Mar 10 2011 6:06pm

Hopefully Someone Knows the Lyrics: Announcing a New Blog Series on

So I have been informed, to my total shock, that there exists in this world other epic fantasy serieseses besides the Wheel of Time.

No, for reals. Who’d’ve thunk it?

Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little. (Try to contain your amazement.) But honestly, sometimes it feels like I’m not exaggerating at all, seeing as I have been head-down in recapping the Wheel of Time series since, oh, only 2009 or so (holy crap), and before that was head-down in updating the Wheel of Time FAQ since about, uh, 2001 or so (holy CRAP).

This makes me sound much more one-track-minded than I actually am, I swear, but there is a kernel of truth to that perception as well. Because though of course I have read (and still do read) many, many other wonderful science fiction books, and even other SF book series (and even books that aren’t SF!), the truth is that other than the Wheel of Time itself, I have tended to avoid getting into the kind of big, meaty, doorstopper, cast-of-thousands, multi-volume epic fantasy series that WOT is more or less the archetype of. Especially those that are, ahem, as yet unfinished.

But this is a shame, actually, because as a result I think I might have seriously missed out on some of the fantastical epic awesomeness out there. Certainly this is what I’ve been told.

Which brings us to (drumroll please) Leigh Butler’s Next Big Blog Project. DUN!

A Song of Ice and Fire series covers

Yeah, that’s what.

No, I am not kidding. Apparently I am even more a glutton for punishment than was previously suspected.

I sense that you may have questions at this juncture. Well, fortunately I have some previous experience Answering Questions, even those that are less Frequent than others, and so I will magnanimously deign to presume what your questions are, and answer them even before you can ask them. Because I’m giving like that. So here we go!


Q: Seriously?

A: Yes.

Q: Are you nuts?

A: Yes.


Q: So you’re going to be doing the same thing with George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (henceforth abbreviated ASOIAF) that you’re doing with Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series? Recapping and commentary by chapter?

A: Yes, in terms of format. However, there will be some differences. The most significant one being that I have never actually read ASOIAF before. And, I won’t be reading it through before I start the blog series, either.

So this won’t be an ASOIAF Reread, so much as it will be a Read.

Obviously, therefore, this is going to have a big effect on the kind of commentary I’ll be doing, because unlike with the Wheel of Time, I’ll have no idea what’s coming next.

Q: But surely you know generally what happens in the series, right? I mean, it’s been around almost as long as WOT has!

A: Nope.

Q: Oh, come on.

A: Technically, that wasn’t a question.

Q: *glares*

A: That wasn’t one either. Ow! Okay! Jeez.

Seriously though, believe it or not I have managed to almost completely avoid spoilers for ASOIAF in all the time the series has been around. This is mainly because I went out of my way to do so; I have a long history of metaphorically (and sometimes literally) sticking my fingers in my ears and going LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU whenever it was brought up.

This, of course, is because I always intended to read the series; I just wanted to wait until the whole thing was finished before I read it, and I didn’t want to spoil myself beforehand.

And people say Fate has no sense of humor.

Q: But if you have no idea what’s going to happen in the story… is that even going to work?

A: I have no idea. This is very much an experiment, on my part and on the part of the good people at who asked me to do it. They seem to have some notion, though, that I am capable of blathering at length about anything under any circumstances. I can’t imagine why.

I’m sure that if nothing else, doing it this way will afford me multiple opportunities to embarrass myself spectacularly. And who doesn’t love watching that?

Q: …Okay, I’m cautiously intrigued. When is this blog series going to start?

A: Current plans are, barring disaster, to have the first official ASOIAF post go up next Friday, March 18.

Q: March 18? But wait—you’re still not finished the Wheel of Time Re-read! You’re not abandoning that for this, are you? ARE YOU?

A: Whoa, hey, enhance your calm, imaginary stand-in questioner person! Nobody’s abandoning anything, okay? Find your happy place. Deep breaths. There you go.

No worries, you guys, really. Of course the Wheel of Time Re-read blog continues—just with a modified schedule. Instead of the current two WOT posts a week, I’ll be alternating between the two series, one of each a week. So, at least to start, I’ll be posting a new WOT Re-read post each Tuesday and a new ASOIAF post each Friday, starting next week, as I said.

Q: But wait, isn’t that going to be confusing for you?

A: Hey, man, I am totally capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. I think.

Again, like I said, this is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes.

Q: But wait—

A: You sure do say that a lot.

Q: Bite me. As I was saying, what about comments?

A: Well, of course everyone who wishes to will be more than welcome to comment. I hope that they do; a large part of what makes the Wheel of Time Re-read so much fun is the high volume of reader participation. It would be awesome to see that replicated on this blog series as well.

Q: Yeah, but it’s a pretty fair bet that many of your potential readers will have read all of the currently published books in ASOIAF already. What if we want to talk about stuff that you haven’t gotten to yet? How will you avoid spoilers?

A: Ah, yes, well, this was the subject of some debate. In the end, we concluded that it probably wasn’t fair to ask commenters to avoid any spoilers whatsoever just for my sake, mostly because it would inhibit discussion, which of course is generally the point of commenting on things in the first place. Unfortunately, though, that means I won’t be able to read the comments myself until after it’s all over, which kind of sucks. I don’t often participate in the comments on the WOT Re-read for lack of time, but I always read (and enjoy) them.

One possible way around this would be for commenters to white-text spoilery comments, so that they are only visible when highlighted. This is a little cumbersome, I know, but if we could all be on our honor and stick to the practice, it would make the comments “safe” not only for me to read, but also for those readers who might be choosing to follow the blog as first-time readers themselves.

Comments upon the commenting policy, heh, are welcome. This post is your chance to tell me what you think, and I’ll have made a final decision on how spoilers are going to work in the introduction to the first post.

(Oh, and if you put spoilers for the series in the comments to this post, you are officially an Asshole, and you will bring the wrath of Moderation upon you. Don’t be an asshole, okay?)

Q: You like to curse a lot, don’t you?

A: Yes. It can be safely said that I curse a whole fucking lot. I also blaspheme, mock, ridicule, flagrantly weird language, and occasionally I even squee. I am also inordinately fond of examining controversial, uncomfortable, and sometimes disturbing subject matter in detail as it pertains to the text at hand. If any of this is not to your taste, take heed now.

Any other questions?

Q: Do you know that HBO is premiering an adaptation of the series on April 17?

A: Yes, I am aware. It looks pretty cool from what little I’ve seen.

Q: Do you plan to watch it?

A: Eventually, absolutely. As it airs… probably not. I’d like to, but without knowing how (or whether) the events of the show will outpace or differ from that of the original series, I’d rather wait and avoid the possibility of confusion and/or spoilers.

Q: Fair enough. And… well, I can’t think of any more questions.

A: Pansy.

I kid, I kid! So let’s throw it to real people, eh? Any other questions you may have that my imaginary stand-in questioner person didn’t cover, feel free to ask in the comments and I will do my best to answer.

So there you have it, kids: a new reading and commentary series by moi, reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, starting Friday March 18th, right here on Pretty spiffy, eh?

I think it’s going to be good times, and I hope to see you all there. Until then, mwah!

Leigh Butler is a writer, blogger, and rampant opinionator, who likes to (a) make up words and (b) mock herself for doing so. She conducts the Wheel of Time Re-read series on, which is currently chewing through New Spring. She resides in New York City at this particular moment, but there’s really no knowing where she’ll end up next.

A Read of Ice and Fire: index | next ›
Noneo Yourbusiness
1. Longtimefan
Seriously and awesome!

Looking forward very much so to having two epic fantasy series under one auspicious and somewhat mouthy eye. :)

The non spoilery bit is going to be interesting to watch in action as the newness bursts forth and the commenters know a bit more about the story than the reader who revels in discovery. (and is occasionally shocked.)

