Tower of the Hand



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External Link GRRM reflects on an ending. Now that Game of Thrones is over and the adaptation has finished its story, all eyes are on George R. R. Martin. When will The Winds of Winter be released? How different will the final books be from the TV show? Well, GRRM has now chimed in about the ending, or as he calls it, "an ending." In his latest blog post, GRRM congratulates the creative forces, cast, and crew responsible for Game of Thrones, in particular singling out David Benioff, Dan Weiss, Bryan Cogman, and Richard Plepler. GRRM goes on to say that he expects this won't be the last we see of Westeros on TV, as a number of successor shows remain in development. He also has several other projects in the pipeline, including TV shows, short films, and, yes, more books.

As to the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, GRRM's comments on the books won't surprise long-time readers of his blog (or this site). He's still working on it. GRRM has repeatedly dismissed rumors that the books are already finished and he was just waiting for the TV show to end; the books are not done. He confirms that there will be differences between the books and show, noting that there are many pages of story left that never made it to the screen:

I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had eight hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I'm done... and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I'll add them. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I've been talking about that since season one. There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books... so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns... of a sort...

When GRRM's final books do come out, he wants us to decide for ourselves which of the endings is "real." And, he's right, the internet is going to argue about it.


Nightflyers Open Thread. In 1980, George R. R. Martin published a short novel called "Nightflyers," an expanded version of which was released the following year. The science-fiction/horror story won the Locus Award and was nominated for a Hugo. Later that decade, GRRM sold the film rights to the story, which led to the 1987 film, Nightflyers, directed by T.C. Blake. The film was neither a commercial success nor a cult favorite. But George R. R. Martin himself would go on to bigger and better things, which may be why Nightflyers is getting a second (or third) chance at being adapted for the screen. This time it's being adapted by Daniel Cerone Jeff Buhler for the cable network Syfy. The first episode premieres tonight at 10 PM ET, with other installments of its ten-episode season airing on consecutive nights.

As GRRM recently noted, he has had little involvement with the production of this new show, though his agents did negotiate an "executive producer" credit for him. Nevertheless, GRRM is reminding us to watch it. Here's how he describes it:

On a mission aboard the Nightflyer, the most advanced ship ever built, a team of scientists embark on an expedition to make first contact with alien life. Set in the year 2093, their mission takes them beyond the edge of the solar system, farther than mankind has ever gone before. But when terrifying and violent events start to occur, the team and crew begin to question themselves, each other, and their reclusive captain. They soon come to realize that the true horror isn't waiting for them in outer space - it's already on their ship.

I personally have not yet read the novella on which the show is based, though I did flip through the first few pages of it in my copy of Dreamsongs (Volume I). Tomorrow we'll discuss whether or not we should read the source material before watching any adaptation, but for now, please use this thread to discuss Nightflyers the TV show, if you're planning on watching, and if so, what you think of it and/or the idea of running new episodes every night.


Not a Q&A

Ever since George R. R. Martin announced the release date of Fire & Blood a couple of weeks ago, reactions to the news have ranged from supportive to... very much not supportive. On Not a Blog especially, readers have taken to the comments section to voice their opinions. Surprisingly, GRRM has responded to some of these comments directly. While he is unlikely to satisfy those who are most upset by the wait for The Winds of Winter, GRRM does his best to sell Fire & Blood, clarify what he believes to be misconceptions about his works and obligations, and even answer some speculative questions about A Song of Ice and Fire. All in all, it amounts to a fairly effective Q&A session, almost as good as one we might get were we to attend an actual convention with GRRM himself.

Of course, scouring through the comments section on Not a Blog -- any comments section really -- can be hazardous to one's health, so I've attempted to collect and collate most of GRRM's comments for you below, alongside paraphrased versions of the questions that prompted GRRM's responses. (I've also referenced the original questions, too, so feel free to read those to see the full context and color of the commenters.)


External Link GRRM's Not a Blog gets a new URL. Update your bookmarks: George R. R. Martin's "Not a Blog" has moved to a new address: http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/

All of GRRM's previous blog entries have been migrated to the new URL and GRRM already has an inaugural post on the new site, writing about one of his favorite topics: the NFL draft. (Some of you may recall why Not a Blog was originally founded, nearly thirteen years ago. GRRM had discovered that some of his readers weren't happy with the content of the "updates" he had been giving on his official website. Not a Blog gave him a new outlet to discuss non-ASOIAF related topics, which fans could read or ignore -- or read and ignore, and wonder aloud, "When is the next book coming out?" Some things will never change.)

