When Jon had been a boy at Winterfell, his hero had been the Young Dragon, the boy king who had conquered Dorne at the age of fourteen. Despite his bastard birth, or perhaps because of it, Jon Snow had dreamed of leading men to glory just as King Daeron had, of growing up to be a conqueror. Now he was a man grown and the Wall was his, yet all he had were doubts. He could not even seem to  c o n q u e r  those.

Highlights from the Q&A with GRRM at ConQuest, transcribed as best I could

Question: Will we see more of Shadrich?
Answer: “Oh yes. You’ll see more of him.”

Question: What’s your favorite meal?
Answer: “Pizza. I like pizza.”

Question: Asked how he begins developing his characters.
Answer: “I don’t know, I just do. It’s like, how do you walk? You put one foot in front of the other, and you kind of fall forward, and somehow you get from one place to another. I’ve been doing it so long, it just comes naturally to me. The thing I always try to keep in mind is that each of the characters, even the secondary characters, is the hero of their own story. Never think of any character, even if he disappears to serve the meal, as just fulfilling a function….because the guy serving the meal, maybe his feet hurt, or maybe he’s old, or maybe he’s very young and this is the first time he’s served a meal. Just think, give him a little individuality and all that, and I try to do that with this.

I mean, I know it’s a lot of characters, and I’m not sure how much of it you guys get, but I do put care, you know….both of Lady Waynwood’s sons here, Ser Roland, well, he’s her grandson, Ser Roland’s her grandson, and Ser Wallace, the guy who stutters, is her actual son, and they both have very distinct personalities, I find. I know who they are. It’s like an iceberg; you may only get a few lines as a hint of who they are, but I know a lot about both of those guys and what they want in life, and what they hope to get out of the tournament, and what their attitudes towards this whole thing are, and some of that, you may never reveal, but if it’s there, it grounds the character, and means that the words that they say, however few they are, have a verisimilitude to them.”

Question: How do you keep the show from the books, distinguish the two?
Answer: “I’ve been working on the books for a lot longer than the show has existed. But I have to admit, as it goes forward, it does become difficult, because, you know, the show is so immediate. I have to….in some cases, the differences are very minor, but in other cases, the differences are very major. Certain characters, even though they have the same names, are different. You know, book-Littlefinger and show-Littlefinger are two completely different people, for example, and when I write about Littlefinger, I have to make sure that I don’t unconsciously lapse into writing the character as seen on the show as portrayed by Aidan Gillen….who is a great character in his own right, but is not the guy who is in the books, and obviously has a very different way of thinking about things.”

Question, MY question, the second question I’ve asked him at a Q&A!: “I know that you have a lot of unabridged material from The World of Ice and Fire that didn’t make it into the book, and had to be edited out, and I know you have plans for Fire and Blood, but what about all of the Essos stuff that was cut, or the Dorne stuff that wouldn’t be relevant. Will you at some point maybe release volumes for those areas?”
Answer: “You know, anything’s possible down the road. Most of the stuff that was cut, though, was Targaryen material. It was extremely detailed accounts of things like the Dance of the Dragons; I mean, I know I published some of that in The Rogue Prince and The Princess and the Queen, but even those two stories, when put together, are severely abridged from the fuller accounts that I wrote, and there are very detailed accounts of kings before and afterwards, and that is what most of the material is. The cuts made to things like Dorne and the history of the West are minor in comparison, but I have put on my website, a few months ago, the full history of the Westerlands, so you can compare that with the version that is in The World of Ice and Fire, and see where the cuts were, if you care.”
Me: “That’s what inspired my question!”
GRRM: “Right.”

Question: Will Jon Snow ever find out that Robb made him a Stark?
Answer: “Well, we don’t know that that actually happened, but you know, I hope to tie up most of the loose ends.”

Question: Who is your favorite character and-cut off
Answer: “Tyrion.” (and a lot of laughter from the crowd)

Question: Person read the Mercy chapter, wonders if we will see any more of Mercy in The Winds of Winter.
Answer: “Well, if you read that chapter, you know that she kind of blew the Mercy identity by killing a guy.”
Person: “I didn’t know if she could come back at all after that.”
GRRM: “Sometimes the Faceless Men have to abandon an identity because it’s become too associated with some public atrocity or something, so I don’t think she’ll be rejoining the acting troupe any time soon, but there are other identities…there are a whole lot of faces hanging in that hall.”


“It is not the foes who curse you to your face that you must fear, but those who smile when you are looking and sharpen their knives when you turn your back. You would do well to keep your wolf close beside you. Ice, I see, and daggers in the dark. Blood frozen red and hard, and naked steel. It was very cold.”
“It is always cold on the Wall.”
“You think so?”
“I know so, my lady.”
“Then you know nothing, Jon Snow

I’m really confused. Sansa x Jon is an infinitely more popular ship than Jon x Arya, and why? All the reasons I’ve seen usually lead back to Sansa wishing “some hero” would kill Janos Slynt and then later on, Jon being the one to do so.

But like, are people actively ignoring the million and one thoughts Jon and Arya have about each other? Literally every chapter of theirs is seeded with thoughts about the other, whether directly or abstractly. Hell, even Martin’s original letter had them as a romantic pair; and while that may not still be the case, the writing for it is certainly there and if the series were to be expanded, I’m sure Martin could swing it that way if he wanted.

So I guess what I’m saying is: what’s the obsession with Jon and Sansa?

anonymous asked:

Suggested meta: In the subject of Sansa, the relationship (or non relationship) of Sansa and Jon. I find it interesting that after becoming Alayne, she might one day reencounter the "brother" she once looked down on, with a new understanding of him.

Oh there’s definitely lots of good stuff there to work with! Actually, I’m wondering if you’ve seen this post from the Pawn to Player project? It was written before her sample chapter was released, but it has very, very good thoughts on Jon and Sansa’s relationship.