I recently had the good fortune to guest star on Radio Westeros for their podcast on Robert Baratheon and Robert’s Rebellion. It just dropped today, so check it out! You can find it here on their main site, or here on YouTube. And if you like their work and want to help them create new content, consider supporting them on their Patreon.
If you haven’t got enough Robert’s Rebellion, you can always check out my contributions to the Tower of the Hand e-book, Hymn for Spring, on Amazon.
I hope everyone enjoys it. I know I had a lot of fun writing and recording.
Recently, I attended Balticon, where George R.R. Martin dropped a completely new chapter from The Winds of Winter on us: the long-awaited Damphair chapter. George actually offered the convention a choice: he could read the “Sons of the Dragon” (the extended cut of Aenys I and Maegor the Cruel’s history intended for Fire and Blood), the previously seen Mercy chapter, or the never-before-heard Aeron chapter (which had previously been offered at WorldCon 2011, but rejected in favor of Arianne II). By overwhelming applause, the assembly voted for Aeron, to which he warned us: “This is similar in character to Ramsay Bolton. You are some sick motherfuckers.” The attendees seemed to freely acknowledge the claim, and what followed was probably one of the most thrilling chapters I’ve had ever had the fortune of listening from any novel, easily as engrossing (albeit in a morbid sense) as the high climaxes of A Storm of Swords. George admitted that there might be some revisions, even substantive ones, between the reading we received and the final version that comes in the published book. However, even on its own, the chapter was spectacular. Many were in attendance, but I didn’t see a bored face in the room. This chapter was a while in the making, but every bit was as savory as it could possibly be.
As a note, this isn’t in perfect chronological order. I suggest going to this piece to read the notes from the con. This is organized by greater themes, not strict progression.
Euron Greyjoy looks out from the bow of a longship, by Allan Douglas
A while back, I wrote some meta where I explained that Euron Greyjoy was a poor strategist, cavalier toward long-term strategy and sustainability, coupled with his partial madness. In response, MadeinMyr criticized my essay, writing a response testifying to Euron’s strategic merits. A careful analysis of Euron and those surrounding him, and comparison to real-world examples of military commanders in similar situation, will show that Euron is nothing of the sort and that Euron falls short of that lofty perch.
As you may or may not know, Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire has its own Tumblr page (as well as its own Twitter and Facebook pages). Even more excitingly, we here at the blog have partnered with ASOIAF University to answer questions about A Song of Ice and Fire. We – that is, NFriel and I – take the text-based questions submitted to us, write up thoughtful, text-based answers, and publish these answers on the Tumblr. It was a long and productive week, this first full one of the new year, and we’ve started it off right, citing both Harry Potter and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in our analysis this week. Plenty of alternate universe hypotheticals and the Queen Regent had both guns blazing in shooting down theories.
I’ve been talked into recording the essays for the Three Heads of the Dragon series. I’ve already uploaded the first one, for Holding the Throne, and I’ll be adding one each day until all of the essays have audio accompaniment. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed reading the essays, and hopefully this can make some long drives much easier to handle.
From the entire crew, happy holidays to all the readers.
SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King
King Aerys II, The Mad King by Amok
During the reign of King Jaehaerys II, the Blackfyre threat finally ended (as best as anyone could determine). The troubles that Aegon IV had begun came to a decisive close, and Westeros could finally move on from the past and look to the future. Yet it would only be a short time later that the King would complain of shortness of breath, and die soon after, leaving the Iron Throne to his only son, Aerys.
Aerys was called “the Mad King”, but how mad is a mad king? What was the method behind his madness? And why, if he were so insane, did it take a generation for someone to overthrow him? Did he ever have a chance to rule well? The curtain was about to fall on the Targaryen dynasty, but there were still twenty-one years between the death of Jaehaerys II and the end of the dragon kings. How could a dynasty that had weathered so many problems finally find Robert’s Rebellion as the straw that broke the camel’s back?
Welcome to the penultimate installment of The Three Heads of the Dragon essay series, the first multi-author essays for Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire charting the rise and fall of House Targaryen, from fiery beginnings to bloody end. We have finally reached the end of House Targaryen; the dragon kings have their last fiery gasp here, with Aerys II.