, I now suspect that the location of House of Black and White is strategic and was decisive for the location of the Isle of the Gods (and not the other way around).

Thus, it may be that the rocky knoll is one of the "geographical details" that Roberts mentioned in the interview for Quartz (as quoted in the OP).

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@Ckram

woah!

and here's my stupid ass looking for a red door and a lemon tree ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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@dmfn

I think is no coincidence that we have a complete and detailed map of Braavos. The other complete city map we have is the one of King's Landing. It's worth noting that GRRM should had a sketch of this map back when he was working on AGOT. However he only published it in ACOK, due to the Battle of Blackwater.

According to Linda, George was working on Braavos map since when he was writing AFFC (or the part of ADWD manuscript that became AFFC). This was the map that guided Jonathan Roberts, who even called it "very complete", however "fluid". Since AFFC and ADWD were supposed to be one book, it seems to me that back then GRRM was planning to insert Braavos map in TWOW.

In fact, Roberts said that the map of Braavos in TLOIAF was accurate to the point that one should be able to trace Arya's routes precisely – "right down to the individual bridges she passes under". He also said on reddit that this map "has the most specifically new material in it".

So why the hell we don't have a single map of Winterfell, Meereen or Oldtown but have such a painstakingly detailed map of Braavos if not because something really major is about to happen there in the next book?

Edited by Ckram

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In his site, Jonathan Roberts stated that his first step on Braavos was "to establish the overhead plan for the map". then this plan was "spun round and a perspective distort added" and only after that he "started working in all of the buildings and other elevations". At first glance, nothing new here. However, Braavos illustration in TLOIAF contemplates both the spun plan (larger map) and the overhead (smaller map). And I found out that they bear somes differences.

He/she who compares the larger map with the overhead plan will notice that Roberts intended them to be identical. In deed, even uninhabited and unimportant islands were reproduced with care and their disposition is very similar in both maps.  So the differences I found seem to be the result of changes in the main map that were simply not updated in the smaller map. However, they are so noteworthy that they seem to increase the significance of what has been fixed.

First, the island in which the Sealord's Gardens are located (zoomed image) doesn't exist in the overhead plan. Second, neither the House of Black and White and the Sept Beyond the Sea (zoomed image).

The first case (Sealord's Garden) is one that I've already explored upthread and this inconsistency between the original overhead plan and the final larger map only enforces my suspicions that it was a result of George's later interventions. However, I now also see that someone (probably GRRM again) must also have stepped in to fix the location of HoBaW and SBtS, and I wonder if it'd have something to do with the tunnel network whose extension was theorized above.

Edited by Ckram

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I have found a Google Talk youtube video with Jonathan Roberts discussing TLOIAF maps, in which he not only confirms some of my suspicions about Braavos map, but also presents the very sketches of that map. Full size sketches.

1. Confirmed stuff

A - The gardens of Sealord's Palace were add later, by request"[...] in an earlier version of the map, the isle - the zoo was not there. It got added by request. So i'm intrigued to find out what that means for 'Winds of Winter'" (41:59)

B - Because of "A", the smaller top-down map of Braavos in TLOIAF really corresponds to an not updated version of the overview map sketch. (15:15)

C - Roberts was sent "chapters" of TWOW, plural, although he only displays "Arya I" in the presentation: "I got chapters of 'Winds of Winter', which was very nice. Now just to give you an idea, this is 2012. There were finished chapters of 'Winds of Winter' in 2012. I'm not going to say any more. So actual parts of the Braavos map are directly involved with 'Winds of Winters'". (17:10)

2. The unamed, the pinpointed and the contradictions

Earlier on this thread I listed 10 unamed buildings that stand out, as well as eleven regular towers that were strangelly pinpointed in the partial sketches. Well, it turns out that the unnamed buildings do not appear anywhere in the sketches, whereas all the eleven towers are marked throughout the overview map sketch.

In addition, if you closely on King's Landing map sketch, you might notice that the chain towers are marked in similar fashion as the bravosi ones.

My first thought: the buildings theory is debunked, the towers theory is supported. However, not so fast.

Every tower in those sketches are show as a large black dot, even the most insignificant ones. The ones on the Red Keep, Sealord's Palace, even the ones on the walls of KL. So that indicates the bravosi eleven are decoration? No. Because the large black dots were also used to pinpoint relevant places too, like Sept of Baelor, Dragonpit and Moon Pool. So I dare say it's all inconclusive.