Thank you for asking and Thank you Ms. Butler for accepting this great task. March 18th is circled and starred and almost cut out of my calender from all the pen attacks it has just endured.
Tam Dolan
2. Tam Dolan
Don't know whether to laugh or cry. i thoroughly enjoy your WOT re-read and analysis and was hoping for more of this. Slowing it down would normally be something i would not be happy with, but as reasons go, I don't have any complaints cos ASOIAF is mt second favourite series after WOT, so I am pleased you are bringing your unique analysis to this as well. I can't wait
Kat Blom
3. pro_star
Leigh, I send a SQUEE!!! in your general direction, dear madam. This just made my day. I confess, I'm also a bit late to the ASOIAF party as well, and...well...most of my reading was more INHALING the books while my boss let me borrow them...yes, I know, my boss rocks....and I may be linking this article to him....shh! so I'm looking forward to reading your reread!!!
Tam Dolan
4. Tapley Trudell
SQUEE! That is all.
Mike Foster
5. zephyrkey
Yay! I'm (kinda-sorta) jumping on the band-wagon at the right time! I start the series, the next book gets announced, and then Tor decides to give me a group to read along with. You guys are so great.
Mike deHilster
6. iggy
Holy crap. This is going to be entertaining as hell to follow. I hope your head doesn't (metaphorically) blow off from occasional shock.
Tam Dolan
7. Dennis_H
You crazy, lady.

But if someone is doing this, I'm glad it's you because I know you'll do it well. Thanks, Leigh!
Peter Czyzewski
8. sebastianelgar
Well maybe with Leigh's delightful comentary I'll be able to get farther than halfway through the second book before deciding it's attrocious and going on to other series. (three tries so far)
Kat Blom
9. pro_star
wait, wait wait....I missed something....the new book has been announced?? what??? GOOGLE RESCUE ME!!!!

....well, that'll make the boss happy! :)
Tam Dolan
10. yocxl
Awesome. This is definitely exciting news.

Squee-worthy, I suppose.
Sanctume Spiritstone
11. Sanctume
This gives me a week to dig up the books in the garage and I could add it in my book list of re-reads.

I do remember reading each of the book over a weekend. I wonder if I have that much time now to do the same.

I'm looking forward to this Read and my re-read!
TW Grace
12. TWGrace
Im buying stock in aspirin companies...

and any furniture companies that make desks...
Abdel Masdoua
13. TheDarkOne
Just awesome, can't wait for it!

ASOIAF is really great, and it's gonna be quite the picnic to do both the WOT re-read and this as well. But if someone can do it, it's you Leigh.

I am definitely gonna enjoy this, and I'll try to keep it spoiler-free or to white-text them if I can't refrain myself.

Thanks Tor, thanks Leigh!
no thx
14. nope
oh that's really neat
I've been wanting to read this myself but I've been putting it off
I think I'll read along with you Leigh
Jason Denzel
15. JasonDenzel
You're absolutely insane. Looking forward to the Leigh crash. :)
Tam Dolan
16. RobinM
Cool. I can't wait for the new song of ice and fire to Finally come out. I won't start at the very beginning again but re-read a feast of crows. Leigh you won't get confused by the two series at all but your head still may explode from epic turmoil. Do you think I should read past book 3 in the WOT now? I was trying to wait till the end of the series but it's a looong time coming.
William Fettes
17. Wolfmage
This is such awesome news. Leigh is really in a league of her own in terms of insightful and hilarious commentary, and I'm just overjoyed that she is going to posting about the ASOIAF books in addition to her WoT posts, which are a delight to read and participate in.

I'm a relative latecomer to the ASOIAF series, but I have a small head start on Leigh in having read the first two books once through at least. But, honestly, my familiarity with these texts is basically nil compared to WoT, so I don’t doubt that this will be a journey full of fresh insights which unravel the onion-like layers of the text, and moments of clickiness, where disparate elements suddenly come together and make sense.

Naturally, I’m supportive of spoiler tags as I haven’t read the later books. Hopefully everyone can get onboard with that. I don’t see particularly onerous about it given we already see a very collegiate posting culture in the WoT re-read where posters commonly demonstrate amazing levels of research and effort. I suspect that culture will carry over here, with many of the regulars migrating to this worthy project covering another great epic fantasy series.
DA Ford
18. Ford75
Totally awesome! I only read the first book in the series in the long wait for Winter's Heart (because of RJ's endorsement on the cover even!). I've been debating reading more of the series and now you've provided the perfect outlet!
Rob Munnelly
19. RobMRobM
@15 - read the darned books yourself, you hear!

@9 - new book coming out in July (he means it this time, seriously).

@8 - Clash of Kings is, frankly a tough book to get through in many respects. Excellent but not as linear as Game of Thrones. But keep at it so you can get to the awesomeness that is Book 3, Storm of Swords - the best book in the series (so far).

Leigh - good luck and good reading. Are you going to do one chapter at a time or two? I'd recommend two, as most chapters are reasonably short.

I strongly suspect you'll enjoy the books very much. Avoiding significant spoilers will be a challenge. (Must be good, must be good, etc.) I agree with your decision to duck the TV show since my understanding is that the first episode ends with a key scene all the way into Chapter 8 of the Book (the jaw dropping "The things I do for love" scene, for those in the know. End the first episode on a bang, yes they will). One final parenthetical note - you'll be happy to know that GRRM swings both ways on same sex couplings, so you can limit posts on the "pillow friends only" topic to the world of WoT. I'll be impressed if you can pick the first gay male couple that appears in the series - not expressly stated in text but the relationship is implied and confirmed by GRRM.

john mullen
20. johntheirishmongol
I thought you wanted to wait til a series was finished.
Tam Dolan
21. OnePower_ofFireAndIce
One post a week on each? AAARRGH!!! Why can't you just, I don't know, NOT SLEEP and get us more postastic re-readification? Do you have any idea how addicted to WOT re-read we are, and to ASOFAI we will be??
Angel Banchev
22. Tiranas
What comment number 12 says. First of all, awesome for deciding to go along with this. I followed the WoT re-read right up until publication of TGS. Transalations in my country take 6 to 8 months to come through, so i had to stop following it, to avoid spoiling myself. Then after reading TGS i went back and read both your spoiler and non-spoiler articles and, wow, did i had a fun time doing that. Also, i'm sure people told you this, but...ASOIAF is quite different in tone and characters than WoT. So...again, what comment number 12 says. :) I'm glad, that i'll be able to follow your mouthiness again and be able to participate in the comments. It fell awfull to be away from such a cool croud, but one must do, what one must do to enjoy what one wants to enjoy unspoiled.

Oh, bring aspirin while reading. You'll need it. :)
Rob Munnelly
23. RobMRobM
Leigh - one final thing - in your copious spare time, you should probably read GRRM's Dunk and Egg novellas, set in the same world about 80 years previously. Very helpful background on Westeros main families and, in particular, on the former royal family. This will help you understand subtleties in the books as you work through them. Also, the stories are a delight - centered on Ser Duncan the Tall, the nearly seven foot tall, illiterate but honor bound knight of unsettled parentage from the mean streets of the worst slums of the capital City, and his feisty noble-born squire Egg, as they wander around Westeros taking service with various noble families on a short-term basis. You can find the novellas in the following collections: Legends I (Silverberg ed), Legends II (ditto), Warriors (GRRM and Dozois, eds). Note - the two eventually become famous and are mentioned at various points in the ASOIF series.

Tam Dolan
24. Cat
Super excited about ASOIAF re-read! Not looking forward to all the annoying complaints from this reader.

Can we get the people that do the Mazalan re-reads to do this instead? 100% complaining about unequal representation of "pillow friends."
Kate Nepveu
25. katenepveu
Would it be feasible to do a spoiler-annex for each post, so that newbies can read along and discuss along with you, while re-readers can chortle off somewhere else?
Rob Munnelly
26. RobMRobM
Duplicate post. Darned website. So, what to talk about....Lyrics to Game of Thrones (to the tune of the theme from Gilligan's Island)? "Just, sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful clan, that lives far north in Winterfell, not far from where the first men ran. Old Ned was a mighty warrior man, wife Catelyn a mother proud, Robb and Sansa are to the nobility born and Arya's not easily cowed...." etc.
Tam Dolan
27. Annaka D.
I've not been able to read this series either, but I own all the books except fro the newest one ~ I'd like to read along...
If you are going to be blogging on the 18th, when will you start reading the forst book? Or have you already started reading the first book? Eeep! Runs for nightstand where 'ASOIAF' is stowed...
Tam Dolan
28. Annaka D.
I like to swear, too. We should get along great...
Luke M
29. lmelior
Sad face at delaying WoT. I haven't done the math but I thought we might have finished re-reading ToM before AMoL.

