The World of Ice & Fire

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The World of Ice & Fire
World of ice and fire.JPG
Author Elio Garcia
Linda Antonsson
George R. R. Martin
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Random House Publishing Group[1]
Harper Voyager[2]
Released October 28th, 2014[1][2]
Cover Artist Ted Nasmith
Media Type Print (Hardback)
audiobook & e-book
Pages 336
ISBN 9780553805444[1]
9780007580910[2]
Purchase The World of Ice & Fire

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones is a companion volume to A Song of Ice and Fire, provisionally known as a "world book".

The book was written by George R. R. Martin in collaboration with Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson. In the United States the book was published by Bantam, in the United Kingdom by Harper Voyager.

The World of Ice & Fire was released on October 28th, 2014.[1][2]

History

George R. R. Martin announced on his website that he had signed a contract with Bantam Books for The World of Ice & Fire on September 2, 2006.[3] To write the book, Martin enlisted the aid of Elio García and Linda Antonsson, founders of Westeros.org, the largest A Song of Ice and Fire community and online concordance of information on the series on the internet. At the time, Martin envisioned The World of Ice & Fire to be done "in just a couple of years". However, the project took much longer to complete, and grew larger than initially intended.[4]

In September 2012, Martin mentioned on his blog that he had been writing about Rhaenyra and Aegon II Targaryen and revealed that he had a hundred and three manuscript pages finished.[5] A release was eventually set in late 2013, and in February of that year the book became available to pre-order at Amazon.com.[6] However, in May 2013 García confirmed that the book was pushed back a full year.[7] In March 2014, the book's final title was decided upon[8] and the final piece of text, on the Iron Islands,[9] was completed. The book was released on October 28th, 2014.[1][2]

Martin wrote a lot more text for The World of Ice & Fire than at first intended, delivering 350.000 words for the sidebars in the book while the volume itself was to have only 50.000 words of text. Using abridged versions of the texts for The World of Ice & Fire, the longer, unabridged version is set to be released in a history book called Fire and Blood.[10]

Contents

The World of Ice & Fire is divided in several parts:[11]

Further, the book contains artwork by twenty-seven different artists.[11] Both the art in the book, and the family trees displayed as an appendix, are completely out-of-universe.[12]

Samples

A few sample chapters were released in the months prior to the release of the book:

Further, Harper Voyager released a Fact of Ice and Fire in the days leading up to the release of the book, through their Twitter account.[14]

Cover

The English language versions of The World of Ice & Fire are available in two versions: the red cover, displayed on the top of this page, and a black cover. The former version of the book is published by Bantam, the latter by Harper Voyager.

Abridged Material

Elio & Linda explained in several subsequent interviews that for space reasons, not all of the notes Martin gave them were included in the The World of Ice & Fire. This goes beyond the "sidebars" that he wrote for Targaryen history, which grew into full-length novellas, which later were released in Fire & Blood.

These were mostly limited to "trimming" other chapters here and there, such as the chapters on the regional histories of each of the Seven Kingdoms. For example, Martin did release an early draft of the chapter for the Westerlands on his website, which compared to the print version contains a small handful of extra details on army numbers, etc. The sample chapter, however, is only a rough draft and therefore "semi-canon", as it contradicts the final print version on a few points (i.e. how Ellyn Tarbeck died).

According to Elio & Linda in a Reddit AMA from 2015, the largest amount of abridged material was from the chapters on distant lands east of the Free Cities:

"95% of the far east material was written by George, and we’d say 90% of what he wrote is what actually made it into the book -- there was a bit of trimming here and there, mostly in the sections on Yi Ti and the Dothraki."[15]

The print book has about 20,000 words of material on the lands east of the Free Cities, thus there are roughly 1,000-2,000 words of unpublished notes on Yi Ti and the Dothraki. Given that these chapters were written much more as outlines with broad sweeps of history spanning for centuries, however - compared to the more detailed chapters on the Targaryen reign - even one thousand words could still contain substantial information. Several small bits from these notes were released under various local headings in the A World of Ice & Fire app.

Elio & Linda did confirm that there was never an entire chapter dedicated to Slaver's Bay, simply due to lack of interest. Qarth only got a large sidebar in the Dothraki chapter. There was also never a regional history chapter for the Crownlands (including King's Landing), because its history is comparatively short, and largely overlaps with the chapters about the reigns of the Targaryen kings.

Behind the Scenes

There were a few typos and mistakes in the first editions of the book. Among these is that Alysanne Blackwood was the aunt of Benjicot Blackwood, not his sister,[16] as well as a few mistakes in the genealogy trees. Garcia has stated these will be corrected in future editions.[17]

The conceit of the book is that it is an in-universe history text written by Maester Yandel,[18] originally for Robert I Baratheon. However, Yandel has lived through the deaths of both Robert and Joffrey.[19] The edition published in 2014 is the version produced by Yandel at the time of the fifth novel, A Dance with Dragons, for Tommen Baratheon.[20]

As a result, Garcia explained, for fear of angering the Lannisters, Yandel cut out from his original draft all but the bare minimum of material on Eddard Stark, Stannis Baratheon, and several other figures:

"In particular, Yandel starts to get quite careful when he writes about events in which various important, influential, powerful, and (most of all) still living people had a role. He has an interest in keeping his head on his neck. Ned and Stannis practically disappear from the account of the rebellion because Yandel has cut out his original account of the rebellion after Robert's death, Eddard's execution for treason, and Stannis and Renly proclaiming for the throne, and hastily did a revised and more politically acceptable one."[21]

See Also

References