Tower of the Hand

ConQuesT 44 report: George R. R. Martin notes

Tags: GRRM, ConQuesT
5/27/2013 5:55:36 PM ET

Editor's note: George R. R. Martin attended ConQuesT 44 this weekend in Kansas City and participated in two panel discussions. Pharout attended both sessions and she has kindly shared with us her reports. Below are some notes and other goodies from her reports about GRRM's ConQuesT panels.

Before/after the reading and a brief Q&A

Saturday, May 25, 2013

As mentioned, the reading is from the upcoming The World of Ice and Fire book. Recently, this was reported as being delayed till Fall 2014. George said it would be out "next spring." Grain of Salt . . .

For this book, he was supposed to write 50,000 words - he wrote 250,000. The extras have been put in a file for a project they are now calling the "GRRM - arillion." Way down the road.

The premise of the "World" book is that it is a copy of a tome presented to Robert just after the Rebellion. The "article" he read was written by a Maester Glyndon. Glyndon distilled his work from three other accounts of the conquest: one from a septon, one from a Grand Maester, and one from "The Tales of Mushroom" a court fool. George actually wrote all three of these pieces as well.

"The Princess and the Queen" is a tale of the Dance of the Dragons that will appear in the anthology Dangerous Women. He turned in 80,000 words, which was edited down to 30,000.

He would like to do 5 or 6 more Dunk and Egg stories. The first 3 are to be released as a collection next spring.

Walder Frey is the annoying little kid in "The Mystery Knight."

Varys' little birds do have their tongues cut out. They are "provided to him" that way.

"90 minutes with GRRM" and another brief Q&A

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The program had basically no description for this session. As I was waiting, I overheard a small group asking a Con volunteer what was up. His reply was, "We give him a microphone and see what happens."

As it turns out there really was a plan. We watched Season 2, Epsiode 9 of Game of Thrones together with his comments and anecdotes.

As you'll remember this was "Blackwater" and George had the writing credit for it. It has been nominated for a Hugo, in the Drama, Short Form category.

  • George gave high praise to director Neil Marshall, who "came to their rescue" only about a week before shooting because of a death in the original director's family. Neil's background is in feature films of the action genre, and this was his first experience with TV. George reported that he often said, "Can't we add . . .?" in places they are used to hearing "We can't fit that in."
  • The chain was out before he even started writing the episode, and the antler men were cut after an early draft. The logistics of needing both horses and fire meant that they cut out a lot of the horse scenes. He jokes that they briefly considered using coconuts . . .
  • They had only one boat to use as a set.
  • The battle plan was greatly simplified. He referred to one of the cut characters, Imry Florent, as a "highborn idiot."
  • The "Rains of Castamere" scene in the tavern with Bronn and the Hound was written/added by D&D.
  • The actor who plays Podrick Payne is actually the son of Ron Donachie, who played Rodrik Cassel.
  • At one point he stopped the video to commend the sound direction. George says he strives to be able to immerse the reader in the story, and to do that you must engage all their senses, and he finds sound to be the most difficult to do.
  • We also had a long break for George to talk about his pet peeve of the actors not wearing helmets. This goes back to his The Twilight Zone days in which a stunt man lost a piece of his nose after a choreography slip because the director wanted the main character to be visorless. Sound familiar? We know that Tyrion got a sword to the face after lifting his visor in the course of battle. George actually wrote a scene(s) in which Joffrey lifted his visor, and Tyrion ordered him to put it back down.
  • Of all the horrible scenes that Sophie Turner has had to do in her short career (near rape, being beaten and stripped, etc.) she was most terrified of singing the "Fairest Mother, font of mercy" hymn.

And from the Q&A:

  • Auditions are being held now for season 4 - including the Magnar, Mace Tyrell and OBERYN MARTELL!!
  • An audience member asked, "What did Podrick do?" George looked a little confused as he was still in Blackwater mode and said it was pretty obvious that "he stabbed him with a spear." As the question was clarified to relate to the Season 3 events his reply was "he stabbed 'em with a spear."
  • A question came up about the Red Wedding, and if he expected the same outcry as with Ned's death. George was pretty noncommittal, but Paris added something about accommodations in Antarctica.
  • Another audience member asked whether George had rock or ice climbing experience, because he thought those scenes were pretty realistic. George admits to climbing stairs, but only if there isn't an elevator. He credits his British editor as his expert and adviser for this.

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