Okay, nevermind, I just did some math. You have 161 chapters left in the WoT re-read. At two per week that puts us at the last week of September, 2012 to finish up ToM. The typical hiatus here and there probably means somewhere around November 2012. I guess it's not too bad because we'll get some additional insight from AMoL for the ToM re-read.

At a dedicated four per week we would have been finishing up ToM at the tail end of 2011, with the usual hiatuses putting us a month or so before the release of AMoL (if it goes off in March 2012 as expected). I suppose there is a chance it won't be released until late 2012 though.

Anyway, I've only read the first book, several years ago, so I think I shall enjoy following along. I don't think it will be possible for Leigh to read the comments, even if we agree on a non-spoiler policy, because there is always a chance of her getting to a spoiler just moments after it is posted (before any moderation can save the day).
Daniel Hanley
30. Kythorian
I'm actually in the exact same boat as Leigh. I keep meaning to read the books, but put them off for some other series, with the vague intention of reading them after they are all out so I don't have to sit around waiting for the next book with everyone else. Especially since GRRM appears to be especially bad about this. But this seems like a pretty good reason to get started on them...Only problem is that I doubt I will be able to hold myself to the couple chapters a week that we will go through on the forum once I get into it if it is anywhere near as good as I have heard.

I'm very much in favor of the white text spoilers idea though.
Rob Munnelly
31. RobMRobM
@29. What if Leigh does 3 WoT chapters each week? That would be just about mid-summer 2012 and probably perfect for AMOL. How about it, fearless leader? R
Jim Millen
32. jim.millen
Bit of a *sad* this means fewer WOT posts, especially as others have mentioned if that means the re-read isn't done in time for aMoL. :-( That's not to criticise your efforts at all though Leigh, do appreciate how much hard work must go into the updates - thank you. Hope managing the two in parallel isn't too mind-boggling!

I will have to trust that will save the aSoIaF re-read posts until GRRM eventually finishes the series... I'm not going near it again until it's complete.
Tasneem Gould
33. Latecomer

First I find out that the DwD book has a release date (yeah, right! I might have heard THAT one before. I'll wait till I see a cover).

Then I find out that a Read-along is happening of my other favourite fantasy, by my favourite to none blogger.

Thanks does not begin to cover it!
Kev Hamm
34. cavynmaicl
You know, as there are others out here who avoided huge series' like this because we were already drowning in doubt over WoT being finished, *AND* we're weird enough to go, "Well, if Auntie Leigh is going to dive right into this soup, we might as well join her!" it might be wise to have a simple checkmark on the comment if it contains spoilers. When the page loads, the spoiler comments are hidden, but can be unhidden by clicking "Show the comments with spoilers" and be done with it.

And are the books available on the iBookstore? I haven't checked yet.
Gary Rothkopf
35. Fenric25
I am very pleased to hear about this-the Wheel of Time re-read is one of the things I look forward to the most every time I come to, and having Leigh's uniquely snarky, insightful worldview applied to A Song of Ice and Fire (my other favorite series) will be very intriguing to read, especially as she's reading it for the first time (mind you, as she's big on referencing TV Tropes, it's going to be difficult for her to avoid spoilers-ASOIAF is quite big there, bound to get bigger with the TV Show.) I was planning another re-read of the series myself soon, may indeed start mine around the same time. Can't wait :)
Rob Munnelly
36. RobMRobM
@33. It will be done. He had five chapters to go in December. Illness slowed him down but beyond whatever he was doing prior to then March his recent blog posts have discussed one absolutely done, one virtually done, and very active work on another.
John Massey
37. subwoofer
Curiouser and curiouser. I guess I am going to have to bite the bullet and actually read this thing. Time to get a kindle.

Incidentally, was somebody actually asking the questions or was it the Voices again? If it was the Voices might I suggest sitting on top a mountain in a blizzard to search for enlightenment? Oh, and are you arguing with said Voices, and being hurt by them? If so I suggest the movie "Fight Club".

Tam Dolan
38. Randomer
Wow. Doing the WOT reread concurrently with a ASOIAF read? That sounds nuts. I hope Tor is paying you a lot of money.

It'll be interesting to see how you tackle gender issues in this read-through. Martin doesn't play around with gender roles the way Jordan did, but "Man's inhumanity to (Wo)man" can be a bit pronounced at times. And there are a few female characters in ASOIAF that people seem to hate even more than the Supergirls in WOT. So have fun with that.
Nathan Martin
39. lerris
Welcome to the dark side Leigh.
I'll be commencing my own reread shortly after ( aiming at a book a month ) leading up to A Dance With Dragons.
Andrew Foss
40. alfoss1540

Great. Another excuse to buy another 10 books (Hey Tor, Starting with the LOTR reread, your site has cost me about 30 books). As a first time reader of WOT starting in June of the year you started the reread, it is kind of fun following - even with spoilers. I guess I am in. Are there Kindle versions of these books?
Roy Landrum
41. tigeroy77
Late reader of ASOIAF as well, just finished book 1 last week. Since I'm taking a break before book 2 to read Rothfuss's new book, I'll probably stall until you catch up.
Benjamin Moldovan
42. benpmoldovan
Interesting. I'm almost as much in the dark as Leigh herself, though I have actually read the first two books some time ago. I only remember a little of them, though.

One of the few things I do remember: I find Martin's use of curse words to be rather jarring. Not because I have this problem with other people swearing in general. I do read Leigh's reread posts, after all, for example. It's because he uses modern swear words. (I mean the big ones, I don't care about "hell and damn".)

I tend to get pretty engrossed in the setting of the fantasy series I read. It's a whole different mindset, an escape to a different place and time, like. Being all into that, and to be suddenly slammed with an F bomb is like a sudden mental jolt back into the modern world. It's just jarring and offputting. It's so un fantasylike. But, his style is what it is, so c'est la vie.

Ben M
Bel Bauer
43. Belcyrlis
Unfortunately I've missed most of the WoT reread, which is even worse becasue I'm rereading it now for AMoL. But this gives me a good excuse to reread ASoIaF, since I've only read through it once, and I think I might've been a little young to get into it, to the point where I seem to remember skipping parts. I do own all the books, though, it's just a matter of finding them.
Scientist, Father
44. Silvertip
So, I haven't read the books either, so this'll be fun. I have two important questions, of which RobM^2 @19 got the first. So ...

... does anybody get spanked?



p.s. glad to see Sean Bean in the adaptation, he damn near completely walked off with LOTR #1 IMHO.
Kent Aron Vabø
45. sotgnomen
Love the idea, especially since you haven't read it before. Judging by the Amanda's comments on the Malazan reread of the fallen, this will be almost like reading the books for the first time again. I love your reread posts for their snarkyness, but imagine how raw your commentary would be if you'd never read the "deaths" of Moiraine, Mat and Aviendha in FoH before posting here.
Well do I understand your tight schedule, and I would suggest that staying away from the comments from the first might be just as well.
46. cytherea
So, I haven't read all the above comments, but I have to say... I'd really suggest staying away from the comments. Even the best-meaning commenter might end up saying something they "don't think" is a spoiler, that still is... and whiting it out requires that the commenters remember to do so on every single reply... And, eventually, someone's gonna mess it up.

I don't know if you checked out Mark Reads Harry Potter, but he tried asking people to not spoil things so he could read the comments and, well. :/ It was a constant issue. Even stuff that's just like, "OMG DID YOU SEE WHAT CHARACTER X DID IN THE CHAPTER YOU JUST READ???? IT'S SO IMPORTANT LATER, SO DON'T FORGET!!!!1!1" is pretty spoilery when you think about it, even though it doesn't name anything explicitly.

Enjoy ASoIaF -- it's a marvellous ride!
Sandy Brewer
47. ShaggyBella
I am pleasently suprised. I was poking around the new seeing if there was a Game of Thrones reread ...and Look what I found!
(I am on the third chapter and maybe a little confused.)
Got a Kindle for Christmas and a gift certificate for books, so I picked up the first two books. I just started the first one. March 18th? I'll be there!
Michael Maxwell
48. pike747
I think this is a brilliant idea. In fact I might try to join in because I have not read this.
Anthony Williams
49. Galagros
Hahah, this is going to be HILARIOUS!

I know what your reactions are to some WoT scenes ... and via extrapolation your reactions tocertain ASOIAF scenes is going to be, umm, explosive.