On the other hand, if we take a look at the skewed map skecth, something suddenly becames clear: some basic places shown and refered in TWOW are missing.

Spoiler

The GateThe Dome and even The Blue Lantern, which is mentioned as early as AFFC (Cat of The Canals).

In fact, Drowned Town, Spotted Cellar and Brusco's are all wrong located in relation to the TLOIAF final maps. But these wrongs are not as insightful as the missing TWOW buildings.

The importance of this WOW related detail is that it leads us to these contradictions:

  1. If the sketches were not yet up-to-date with the TWOW chapters sent by GRRM, then there must no relation between the large black dots identifying the towers and future plot significance. However, the unamed buildings theory is not debunked (because the maps were updated later, and the ten buildings may have been part of this update);
  2. If those sketches were somewhat up-to-date with the TWOW chapters sent by GRRM, then Mercy is not "Arya I" of TWOW.

3. The "creative liberty" issue

Roberts has said on the video that he had to take a lot of creative liberty for this city map, because "Braavos was the one case where there were a lot of locations that were mentioned that actually hadn't turned up in the [GRRM's] sketch yet".

In deed, during the debates with editors he realised he had to move a lot of things due to plot justification, even though his options made more sense geographically. Once many locations had "unspeciefied places", he felt like he was "basically suggesting" their locations, though "figuring out where in the city they could be without things just being fundamentally logically inconsistent".

That being said, it's hard to tell when something is not just one of Jonathan Robert's liberties. And Braavos map is the only one it does happen, because as Roberts noted "everything else was actually really precisely mapped out" (47:42).

Edited by Ckram

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Linda and I helped a fair bit with pulling together information for the Braavos map, and saw George's original. George's original map of Braavos, which he sent and which I have, was noted by him to be quite old and that in writing he had changed some details and hadn't updated the map. So he offered some written corrections, and then said it'd be best if we all combed through the text, tried to pinpoint the changes, have Roberts go through with a draft ... and then he'd offer some further notes.

That's the stage where George pointed out he wanted that isle wooded and hosting the Sealord's menagerie. His original map just points out the Sealord's palace, no reference to the menagerie.

Edited by Ran

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10 hours ago, Ran said:

So he offered some written corrections, and then said it'd be best if we all combed through the text, tried to pinpoint the changes, have Roberts go through with a draft ... and then he'd offer some further notes.

That's the stage where George pointed out he wanted that isle wooded and hosting the Sealord's menagerie.

Thanks for replying. Wonderful feedback.

So it sounds like Braavos were a much collaborative map. And according to what you have said, the sketches displayed by Roberts in the video might be only early drafts. Drawn perhaps even before GRRM's "further notes", but certainly before Roberts received TWOW chapters (unless, of course, that by "the text" you have meant to all the material about Braavos you may have access to, published and not).

However, the sketches released by Jonathan did not reflect just one stage of the process. 

Both the top-down and skewed sketches showed Brusco's as near Prestayns, the Drowned Town and the Spotted Cellar near Purple Harbor, and the Chequy Port as a group of several isles. But this partial path sketch shows Brusco near the Nabbo's Bridge (as it is in TLOIAF), while the Wired sketch (top left) locate Drowned Town and Spotted Cellar near Ragman's Harbor and depicts Chequy Port as a single isle.

Quote

In fact, The Dome, The Gate and The Blue Lantern were in the Wired Sketch, indicating that this is one of the revised drafts.

So I imagine that the most comprehensive map sketches we have were really made before a TWOW-oriented revision took place.

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So Dany grew up in Sealord's Palace is almost confirmed :P

At 17:08 of the video, only TWOW Arya I is shown, so that may confirm the secret place Jonathan Roberts referred is just "Gate".

At 16:54 he highlighted "A harbor was visible off to her right, a tangle of piers and quays crowded with bigbellied whalers out of Ibben, swan ships from the Summer Isles, and more galleys than a girl could count. Another harbor, more distant, was off to her left, beyond a sinking point of land where the tops of half-drowned buildings thrust themselves above the water." That's from the early print of AFFC, which showed the Drowned Town in the north of Braavos, as can also be seen in the skewed map and sketch map.

