George R R Martin: Fire and Blood

Brian G Turner

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A lot of people will already be aware that Fire and Blood, a prequel to the A Song of Ice and Fire series - perhaps better known by the TV series name of Game of Thrones - is due for released on November 20th this year: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CKHS8J1/?tag=brite-21

Set 300 years before the events in A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn, and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever.
GRRM has effectively stated that this is his equivalent of Tolkien's Silmarillion - or GRRMarillion, as he jokes about here: FIRE & BLOOD : On The Way | Not a Blog

Curiously, though, I've noticed that even though it's a prequel to the series beginning with Game of Thrones, it's still being sold under A Song of Ice and Fire series title on Amazon.

Anyway, I know Fire and Blood has been mentioned across other threads, but I figured it was time to have a dedicated thread for speculation, thoughts, and impressions on it - both before and after it becomes available.

However, with the ebook selling at £15, you can count me out until the price comes down. :)
 

Pedro Del Mar

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To be frank I'm not in the slightest bit interested in Fire and Blood and can't see me purchasing it. Maybe thats to my own detriment and perhaps I'm missing out on a quality piece of work by GRRM. If it's anything like The World of Ice and Fire it'll sit on my shelf unread probably until I'm in a casket. I have a huge amount on my TBR pile including: the Dunk and Egg novellas, Abercrombie's Sharp Ends, Lawrence's Road Brothers and the new Sister books, Ed McDonald, Dyrk Ashton, Anna Stephens, Nicholas Eames, Ken Liu, Peter F. Hamilton. If it was Winds of Winter that was being released then that would be a different story and I'd be pre-ordering it and it would head straight to the top of my TBR pile - but that's just wishful thinking.
 

Koopa

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1. I agree with the sentiment that this is not the book we wanted. And I raise it with, the time spent on this, is time GRRM definitely didn't spend on Winds of Winter. He doesn't need to finish Winds of Winter, but it does feel a bit weird time was spent on this instead (and not on some totally different unrelated novel that has nothing to do with asoiaf), when he is seemingly disenchanted with the franchise. Especially since the World of Ice and Fire (or something like that) encyclopedia like book was released already.

2. The author of that review for all his devil-may-care attitude is defintely trying to milk the series as well, by not reviewing the whole book. Instead planning to make several reviews about a few chapters each week.
 

thaddeus6th

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Not fussed about this book, but describing real history as dry is a bit broad brush. And wrong.

The writer should read a biography of William Marshal. [Well, everyone should, but especially people who think history = boring].
 

svalbard

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Not fussed about this book, but describing real history as dry is a bit broad brush. And wrong.

The writer should read a biography of William Marshal. [Well, everyone should, but especially people who think history = boring].
It is a broad brush and I would be the last person to describe history or the life of William Marshal dull. Unfortunately for the vast, majority out there written history is rather dry and in this instant age of gratification many will get their history from the more 'glamorous' surrounds of the The Nazis and Sharks Channel...did I just write that...sorry The History Channel.
 

Brian G Turner

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Political History is dull. It reduces all the peoples of the past to nothing more than a series of names and dates in which the very rich did things.

Back on topic - I have Fire & Blood on my wishlist, but I'm not going to buy it unless I see it as a cheap ebook.
 

Werthead

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the time spent on this, is time GRRM definitely didn't spend on Winds of Winter.
The time spent on this was about 3 months, maybe closer to 5 when the editing and last round of additions had to be made. GRRM never consciously set out to write this book, it's the unedited text of the material he submitted for the world book (published in 2014) which had to be massively compressed down.

So yes, maybe we'd have gotten TWoW faster, but only a couple of months faster, not two years faster or some of the other silly figures that have been flying around.

The writer should read a biography of William Marshal. [Well, everyone should, but especially people who think history = boring].
That's William Marshal who is also, at least in part, the inspiration for Ser Barristan Selmy in ASoIaF.
 

thaddeus6th

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Ah, I hadn't heard the Marshal/Selmy comparison. It does fit pretty well (and makes Joffrey play the role of John, to an extent, which also fits).
 

Anushka Mokosh

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The only time I see myself buying and reading this is either after The Winds of Winter is out or after it is certain we won't be getting it at all. I won't be reading it before then.
 

Werthead

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I'm a third of the way through this and it's much better than I feared. There's some moments that could have a bearing on future books and George seems to confirm certain fan theories (whilst opening up new mysteries).

What I wasn't expecting was several moments of outright horror. GRRM used to be a horror writer and, a couple of episodes in the novels aside, you can easily forget that. There's at least two scenes in the book that are outright disturbing psychological and body horror (and probably more to come). There's also a lot of focus in making the political intrigue and machinations work well in the moment, even if the bulk of them are not particularly relevant to ASoIaF itself.

If there is a theme in the book, it seems to be the acknowledgement of the "little people" who contribute to history but are forgotten by it. There's also a strong focus on the price and cost of peace. The biggest surprise in the book is that the long, peaceful reign of Jaehaerys I (which has received almost no prior development before his book, even in the world book) gets almost as much space as the Dance of Dragons, which seems insane, but you realise that it cost Jaehaerys and Alysanne almost as much to keep the realm in peace and plenty and free from war and destruction as it did other kings ruling times of bloody war.
 

Koopa

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i'm still wondering about the letter from Dorne to Aegon. Dorne in their defiance made me feel almost proud of them, despite what it cost them. Aegon needed some humble pie.

Visenya is hard done by (history), she did far more for the realm and her king Aegon than Rhaenyra.
Maegor went mad cause of remaining childless, and probably got murdered by the followers of his already dead queen of whispers. But until his mad pursuit of having an heir took hold of him, he seemed to have been a better ruler. Until he went bonkers and got really murderous that is. Aenys was truly ineffective.
 
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Koopa

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Also the faith and it's followers are definitely among the most obnoxious religious sects i ever read about.
 
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