I await with baited breath. :)
Joel Wright
50. joelright
An idea for dealing with the spoiler problem:

What about declaring the comment sections of the posts as spoiler-free zones, and put in a link to a subsection of the shiny new forums for spoilery disscussions of the post?
j p
51. sps49
Okay, we'll be Tolkien Martin Virgins together, because all I know about ASOIAF is that Characters Die, Lots.

And that it is also suffering Publication Slowing lately. Grr.

I'm a' trusting you, Leigh! Don't let us down!

(What- pressure? huh? oh.)
Tricia Irish
52. Tektonica
Ok, I'm totally torn! Pissed that we're down to one WoT post per week, as I was looking forward to getting to the GOOD STUFF in KoD!!

However, ASOIAF is awesome and I will LOVE to hear Leigh's take on it.
Such a dilemma! Well, I guess it's really not, as the decision seems to have been made already. Ok, I'll do both. Pretty happily.

One note about the comments without spoilers /or with white out spoilers:

I'm participating in the Malazan blogs...also an excellent series, btw.....and although it is a bit different in format: One guru and one newbie posting each week on two (very long) chapters, spoiler free. The comments are supposed to be anything goes, but the commentors have been very careful not to divulge any spoilers, using white out type or innuendo. It has severely curtailed commenting.

Leigh has stated that this is a READ not a REread, so maybe this is not applicable, but I can say that people are so careful in their comments that discussion is rarely even speculative. Sigh.

Anyway, I read GRRM so long ago that it might as well be my first time through. How long has it been since the last book?

RobM@26: LOL. You must be in heaven! I know you love GRRM.
Tam Dolan
53. Rob Mee
So, Leigh, are you making it to JordanCon? And if so, how does that affect your plans?
Tam Dolan
54. Zeynep
I'm just commenting to use the word "awesome" here, too. I truly picked a good time to start reading them; in fact I just finished re-reading A Game of Thrones...

For your sake, I would wish there was a way of non-spoilery comments (or making people stick to a spoiler-policy). I suspect a Mark Reads Harry Potter-style repeated reminders of DON'T SPOIL ME!!! isn't really your style, but it would be awesome if you could join in the comment discussions too...

But anyway. Awesome, did I say?
Thomas Keith
55. insectoid
You're not kidding?? Hoo boy... And yes, you're nuts. ;)

However, I am sort of happy about this, since I haven't even finished the books myself. (Still stuck 1/10 of the way through Book 3.) The fact that there will not be spoilers (from you, and hopefully not too many in the comments) means I can read right along with you. And I do appreciate your witty and thoughtful commentary and made-up words. For reals! :)

Speaking of spoilers: Someone on the Tor forum suggested that the code monkeys should implement spoiler tags, which I suppose means initially making spoiler text "hidden" until you click on it. So we'll see what becomes of that.

But... but, the WoTRR will be only once a week! ::pouts::

Rob Munnelly
56. RobMRobM
@44. Yes! I can think of at least two instances in CoK. Leigh will LOVE them. GoT...hmmm....Can't recall any.
Rob Munnelly
57. RobMRobM
Tek - It was 2005 but who's counting....Yes, I am happy about this re-read. And I pity Leigh at missing the GoT HBO show until after she finishes the book. That will be seriously awesome. On a separate note, Firefly is being rebroadcast on Science cable channel on Sunday evenings, two eps at a time. Yes, finally getting a chance to see them. R Fife would be so proud.
John Massey
58. subwoofer
Wait- what? One post per week? What kind of crap is this? Who came up with that plan? They otta be taken out back behind the woodshed and spanked! Gah.

What you gain in the swings, you lose in the roundabouts...

le sigh


Tam Dolan
59. trench
Leigh Butler meet a Song of Ice and Fire. This is gonna get intresting. You might want to get a helmet Leigh.
Brett Michie
60. bchurch
Awesome, Leigh! Been looking for a good excuse to read these myself as I've been told to several times . . Think I might come along for the ride. Thanks for all your work.
Tam Dolan
61. Mandymode
I just started the series yesterday so this is awesome news. I plan to watch the series which is the main reason I am finally starting the books. I have read that the adaptation is a faithful one and that GRRM approves.
Tam Dolan
62. trattman
I'm going to go with, "Have you considered completing one project before starting the next?"

I mean, the only way this is going to end is for both blogs to be worse because of it. You will lose track of where you are/what you spoke about, be less immersed in the story and have it go slower and be more frustrating for readers. In my opinion, the pace of the WOT re-read is probably already at the edge of how slow you can go and actually expect people to follow along.

Hate to be negative but I guess its because the WOT re-read is fun to follow and I can only see this change ending up with two lesser/worse blogs.
Tam Dolan
63. Mndrew
1) I approve,heartily.
2) Let me know which assylum to send the flowers to; your breakdown is inevitable.
3) That's ok, I like crazy chicks.
lake sidey
64. lakesidey
Leigh, on one hand I absolutely want to go squeeee and OMGOMGOMG on this one, since i love aSoIaF. But on the other, I have to warn you, you're almost certainly getting in over your head here. (For what it's worth, I think you'll love the series. Especially aSoS. Though there are moments when you'll probably hate GRRM for what he does to people like uhhh...must....avoid....spoilers)

I remember your spoiler-free 'reaction' reviews of tGS and ToM and if you really really react like that then.....suggestion, buy a good, softpadded desk. Head-desking shall happen, early and often. Maybe even buy a good padded cell to sit in while reading.

I would very strongly suggest you avoid reading the comments at all, though, since almost certainly the comments would be signifcantly coloured by people's later opinions. For example, you might froth at the mouth about many people's actions, including hewhomustnotbenamed, and in the comments, you'll find hundreds of people defending him. Vociferously. And even with no spoilers, that might be a hint that he is not as bad as you thought.

If you do plan to go ahead with this (or at least for the benefit of those commenters who haven't read the series and who might not have your immense fortitude and self-flagellation when it comes to not reading comments), I have a thought : Can the default for a comment be "here be spoilers", with a check-button saying "no spoilers in this here post"? In the sense that if I login and just post a comment, it will automatically be hidden and become visible only if the viewer clicks "show all comments". Only if, before posting, I click the "no spoilers" button, will my post appear freely visible to all. You could check with the IT department whether that is feasible...

Where's the damn IT department when you need it? HAL? MultiVAC? Where are you guys? Huh? What do you mean "we have a problem"? Hey! Wait! Don't close that damn door! Let me back iiinnnnnnn....!!!!

Of course no system is idiot-proof; some people will still end up
posting spoilers under "no-spoiler" headings - there would have to be
some moderation (and possibly a fortnight's ban or something for repeat offenders? I don't know, I guess you can figure out a condign punishment, your blog your rules after all!)

(And Leigh?.....sometimes I really really envy you your job.)

Tam Dolan
65. Leah Hansen
Oooh, this is super exciting! I've been following your WOT reread for quite a while now and I am thrilled that you're going to be doing Song of Ice and Fire too. I've only read the first book so far, so I will be reading along with you. Squeee!
Claire de Trafford
66. Booksnhorses
I won't be posting spoilers but will just sit there stroking my fluffy white cat and saying 'mwha, mwha' when you make a great newbie comment :)
Birgit F
67. birgit
It's been some time since I read the books. If the new book is really coming out finally a reread is a good idea.
If TOR implements a spoiler tag, they could also have a function for people who are logged in where you can say "Never show spoilers on posts with tag GRRM" or "Show spoilers on posts with tag GRRM".
Captain Hammer
68. Randalator
I'm afraid I'll have to fall in with the 'booooo'-crowd.

It's not that the idea of a ASOIAF-read is a bad idea per se. As a matter of fact I, too, planned to pick up this series next after WoT is finished. But the timing is just horribly, horribly wrong.

Why now? Seriously, why? Yeah sure, there's a new book coming out in July. But it's just a book in the series, not the book, not the AMoL of ASOIAF. There's two others yet to come after that, so it's not like this thing has to be rushed out to catch up with the conclusion to the story.

But WoT is. Why not finish that before doing the next epic project? I can't help but think that this is a very stupid idea that will negatively affect both projects.