Later, George decided to place it in the east of Braavos, as in TLOIAF, and AFFC was revised to "A harbor was visible off to her right, beyond a sinking point of land where the tops of half-drowned buildings thrust themselves above the water: a tangle of piers and quays crowded with big-bellied whalers out of Ibben, swan ships from the Summer Isles, and more galleys than a girl could count. Another harbor, more distant, was off to her left."

Edited by zionius

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There are some contradictions, which is one of the issues we all puzzled over, and it's part of the reason some things that were marked down in draft maps ended up being dropped until we could see with George how to sort them out in the text, and why some of the text has been changed in later editions. 

I'm pretty sure I know what Roberts is talking about at that mark, as there were a number of mails on a particular topic but like him I'll err on the side of not saying more. Nothing major or plot relevant, just a place where the descriptions didn't match up.

Edited by Ran

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4 hours ago, Ran said:

it's part of the reason some things that were marked down in draft maps ended up being dropped until we could see with George how to sort them out in the text, and why some of the text has been changed in later editions. 

WOW that's super interesting! So far I only find Holy Refuge in the draft map was dropped. 

Guess I've found the reason to change the location of Drowned Town:

Quote

Last night she had spent outside the Inn of the Green Eel, so tonight she turned right instead of left after the Bloody Bridge and made her way to Pynto’s at the other end of Ragman’s Harbor, right on the edge of the Drowned Town. -AFFC The Blind Girl

 

4 hours ago, Ran said:

some of the text has been changed in later editions. 

The only change I've found, by comparing the 2011 kindle version and latest version, is the AFFC Arya I passage quoted above. But I find another possible candidate:

Quote

Only Braavosi were permitted use of the Purple Harbor, from the Drowned Town and the Sealord’s Palace; - AFFC CAT OF THE CANALS

Maybe the original expression is "from the Drowned Town to the Sealord's Palace":P 

Edited by zionius

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On 10/22/2018 at 3:39 AM, zionius said:

At 17:08 of the video, only TWOW Arya I is shown, so that may confirm the secret place Jonathan Roberts referred is just "Gate".

To end this once for all, I asked Roberts directly:

Q: Jon, I have a question about your Braavos map. You said you were sent 'chapters' of Winds of Winter. However, in a Google Talk video about TLOIAF you only shown one chapter of that book in your harddrive, 'Arya I'. I not asking for spoilers or anything, just if you can at least clarify if you received more than one chapther of WOW? Thanks in advance.

A:  it’s actually all the Arya chapters. Not just one

On 10/22/2018 at 3:39 AM, zionius said:

That's from the early print of AFFC, which showed the Drowned Town in the north of Braavos, as can also be seen in the skewed map and sketch map.

I see. Very perceptive of you.

On 10/22/2018 at 5:06 AM, Ran said:

There are some contradictions, which is one of the issues we all puzzled over, and it's part of the reason some things that were marked down in draft maps ended up being dropped until we could see with George how to sort them out in the text, and why some of the text has been changed in later editions. 

I agree with zionius, this is very interesting.

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2 hours ago, Ckram said:

it’s actually all the Arya chapters. Not just one

So exciting! Though I couldn't find any new hints in the map that're not present in published materials, beside those you've discovered. Currently I think the most likely candidate is Sea Lord's zoo, Arya might find some traces of Dany there.

I notice Ragman's Road, Outer Harbor, and Bridge of Eyes are not included in the map, maybe they'd cause some contradictions with TWOW Arya II?

On the other hand, Bridge of Eyes is probably the third bridge Arya met when she first came to Braavos. Maybe GRRM was just too exhausted to think the names of the other bridges in Hero's Canal, so they all remain unnamed in the map.

Edited by zionius

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The chapters Jonathan saw 

On 10/24/2018 at 5:59 AM, Ckram said:

To end this once for all, I asked Roberts directly:

Q: Jon, I have a question about your Braavos map. You said you were sent 'chapters' of Winds of Winter. However, in a Google Talk video about TLOIAF you only shown one chapter of that book in your harddrive, 'Arya I'. I not asking for spoilers or anything, just if you can at least clarify if you received more than one chapther of WOW? Thanks in advance.

A:  it’s actually all the Arya chapters. Not just one

I see. Very perceptive of you.

I agree with zionius, this is very interesting.

Wow! Great work getting to the bottom of this. :D

I have a question... Jonathan said those were a set of completed chapters. Did George indicate he was still writing Arya chapters after 2012?

 

Edited by a black swan

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