I’ve been opposed to the widespread pressure exerted by fans on Martin to publish Winds of Winter. I would rather Martin never publishes the long awaited next installment than have a novel that is less than satisfactory due to him relenting to the masses. I extend this patience to any author finding themselves in need of more time, whether it is Peter V. Brett pushing back The Core or Pierce Brown delaying Dark Age. As artists, they should be allowed to have all the time they need to create without being bullied by the impatient hordes who require their instant satisfaction. It is positively the worst when anticipating the culminating novel of a well loved series only to have the last fall flat.
Inspiring this rather unusual rant, was my surprise at the perceived lack of excitement for the release of Fire & Blood. While I understood that fans were disappointed that the release was not Winds of Winter, I was pumped to have Martin gifting us with anything based in this delightfully brutal literary realm. Especially when Martin hints that this prequel will give insights and background to forthcoming events in the main series. That being said, this read was not for everyone. Sure I couldn’t get enough of Fire & Blood, but it is truly written like a history text book. As such, likely only readers that absolutely geek out over this series will find enjoyment in the detailed feuds, wars, and marriages that take place three hundred years before Game of Thrones. By the end, I would find myself getting confused between the many Aegons, and who was Team Green vs. Team Black but I loved the level of detail that Martin put into the history of the Targaryans and their drama filled reigns. Some events prefaced in A World of Ice & Fire gained clarity while an element of mystery was added to events that had previously seemed clear cut. Overall, I’m thankful for this prequel and am looking forward to the second installment of this history book as it should cover the events of Summerhall, of which I greatly suspect will play a bigger role in the events to come in A Song of Ice and Fire.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- Are the three dragon eggs that Elissa stole the ones that Daenerys hatched? Did Elissa really make it to Asshai? What was the end of her story?
- What killed Aerea? Did Balyerion really take her to Valyria? What did she see?
- Why wouldn’t Silverwing take Alysanne north of the Wall?
- I think Nightfort will come to play a bigger role in the books. So much effort has been made to shroud this fort in dread. Why did Alysanne not feel safe there?
- Did Silverwing really lay eggs at Winterfell?
- Is Alys Rivers similar to Melisandre with her lack of aging and powers? She does see visions in the fire. What happened to her and her child?
- Perhaps Martin should do another side series but from the point of view of a young Corlys Velaryon?
- What happened to the Valyrian steel, Dark Sister and Lamenation? Did anyone ever go get Dark Sister?
- Will Saera’s offspring prove to be important in the future?
- Did Daemon survive? Did he go be with Nettles? What happened to Sheepstealer and Carnivore? Are they still alive hiding somewhere?