So please, please, pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaase, pretty please with sugar on top: rethink that. There is plenty of time for the ASOIAF-project after the WoT re-read is finished.
Maggie K
69. SneakyVerin
I am in the Booooooooo crowd too. As a person who read aSoIaF years and years ago, I KNOW how long this book took to write. You all know the 2005 book was just half a book right? And the other half was supposed to come out right away right?
So in other words it took 10 f*%$ing years to write the damn thing. And you all really think the series is going to finish? Man, I must be getting all old and jaded, but I cant go getting all involved in something that wont ever end, because we will all die first.
Sorry to be all negative Nancy, but jeesh, the WOT is pretty much done. It actually will happen and stuff.
Ken Stankiewicz
70. Kenjs
I just picked up A Game of Thrones last week so this will be fun. Thanks Leigh. While I will miss the 2 a week WOT recap, I think that this will compensate and prolong the fun I've been having following your blog.
Tam Dolan
71. denari6

I am not sure if you are gonna like the GRRM series. I have really enjoyed his books but George likes to kill off chars you just spent half a book enjoying. It has taken the last book so long to come out that I have serious doubts about the series completion and I wonder if there will be a Brandon Sanderson to run the last mile.

My 2 cents

Tricia Irish
72. Tektonica
As for the Boo camp: I do think the WoT read will suffer. I'm pretty much just casually reading along now with it now, not posting much, after being very engaged at the beginning. This is partially due to 3 boring middle books, but also to a slowed schedule of 2 posts per week. There's just less urgency to be engaged. I think curtailing the WoT posting schedule will just lose more people. And....we were just getting back to the good stuff!!

I do need a good reread of GRRM tho, since I've not touched them since the last book and don't remember much, but like SneakyVerin says, there's no rush. God knows when the series will be complete...if ever.

And yeah, Leigh, get a helmut.
Evelynne Weakley
73. evelynne_r
Woohoo, looking forward to this, Leigh. You're in for a treat!
Rob Munnelly
74. RobMRobM
Leigh - picking up on my above suggestion, strongly suggest that you work it out to do three WoT posts a week, either all on Tuesday or do 2 on Monday and 1 on Wednesday. That will actually get the re-read completed by AMOL's due date in first half of next year. Two/week won't get us there in time and untold amounts of grumpiness will occur in your beloved WoT fan base (as you can tell from above).

On the other hand, I've very supportive of the ASOIF re-read - please don't abandon that. I am DYING to hear what you have to say about particular scenes coming up. Can ... hardly ... wait. Desks will shatter. The fun part is that when someone makes a dumb move in GRRM land, someone (sometimes them, sometimes others around them) tends to pay a price for it. (RJ/BS let people off the hook in many cases - GRRM doesn't). And several folk in the tale are seriously not very nice, as you'll see both on screen and off. So lots to admire, lots to hate, and lots of divergent agendas to dissect.
Stefan Mitev
75. Bergmaniac
I don't like the idea, honestly. First because it will slow down the WoT reread, but mostly because it won't be a reread, but a first time read, which is really not the same, especially in a series full of plot twists. Leigh won't read the comments, which would be a big problem, reacting and replying to them is a big part of what made the WoT reread so good IMO.
Valentin M
76. ValMar
Wow. News, eh...
1- I am a bit worried that the WOT re-read might suffer. Perhaps if Leigh manages to fit 2 posts with 3 chapters per week as RobM2 just above suggests.
2- I am excited about the ASOIAF read. Gleefully anticipating Leigh's take on things :) Also, selfishly, since I can't bring myself to re-read it it will be very useful for me to refresh my memory.
3- Leigh should just not read the comments. As some have already said, it will be impossible for Leigh not to gleen much about characters and direction of events in the future. It will be just as impossible for commenters' posts not to be coloured from their knowledge of the series.

Last thing- with the re-vamp of the site logging-in has become a bit of a pain in the ass. I have to type my whole name instead of just "v"
Valentin M
77. ValMar
Also, about the delay of the latest book of ASOIAF, the author had placed himself in a bit of a pickle with the plot and it took him awhile to resolve it. As I understand it. If he has solved it, GRRM should not have problem continuing the series in a reasonable time.
I know that the problem has a name, but I thought not write it since it might be spoilerific.
Tess Laird
78. thewindrose
I think RobMRobM is trying to get that moderator spot;)

I have to say that I am worried about the WoT re-read. We have been slowly dwindling in the comments area(I think some of that had to do with the middle books), but some of it was also the slowdown in number of posts we were getting. Once a week may just make it a curiosity that is looked at every now and then - and we are getting back to some more invigorating parts of the WoT series.

However I am not saying that Leigh reading this won't be entertaining - it will! Maybe to save both the WoT reread and Leigh's sanity, she could have a partner on this one? It could be another newbie(to make it different from other partnerships like the Mazalan reread) or a veteran of the series(it seems to work quite well).

I too see a problem with spoilers - as Tektonica has mentioned, when there is a strict no spoiler policy - it puts a damper on the comments. So maybe have a spoiler thread connected to each post for veterans to go at it?

Chris Long
80. radynski
I definitely would NOT read the comments, no matter how sanitized you think they might be. Not worth the spoilers. It will be near impossible for people to keep their opinions out of it, and people love to hint at things and pretend that doesn't ruin the surprise.

Tam Dolan
81. Galadriel
I am new to this idea of reading and commenting chapter by chapter. It intrigues me greatly! I also will read this religiously due to the fact that after reading the above interview with Leigh Butler I have a unquenchable thirst to read everything she has written. That being said I have an undying affection for ASOIAF and will greedily lap up anything to do with it. Thank you TOR and Leigh!
Sydo Zandstra
82. Fiddler
I, too, would love to see Leigh's take on ASoIaF. :D

It would be a nice diversion for her as well. I say this because personally I've been having the impression for a while that the whole WoT reread has started to weigh on her. I know it would have been doing that on me, that's for sure. So, a good way to re-energize (even if my impression is wrong) :-)

Then again, I have to admit that I'm not as attached to WoT and the reread as I used to be. The only thing that I really want to know is how it ends. ;-)


Taking on a project like this by yourself is asking for trouble, methinks,and maybe this particular series isn't really fit for a first read discussion (considering how long these books have been around). I would second the suggestion that this be done by 2 people, with one of them being a veteran to the series. If only to steer the first time readers expectations a bit. It works perfectly with the Malazan reread; the dynamics in interaction between Bill and Amanda are a joy to read.

Also, if I cannot talk about spoilers in the comments, I'm not even going to bother commenting. And I don't think I'll be the only one. No hard feelings, but one (re)read where I have to check what I say and white out comments is enough for me... :-)

I'll be looking forward to reading about Leigh's findings and observations in any case. Good luck, Leigh.

EDIT: I would also like to point out that spoilers will be unavoidable, and that unregistered posters cannot edit their posts (unless TOR 2.0 has that possibility incorporated now). This is something to consider, if a spoiler policy is declared and sanctioned.
Marcus W
83. toryx
Too awesome, Leigh. I hope you love aSoIaF as much as I do. At any rate, I really look forward to seeing what you have to say about it, unless of course, it turns out that you hate it, which would make me very sad.

This is pretty good timing, actually, since I've been thinking about doing a re-read anyway. So now I have further encouragement. Yay!
Tricia Irish
84. Tektonica

Also, if I cannot talk about spoilers in the comments, I'm not even going to bother commenting. And I don't think I'll be the only one. No hard feelings,

I'm with you there. The no spoiler thing really cuts down discussion, and there are bound to be a few either direct spoilers or innuendos that creep in. 'Tis a tricksy question......

It might be nice to have two discussion threads, or use the shiny new "forum" area. ?? Thoughts?

Leigh has the great ability to be controversial and stimulate wonderful discussion. I'd hate to see that curtailed. Of course, maybe this just isn't a thread for Vets. It's not a REread, so maybe there's no place for the veterans here???
Luke M
85. lmelior
@ RobMRobM #74
Leigh - picking up on my above suggestion, strongly suggest that you work it out to do three WoT posts a week, either all on Tuesday or do 2 on Monday and 1 on Wednesday.
Just to avoid confusion, you meant three WoT chapters a week, which would be 54 weeks barring any breaks. Splitting them into 1/2 chapters over two posts would also be nice so you can do the long prologues and epilogues (which I counted in my chapter count) separately. I like it!
Tam Dolan
87. RickC1313
I admire your courage. But I gotta say if RJ occasionally drove you crazy, I can only imagine what GRRM's stuff is going to do to your skull and your desk. Sexism is the LEAST of your concerns with this series.
Love ya too much not to give you a little warning there.
That said, I am SO looking forward to your comments on this great series, for me ASOIAF is behind WOT (of course) and LOTR.
Tam Dolan
88. redbear5000
I'm of the mind that Leigh should just avoid the comments altogether. It is unrealistic to expect that comments remain spoiler free for the duration of this read-through. It's far easier to have Leigh not look at the comments, than expect thousands of commenters not slip up, just once.

