New George R.R. Martin book offers “Game of Thrones” back story


Martin’s new book, released this week, is “The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones,” 300 pages of back story and original artwork by the some of the world’s top fantasy illustrators. He agreed to the companion volume in 2006 and expected it would take just a couple of years. Naturally, it took longer. He intended to write some brief text to accompany the drawings, but ended up setting down some 300,000 words, more than enough to make his editor’s “head explode.”

“It was bigger than I anticipated,” he said during a recent telephone interview, acknowledging that “The World of Ice & Fire” might have delayed still further the next “Ice and Fire” novel. “I start these things that I think won’t take much time and they grow and grow.”

Martin said “The World of Ice & Fire” offers material already in the “Ice and Fire” series, material he has long worked out in his mind and on paper, but had never released, and material he invented entirely for the book, such as the section dedicated to lands on the other side of the Narrow Sea. (Fans of Tyrion Lannister, be advised: Martin includes little about the character he has called his favorite. He’s saving that for future books).

Time spent working on “The World of Ice & Fire” also means time spent on publicity, and on Sunday the resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico came to New York and appeared before hundreds of fans at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y. Dressed all in black — black corduroys, black shirt, and black vest set off by his white hair and beard — he was interviewed on stage by critic Laura Miller and responded to written questions from the audience.




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