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Trivia / A Song of Ice and Fire

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General Trivia

  • Completely Different Title:
    • Besides flat out renaming the book saga Game of Thrones instead of using A Song of Ice and Fire, the Vietnamese translations divide the five published original books into separate books:
      • A Game of ThronesThe Snow Wolves of Winterfell & King in the North
      • A Clash of KingsDescendants of the Golden Lion & The Seven Kingdoms
      • A Storm of SwordsReturn of the Others & Tears of the Snow Wolves & Death Wedding. The third book is a case of Fridge Brilliance and Woolseyism. Vietnamese borrows frequently from Chinese, especially for period pieces with fancy language. The characters for "purple" and "death" in Chinese are different, but can be read in the same way in Vietnamese: "tử". Tử Hôn, the name for the third part, can be understood as both Purple Wedding and Death Wedding — which is an apt name for the Red Wedding, and indeed, both weddings in that book are deadly.
      • A Feast for CrowsFeast of the Black Crows & The Prophecy
      • A Dance with DragonsAwakening of the Sacred Dragons & The Siege of Meereen & Dance of the Sacred Dragonsnote 
    • Something similar happened with the German translation. While the seires' title was translated literally, each book was split in two for the paperback editions and almost all names save two were changed completely:
      • A Game of ThronesThe Lords of Winterfell & "Winterfell's Legacy''
      • A Clash of KingsThe Throne of the Seven Kingdoms & The Seed of the Golden Lion
      • A Storm of SwordsStorm of Swords & The Queen of the Dragons
      • A Feast for CrowsTime of the Crows & The Dark Queen
      • A Dance with DragonsThe Griffin's Son & A Dance with Dragons
    • While the German Hardcover editions do not split each book in two, they too had the books' titles changed significantly:
      • A Game of ThronesWinter is Approaching
      • A Clash of KingsOurs is the Rage
      • A Storm of SwordsHear me roar
      • A Feast for CrowsHigh up
      • A Dance with DragonsA grim Enemy, a loyal Friend
  • Creator's Favorite:
    • George R. R. Martin has freely admitted on several occasions that Tyrion Lannister is his favorite character, and he's one of the more popular characters with the fandom (especially in the television series). However, he's also stated that not even he's safe.
    • He admits that Arya is his favorite female character, and she's notably the only character in the entire series to get a POV in every book. She's also his wife's favorite, who's made him promise to keep Arya alive until the last book at least.
  • Defictionalization:
  • Development Gag: Near the end of A Feast for Crows, Littlefinger describes how quickly Cersei is destroying herself and how vexing it is for his plans, as he had hoped to have four or five quiet years before the next conflict ensues, which alludes to the Timeskip that Martin had previously planned between the third and fourth books.
  • Extremely Lengthy Creation: George R. R. Martin has been working on the series since 1991, and he's far from being done.
  • Hypothetical Casting: George R. R. Martin has mentioned that Janina Gavankar looks like what he envisioned for Lady Nym.
  • Newbie Boom: While ASOIAF was always popular and acclaimed among dedicated fans of the High Fantasy genre, the Game of Thrones TV adaptation brought in a legion of new fans, many of which were eager to find out the differences between the show and its source material. Even among non-watchers of GoT, the newfound mainstream recognition of the franchise has given the books more readership and recognition.
  • Saved from Development Hell:
    • A Dance With Dragons was "forthcoming" in one way or another starting in 2004, but was published at last on July 12th, 2011. Time will only tell if The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring will eventually fall under this trope, though Martin said in a 2014 interview with The BBC on an unrelated matternote  that he is still working on them.
    • The fourth Dunk and Egg novella, The She-Wolves of Winterfell, was originally intended to be published as part of the Dangerous Women anthology, but instead featured the The Princess and the Queen novella. Martin has also said he has notes for at least five more Dunk and Egg stories—one set in the Riverlands tentatively titled The Village Hero, and has teased the pair traveling to Essos at some point—in addition to She-Wolves, but has declared that work on any new Dunk and Egg stories is on hold until he finishes The Winds of Winter.
  • Schedule Slip: The series has notoriously suffered from it since around the turn of the century. One article even noted that every time he releases a preview chapter, it now feels more like getting a finger from a kidnap victim. This has now reached the point where you can count on quite a few fans to throw a fit whenever he's reported to be doing literally anything besides working on A Song of Ice of Fire. Some news stories even make tongue-in-cheek references to "things George R. R. Martin is doing instead of writing his books." Some elements of the fandom go so far as to doubt that the chapters he periodically released, or read aloud at conventions, in the 2010s were composed of newly-written materials, instead being excised from A Dance with Dragons in the edit, banked, and released at a slow drip to maintain interest in the franchise.

    To summarise how badly the schedule has slipped with each release, the gap between the release of the first three books was two years each. The gap between A Storm of Swords and A Feast For Crows was five years. A Dance With Dragons came six years after that. Thirteen years later there's still no concrete release date for The Winds of Winter, even though the entire Game of Thrones TV adaptation has come and gone from premiere to finale in the meantime, and the first spin-off House of the Dragon has already completed its first season. If he doesn't manage to reverse the trend, then it's almost impossible to believe that A Dream of Spring will be completed in his lifetime because he's already well into his seventies.
  • Science Imitates Art:
    • A 2014 study that described seven species of Laelius wasps named them after the great houses of Westeros — L. arryni, baratheoni, lannisteri, martelli, targaryeni, tullyi, and starki.
    • Prehistoric creatures named after the series include Targaryendraco, a pterosaur, and Meraxes, a carcharodontosaur theropod that, despite its large size, was not quite the biggest predator in its environment (it was overtopped by the even bigger Mapusaurus), similarly to how Meraxes the dragon was one of the biggest to ever live yet was still outsized by Balerion.
  • Shrug of God: After the release fiasco that was A Dance with Dragons, Martin no longer risks giving a concrete estimate for when his next book will be finished. He has also remained frustratingly vague on whether he will wrap up the series in the next two books or if he will expand it to three or more.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook: There is A Feast of Ice and Fire, the official cookbook. One recipe is for Sansa's favorite lemon cake.
  • Trolling Creator:
    • Invoked in his appearance on Last Week Tonight.
      John: Hey, George. How's your writing going?
      George: [on Skype] I just killed three of your favorite characters.
      John: What?! It's not Arya, is it!? Give me a hint! It's not Arya, right?!
      George: [shrugs, resumes writing]
    • Also:
      George: So you guys like Lyanna Mormont? Noted. ;)
  • What Could Have Been: See here.
  • Word of Gay: According to George R. R. Martin, Jon Connington's feelings for Rhaegar Targaryen were a little more than just brotherly.
  • Word of God: In an interview with Dom Noble, Martin revealed that the Doom of Valyria was a volcano.