A concern I have, is that in my experience, (and I grant this may be unique to my circle of friends) fans of WOT are not fans of ASOIAF and vice versa. What makes Leigh's WOT re-reads work are her passion and knowledge of the material. It is entirely possible that ASOIAF is not Leigh's cup of tea. It would be unfair to expect her to continue through a series that doesn't make her soul sing like WOT.
Sydo Zandstra
89. Fiddler

A concern I have, is that in my experience, (and I grant this may be
unique to my circle of friends) fans of WOT are not fans of ASOIAF and vice versa.

Actually, that just may be unique, as you say. A lot of the people in the old rasfw-rj usenet group are/were ASoIaF fans too. Leigh just didn't bother to read the books back then... (For example, I do remember Elio Garcia being a regular poster there)

Tam Dolan
90. Timekeeper
It'll be nice to see what you make of SoIaF. I'll love to see your reactions on characters and events. (Spoiler: folk die.)

Very nice to see more folk discovering (or rediscovering) GRRM, especially with ADwD coming in July. Enjoy the reading!
Tam Dolan
91. RickC1313
In a rather interesting coincidence, I just picked up ASOIAF books 1 through 4 on my iPad last weekend, to begin a re-read before the release of Book 5. Now, I will be happily re-reading along with Leigh's posts.
Vincent Lane
92. Aegnor
I've considered reading this series many times, but there is something that has always held me back. I'm not convinced that it will ever be completed. It seems like GRRM has lost interest in the series. Or at least it took a real long time to finish the book that comes out later this year. The impression that I get (and I don't know if this is true or not) is that it was a multi-year struggle to get the motivation to finish off a book that was already nearly done. How long will it take to get the motivation to finish the remaining books?

The thing is, I'm almost certain I'll really like the series. But will it take 20 years to finish it? That is if its finished at all? A question for those of you that have read the series before. If you knew that the series would never be completed, would you still recommend reading it? Would you still be glad you read it?

I guess I'm looking for some insight on whether I should take up the series or not, considering the risks.
redge cola
93. redgecola
Sweet - GRRM serves up great material for some pointed commentrary. Looking fwd to it
Tam Dolan
94. redbear5000

A question for those of you that have read the series before. If you knew that the series would never be completed, would you still recommend reading it? Would you still be glad you read it?

Absolutely! Even if another word is never published of this series, I do not regret for a moment reading these books. The journey of these books is so grand, it justifies the lengthy wait for the destination. I would go further and recommend the entire GRRM catalog of books and short stories. He is a special talent. Now obviously, your mileage may vary, but I would invite you to see what all the fuss is about.
Tam Dolan
95. excited sarcastically
Ms. Butler I am huge fan of your rereads and have been religiously following hem since 2009. I lovvveeee the part where you say you will be doing "read" of ASOIAF.
But i hate to say it that not reading ahead and restricting yourself to chapters under discussion only will be a miracle. No No I dont have any doubt in your power of perseverence and patience. but i can claim from personal experience that it becomes "niegh" impossible to keep the books down once you start reading them.
(I can produce few "F" as proof and a few disgruntled teachers as witness)
Still i wish you luck in your venture but my adice will be read it at your natural pace instead of braking after every two chapters to ink your thought.
PS:- All four so i reamain unable to understand how you will restrict your self to a chapter or two per week
Rob Munnelly
96. RobMRobM
Ok, couple of additional points (wall o text warning):

- I shall wave my magic wand and solve the spoiler problem discussed above. I'd propose the same approach taken on the Gestalt Mash/BSC Review re-read done by Elana Nola (who is a newbie and doesn't want to read spoilers) and Jay Tormio, an experienced ASOIF guy. In Jay's portion of the blog and in the comments section, those posting spoilers use a Spoiler tag and add spoiler space before writing said comments. Thus there are the "safe for Elana and other newbies" portions of the re-read and the other entries that are clearly marked "there be spoilers" and read at one's own risk. This seems to be working in that re-read (which is now up to chapter 17 or 18 of GoT) and should work here.

- Aegnor - GRRM has not lost interest in writing Dances with Dragons and the rest of the series. If you have read his blog called "not a blog," he was worked on the book actively and consistently since FFC was published in 2005. The gap was caused by two problems - first, he considered adding a several years gap in order to let some of the characters "age up" in a manner he thought would strengthen the story. Unfortunately (or fortunately for us, from a creative standpoint) he decided that the approach was unworkable - largely because he couldn't realize why other actors would wait the several year period before doing things that would advance the story. Thus, he had to junk a fair amount of this work.

Second, there is a particular meeting point outlined in the stories where certain characters have to get together in a certain sequence, after which plot developments would occur in a rapid and decisive manner. GRRM was having trouble getting the right people to the right places at the right times for the events to move forward. He called this problem the "_______ ese Knot." This baffled him for a good portion of the six year period in question. It is now solved and he is able to finish the books and move forward with the tale. I'd expect the last two books to move forward much more rapidly now. Always tough to write the middle books of a saga. You know how to start, you know how to end, but getting everything lined up in the middle is the difficult part for many. That's been GRRM's big problem.

I don't begrude him taking breaks to write the delightful Dunk and Egg novellas, which are becoming increasingly important to the main story as the key events of 80 years ago are better understood. I don't begrude him working on the Wild Cards project or editing books with Gardner Dozois - man has to eat and there is nothing better to recharge creative batteries than to take a break and work on something else every once in a while. (Brandon Sanderson is very clear on the benefits of side projects in discussions on his blog.) I don't even begrudge him being excited about U.S. football, although I do detest his fanship of the Jets.

In sum, I'm really looking forward to the new book. I've read the 9 or 10 spoiler chapters that are out there (see the Westeros Fan Site if you want to find them) and am more than pleased by the directions that story is going to take over the concluding three books. And I'm very much looking forward to Leigh's newbie take on the books as she reads them.

Marcus W
97. toryx
Look, no matter how well intentioned people are, there's going to be spoilers written in the comments. There are going to be times when people simply don't know how to white out their comments, and there are going to be times when that doesn't freaking work. So the spoilers are pretty much unavoidable. It's going to happen.

As far as waiting for a series to be complete before starting it...I don't understand that at all. For all you know, you could be dead before the series is finished. Or before you managed to complete one or two books. Why deprieve yourself of a wonderful book reading experience just because a series isn't complete? A book is a book, and even if the story isn't done you're still experiencing something wonderful with a great book. If RJ hadn't given permission for someone else to finish the WoT, it wouldn't have invalidated the books that had been come before. If Sanderson had done a craptacular job, that still wouldn't have diminished the previous books.

Not everyone is going to like aSoIaF for a number of reasons but to deny yourself the possibility of a truly fantastic read because he doesn't write fast enough for you...well, that's just sad. The only one you're depriving is yourself.
Jim Millen
98. jim.millen
@97 toryx - I'm not quite in the boat of never reading it at all, cos
I have read the current aSoIaF, but I've sworn off re-reading or
reading new books until the series is complete precisely because I don't want to end up in another WOT situation.

I get what you say about appreciating the existing books, but when you start reading a multi-book series following a consistent narrative, it's not unreasonable to expect fairly regular new installments. Waiting several years, again and again, for new books, isn't a great experience for readers! Like I said, WOT was enough - I'm not doing it again.

Mind you, I'd never tell anyone else they shouldn't read aSoIaF 'cos it's
not finished - that's their decision. But I think they should make an
informed decision in the knowledge of the delays that have happened. Some people will be happy with enjoying an incomplete series... others won't. YMMV!
Tricia Irish
99. Tektonica

I really think GRRM should hire you for PR.
You explain him better than he does ;-)
James Whitehead
100. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
I fall under the 'boo' column for purely selfish reasons as a rather new follower of the WOT reread blog. ;-)

I read the GRRM series & enjoyed it but not to the point of a reread just yet. I would recommend it to someone to read as a fantasy version of the War of the Roses. Just don't fall in love with any of the characters; odds are he/she will be dead before the end of the chapter.