Aside from changing the URL and the banner graphic, the new site looks functionally similar to the old one, though the slight redesign is more in keeping with the style of GRRM's Official Website. Also, GRRM notes on Twitter that his team will be trying out a new platform (WordPress, if I'm not mistaken), so it appears that he's moving on from LiveJournal in more ways than one.


External Link TWOW still months away, more GRRM works to come. Earlier tonight, George R. R. Martin gave us a rare update on his writing progress. Let's begin with The Winds of Winter, which probably has the most interest among our readers, but gets the least substantial update here. According to GRRM, the next novel of A Song of Ice and Fire is still "months away," but it's neither as far nor as close as some reports seem to indicate. In short, GRRM doesn't yet know when TWOW will be finished and he warns us not to trust anyone who says otherwise.

GRRM does believe that we'll get at least one original work from the world of Westeros in 2018, whether it be The Winds of Winter or a brand new history book (or possibly both). The history book in question is Fire and Blood, a more detailed examination of the Targaryen kings. GRRM explains that the previously-announced book will now actually come in two volumes:

We have so much material that it's been decided to publish the book in two volumes. The first of those will cover the history of Westeros from Aegon's Conquest up to and through the regency of the boy king Aegon III (the Dragonbane). That one is largely written, and will include (for the first time) a complete detailed history of the Targaryen civil war, the Dance of the Dragons. My stories in DANGEROUS WOMEN ("The Princess and the Queen") and ROGUES ("The Rogue Prince") were abridged versions of the same histories.

No publication date has been set yet, but it's likely that we will get the first volume of FIRE AND BLOOD out in late 2018 or early 2019. The second volume, which will carry the history from Aegon III up to Robert's Rebellion, is largely unwritten, so that one will be a few more years in coming.

Finally, GRRM promises us one new short story in 2017. As revealed earlier this year, it's called "Sons of the Dragon" and is a prequel of sorts to "The Princess and the Queen" and "The Rogue Prince." "Sons of the Dragon" chronicles:

the reigns of Aegon the Conquerer's two sons, Aenys I Targaryen and Maegor the Cruel, for those who cannot get enough of my entirely fake histories of Westeros. That one has never been published before in any form, though I did read it at a couple of cons.

Look for "Sons of the Dragon" in The Book of Swords, a new anthology that also features original stories from a dozen other authors, edited by Gardner Dozois. The Book of Swords is scheduled for release on October 10, 2017. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.com.


External Link GRRM talks Stoneheart, more. It's been a while since we've heard from George R. R. Martin, so it's nice to get his thoughts again in a wide-ranging interview that GRRM recently conducted with TIME magazine. Some of his answers will seem familiar to those who have followed him for a while. At the same time, he offers some new remarks about his current involvement with Game of Thrones and the changes the show made from the books that he argued against, namely the omission of Lady Stoneheart.

Speaking of whom, GRRM sheds some light on what Stoneheart's arc in the books is a response to:

So all that time I thought Gandalf was dead, and now he's back and now he's Gandalf the White. And, ehh, he's more or less the same as always, except he's more powerful. It always felt a little bit like a cheat to me. And as I got older and considered it more, it also seemed to me that death doesn't make you more powerful. That's, in some ways, me talking to Tolkien in the dialogue, saying, "Yeah, if someone comes back from being dead, especially if they suffer a violent, traumatic death, they're not going to come back as nice as ever." That's what I was trying to do, and am still trying to do, with the Lady Stoneheart character.

Read the full interview for more on GRRM and A Song of Ice and Fire, and don't forget to check out TIME's cover story on Game of Thrones, too.


External Link GRRM receives Hall of Achievement award. George R. R. Martin returned to Northwestern University this week to receive the school's Hall of Achievement award, a prestigious recognition of distinguished alumni. Yesterday he spoke to a sold-out crowd at NU about his long career, covering a number of topics ranging from the pace at which he can write to the likely bittersweet ending of A Song of Ice and Fire. Vulture listed the top six highlights from GRRM's discussion.

External Link George and Robin Event in London. Last night in London, George R. R. Martin and Robin Hobb-- two of the world's most esteemed fantasy writers-- were invited to speak before a packed crowd about their work, including Robin's newest book, Fool's Assassin. HarperVoyager posted a full account of the evening, but our own MrFadedGlory was also in attendance. He kindly provided us with an audio recording of the interview. Have a listen to the 90-minute event here:

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Tower of the Hand is an unofficial companion to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO's Game of Thrones, featuring chapter and episode guides, character profiles, family trees, and much more.

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