Etiquette in Westeros

A lot of fans weren’t quite as meek as Oliver Twist (“Please sir, may I have more?”) waiting for George R.R. Martin’s Dance With Dragons to appear. And a Globe and Mail interviewer came away from his conversation with George R.R. Martin convinced that, when it comes to predicting when another sequel will appear, “don’t ask, don’t tell” is the policy to follow:

The author…when he finished Book Four: A Feast for Crows, [said] “in an excess of optimism,” he admits ruefully, “that the final volume would be out in a year.”

As it happened, Book Five: A Dance with Dragons, due to appear in bookstores next week, took another six years to write

Rejecting the author’s explanations as to why the densely populated, 1,016-page saga was taking longer than expected to write, skeptical fans began posting wild conspiracy theories on the author’s blog and his website,, suggesting he was holding out for various nefarious reasons.

Is this any way to treat the dean of the genre, a master storyteller dubbed “the American Tolkien” and recently named one of 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine? Martin thinks not.

“I loved Lord of the Rings back in the 60s and like many millions of other people I was eagerly looking forward to The Silmarillion,” Martin says. “But it never would have dawned on me to write to Professor Tolkien and say, ‘You better hurry up with The Silmarillion before you die, old man.’ What kind of cretin does that?”

The kind we’ve met personally, it seems safe to guess.

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One thought on “Etiquette in Westeros

  1. Speaking of Tolkien, when The Return of the King didn’t appear for several months after the announced publication date (unrevealed reason: the author kept niggling at the Appendices), the publisher did receive quite a few anxious letters, which is what convinced them that they really did have a potentially popular work on their hands. The previous volume, The Two Towers, does end on quite a cliffhanger if you will recall, and that’s a lot more similar to waiting for the next volume of A Song of Ice and Fire than for The Silmarillion.

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