@97Toryx I see your point but this is, for me, now the third series where delays have become the norm; Dune & WOT the other two. I do agree that an unfinished series doesn't limit the experience but it definitely makes for a harder selling point when recommending a series to a new reader.

Also, aren't there two more books to come after this one in July? I will wait for them to be done or at least until my local library has the latest book.

Delos Rifenburgh
101. KaijuGamer
Leigh, I have mixed feelings for you about this... I'm esctatic about you doing another blog on one of my favorite series, but also running throuogh my mind is the whole "you have no idea what you're in for" feeling. Both WoT and aSoIaF are tied for favorite series with me for several reasons, and reading your blog on them is going to be a weekly much anticipated event (the WoT reread already is!). Good luck and may the Creator have mercy on your typing fingers!
John Massey
102. subwoofer
I dunno, like I said, haven't read the books yet, but the man is old. If I'm going to read this I have 2 wishes. First the next book out is the last book in the series. Second, he finishes it before he is er... finished. Somebody has already said it, but I reiterate, I am gunshy of getting into a series where the author is in his twilight years and is not done the series and has taken a long time to wrap things up... aka writer's block.

Rob Munnelly
103. RobMRobM
1. By the way - for those who enjoy the Atari humorous summaries of WoT, there is a site called "A Blog of Ice and Fire" in which the author (a law student) blogs his way humorously through the first 1 1/2 books, two chapters at a time. Well worth a google search. Unfortunately, he graduated, got a job in a law firm and as far as we know abandoned the project last August. Some of the entries are brilliant and all of them are enjoyable. Very worth reading for those who have read the first two books. I love his line that he realized, only three chapters in, that any filming of the books would have to be on HBO. LOL!

2. Woof - note that George just got married a couple of weeks ago, so there's life in the old dog yet.

3. Dance with Dragons is fighting back. George reports that he finished one of his few remaining chapters and decided he had to write another one featuring the same character. George refers to DoD as Kong, so send the bi-planes to kill off the sucker before July.

Hugh Arai
104. HArai
Subwoofer@102: Twilight years? First bio page on google says he was born in September of 1948. That would make him 62 at the moment. That's not exactly tottering towards the grave time. I think you're being fooled by the beard.

@others: I have to say I can't really understand this idea that series are only worthwhile once completed. KatoCrossestheCourtyard@100 mentions Dune. You folks would seriously tell someone never to read Dune because the series didn't finish? If Harriet had decided not to continue with Brandon, you'd wish you'd never read the WoT as far as it went? It just seems like a person would miss out on so much waiting for things to be "finished".
James Whitehead
105. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
@HArai104, I've would've been saddened that the series was never completed; same as I was for the Dune series as there was so much more Herbert wanted to write.

I don't regret reading the WOT and am thrilled that Sanderson was chosen to finish the series as I have enjoyed what he has done so far.

I don't think people think an unfinished series isn't worthwhile; more like they are leary of jumping into another series that is taking the long way home to completion. My point was that it would be a harder sell to bring new people in to a series if they knew it was never to be finished.


PS - I forgot to say "One Hundred!" on my prior post. My first 'milestone' post. Booyahh! ;-)
Kimani Rogers
106. KiManiak
Leigh, I’m happy for you getting another gig, but I think I’m leaning more towards the “boo” crowd.

I could understand this, as a business decision, for both Leigh and I’m assuming Leigh’ll be compensated (in some way) for the ASoIaF reread (make sure Tor pays you well, Leigh; your reread posts deserve it!). As for, I assume they will (most likely) get more viewers, the ASoIaF fans who don’t currently visit this site, and more hits to their site. New viewers may actually stay and check out the other material on the sites (that’s how got me; I came to just “check out” the WoT reread and I’ve never left) and possibly find TOR books that they decide to purchase. Also, can extend its most popular reread (I think; admittedly I’m biased) by the reduction of Leigh’s WoT posts/week, ensuring that the reread doesn’t catch up/end before AMoL comes out. So, I get the business decision.

As a WoT reread fan, I think this kinda sucks. I think an objective assessment of the WoT reread the last few weeks/months has shown that its slowed down (in comments, at least) quite a bit. Part of it was due to where we were in the books (WH and CoT had many plotlines drag; NS is an okay book, but there’s really not much there to comment on unless we revisit some of our “talked out” and “beaten to death” topics), but we also have seemed to crawl along as well (my opinion, anyway), and I think folks were looking to things speeding up when we got to KoD and had TGS in sight.

Now, we won’t hit KoD for another, what, 4 weeks? At least. And that’s assuming Leigh doesn’t take an in-between book break, which I think she’s always entitled to. KoD will take about 19-20 weeks/5 months (Prologue + 37 chapters), and I like KoD, but are we sure we want to be discussing that book for 5 months? 6 months before we can get to TGS, where the end of WoT starts ramping up and where Egwene kicks ass and Rand finally hits rock bottom? Half a year?

So, I’m not thrilled about the news. Having said that, it’s been about 6 years since I’ve read ASoIaF and I had planned to get some kind of refresher before I decided to check out a Dance with Dragons. I’m in no rush to buy DwD, as I don’t think book number 6 is coming out anytime soon (someone want to set the over/under? I’d go 5 more years, myself), so Leigh’s reread can remind me about the ASoIaF universe.

Gotta catch up on the comments; only made it through 2/3rds so far..
Kimani Rogers
107. KiManiak
I really like RobM2 (and others’) suggestions to possibly do 3 WoT chapters per reread. I think that would have it drag less, and allow for more material for Leigh (and us commenters) to discuss over a week’s time.

Oh, and if can implement separate “spoiler” and “non-spoiler” threads, I think that would be brilliant (I'm not sure that every commenter would appropriately label their spoiler comments, and some wouldn't see some hints or topics as "spoilery" while others might). I think that Leigh (or any poster) should be able to check out the comments and see what folks are discussing, and not allowing a linked forum for ASoIaF vets to discuss various characters and plot points amongst themselves (especially using Leigh’s perspective as a newbie as a focus for the vets discussions and analyses) would be fairly constraining.

As a Malazan-newbie I enjoy the Malazan reread a lot (it is now my 2nd favorite fantasy series, and I’m only on book 3), but I can see that the vets are holding back a lot, and I would love a forum where they’re able to let loose without having to worry about messing it up for those of us who don’t like to be spoiled. Having 2 separate threads would allow those veterans to cut loose, while allowing us newbies to speculate and theorize and exclaim in surprise (and also allows the vets to check in and be amused by us newbies’ opinions and theories based on our limited knowledge of the works).

Torie, TorChris (or whomever is the moderator): is both a “spoiler” and “non-spoiler” thread possible with the current setup of the website? Could this be an option for the ASoIaF reread (and can we add it for Malazan, too)?
lanyo lanyo
108. lanyo
Very excited! I was also trying to wait to start a "new" series after it was completed, but gave in and started ASOIAF last fall. Can't wait to follow along and get some input from the people here!!
Mikey Bennett
109. EvilMonkey
When I heard the news that DwD was rapidly approaching I suggested somebody do a re-read. Never in a million years would I have thought Leigh would pick up the burden. Ask and you shall recieve huh? and in Spades! I fear for her sanity however, cause she is about to enter the No Excuses League, and the ride is going to be insane. You might want to install an airbag in your desk or suffer permanent brain damage.
Mieneke van der Salm
110. Mieneke
Very cool, I guess I'll have to get my copy that I've lent out back :D I just reread all four books last year though, so I guess I could wing the first few weeks. Looking forward to it!
Valentin M
111. ValMar
I'm still sure that whatever threads are made it will be impossible not to make a spoilerific comment occasionally. The commenters will have to make judgements whether something they post can spoil it for a newbie or not. Not everytime this judgments will be correct. 1 or 2 slip-ups out of 100s of comments can really spoil it.
Actually I just stopped myself writing something intending to illustrate the point I'm making...
Tam Dolan
112. tshania_sedai
I suppose I should first say I don't think it is too weird that Leigh has remaind un-spoiler-ified on the ASOFAI series, as I too have remained mostly spoiler-free and have been wanting to read it for some time. It isn't too hard when you are surrounded by a group of people who believed that nothing could approach the greatness of LotR and wouldn't read anything else for about four years. In any case, I wasn't so much waiting for ASOFAI to be finished as I was waiting for WoT to be finished, because I didn't want to be reading more than one massive unfinished series at a time (not so much for confusion issues, but just because I don't have enough energy to obsess over another series like I obsess over WoT)... and with the end in sight I was planning on starting ASOFAI after AMoL comes out. Of course, as I have already violated this rule by reading Brandon Sanderson's Way of Kings (I couldn't resisit getting in on the ground floor for that one) I suppose my unfinished series rule of thumb deosn't apply anymore?

Of course, then they announce the TV series (not that I get HBO, but still), and the next book coming out, and now a read-through by Leigh. So much for best laid plans....

*sigh* Sorry Victor Hugo, I guess you shall have to wait a little while longer while I read GRRM.
Tam Dolan
113. jcfocarino
This sounds great, Leigh! I've never read ASOFAI either, and it's been on my list right after WoT. I got my copy of AGoT tonight, so I'm looking forward to the (re-)read on Friday!
Tam Dolan
114. Sansa
Oh, this so excites me!!!! This is one of my all time favorite series. Of course I love The Wheel of Time too. How do you think I found the link to this! It will be so much fun to read Leigh's take on things. Maybe I will start rereading along too. Winter is coming!!!!
tatiana deCarillion
115. decarillion
I'm currently on book three, and this is my first read-through. I absolutely love this series--you can't count on anything or anyone. It absolutely keeps me wondering, from chapter to chapter. ..
Brian Vrolyk
117. vyskol
Despite people's best intentions, there are already (albeit vague) spoilers in this comment thread, just in peoples cautioning of GRRM's style and tendencies. It's difficult to get people to curb their enthusiasm, and in hindsight, people don't often realize they're spoiling something. I think your best bet is to avoid the comments until after....

Having said that, I'm VERY excited for this project. Can't wait 'till tomorrow!
Tam Dolan
118. ChicagoJedi
I like the idea of going through the Ice and Fire series, but I'm not sure right now is the best time. A Memory of Light, the final book in the WoT series, is supposed to come out this time next year. That means finishing 3 full WoT novels and the remainder of the New Spring prequel. Judging by previous book re-reads that doesn't give you enough time. Especially if you cut it back to one re-read a week.

And why the rush on the Ice and Fire series? You aren't honestly hoping to be done with all the books by the release of Dance of Dragons. The next book comes out in July. That's approximately 18 weeks from the first article in the new project. Are you planning to cover everything in 18 articles? Not likely. And we have no estimate of when the book after Dance of Dragons will be finished. If the last book was anything to go by you will have plenty of time.

Whatever the plan I wish the best of success. Thanks for the lovely synopses to help me slog through decades of fantasy.
Tam Dolan
119. Randy16Randy
Should be fun. I read WOT and thoroughly enjoyed it, but found it a bit formula-driven or at least a repetitive cadence to each book. I picked up ASOIAF about between books 7 and 8 of WOT and never looked back. I have read, reread, and rererererereread it.

Martin's use of character names for his chapters is brilliant. In a weave that is as complicated as these books are, it's sometimes the only way to keep a handle on what perspective you're reading from. Only downside to that, as pointed out by my impatient son, is that you could flip through quickly, looking at just chapter names and get a sense of who's been killed off. I told him he was cheating.

I can't wait for your blog entries near the end of book three. I usually read on the bus and literally shouted "You can't DO that!!!!" when I got to that part and had to put the book aside for a few days while I calmed down. I've never read a series like it before. NOBODY is safe!

They better do it justice on HBO.
Linden H
120. Lynd
I'm really looking forward to this! I read the first two books and then the first half of the third one back when it came out, but ended up putting it down for whatever reason and not picking it back up. Until now... if you end up taking this all the way through, I'll be reading along with you -- which is really exciting.

Agreed re: people saying it may be wise to keep comments with spoilers completely separate. Lakesidey @64 said it well when noting that people will innocently do things like defend a character that seems indefensible, essentially (albeit accidentally) telling everyone not in the know that there's a plot twist coming up, or make statements like "JUST YOU WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE EIGHTH CHAPTER, THEN SOME STUFF REALLY HAPPENS!" Which, I don't know about anyone else, but that makes it so I can't not look for clues and anticipate specific chapters as I'm reading, leaving me entirely unsurprised when said Crazy Thing or Big Event finally comes to pass.

That said, the obvious solution for folks who haven't read the series yet will be to just not read the comments -- which is fine by me!
Joshua Fields
121. Archimedes
What are you doing to me!?! It was because of your re-read that I decided to "finish" the WOT series, and like you haven't started any of Martin's work (yet) so now I'm psyched PSYCHED to start very soon. I think sps @51 said it best with the virgin comment... so I won't steal it!

While trite, GREAT job on WOT and I'm sure you won't disappoint for ASOIAF!
David Shuell
122. winteriscoming
Excellent ...

I was just about to start a re-read myself today ... I think I can wait one more day.

Winter is Coming!
123. watcharawit
I'm just start reading The Game of Thrones and thrill to read your blog!!!
Tam Dolan
124. Duke
D0n't do it! As a huge fan of TWOT I kept hearing about this series. I really don't understand what people see in it. It is long, slow, and boring. I could barely stand to finish the books.
Tam Dolan
125. Geckomayhem
Well, not only is this the first time I've ever heard of a "re-read", let alone this WoT reread thing or whatever, but I too have never read A Song of Ice and Fire. An avid fantasy fan, maybe, but who the heck is this George R. R. Martin dude anyway?

Janny Wurts, David Eddings, Katherine Kerr, Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist; hell, even Robert Silverberg I know of and have read (amongst many dozens more fantasy authors). Is it really that hot a series? Is it really that well-read? I'd never even heard of it until recently, with the hype surrounding this "Game of Thrones" TV series. And if I didn't get the Tor newsletter in my inbox as often as it is sent out I doubt I would have even stumbled upon that (ok I lie, someone at MMO-Champion was talking about it a couple of weeks ago...). But still: isn't it funny how each of us as individuals have such different experiences, even whilst moving within the same circles of interest?

Am I alone? Are there other long-time* fantasy readers out there who were surprised to hear about this series and how supposedly big and popular it is? Pretty sure nothing can put a dent in WoT, but it is always nice to branch out and try new things, isn't it. :)

* I'd say I've been (properly) reading fantasy books since the mid nineties, from when I first picked up the Belgariad (as I attempted to read LotR when I was a kid, in the eighties, but it overwhelmed me; and I did manage to stumble through the Hobbit, but just didn't make a habit of reading that type of book back then). Almost 20 years and I haven't looked back since. :o
Marcus W
126. toryx
Geckomayhem @ 125:

It's only one reader's opinion, of course, but I've read all of the writers you mention and GRRM outshines them all. I can't imagine how you wouldn't have heard of it by now. Heck, I read Robin Hobb because George told me to.

As far as long time readers...I've been reading the Wheel of Time since the first book was published 20 years ago. I'd read Tolkien and Eddings before that. I first discovered A Song of Ice and Fire in 1999, I think. A little late but not all that much.

Anyway, in my opinion, A Song of Ice and Fire is the best fantasy I've ever read, hands down. I don't care how popular it is, with or without the tv series.
a a-p
127. lostinshadow
well Leigh I think you should ask for a percentage of sales for GRRM books bought/downloaded because you are doing the read.

for me personally, Tor has just hit on the one thing that might make me read GRRM (though my best friend swears I've read the first two books before his very eyes at his house, I cannot remember even picking them up let alone reading them) in other words, just to enjoy your commentary.

but I am very sorry to hear March 18 as the planned launch date...with Erikson's Crippled God out (and Malazan is the best fantasy series ever period!) can't really see myself bothering to start GRRM who apparently failed to impress me at all the first time round.

and yes - while I'm happy to curtail my comments in the Malazan rereads, it really does dampen discussion significantly and even with "spoiler tags" something is bound to go wrong so in order to comment I would have to first read through all the available books. And as Fid said, it would be cumbersome to do it in two rereads.

Also, I honestly can't see what the hurry is with ASOIAF, I would rather you guys come closer to wrapping up WoT before starting this unending project.

So if the folks at Tor are looking at this to see how well the experiment would work, I for one would appreciate it and participate in it much more if they started later.
Paul Boyd
128. GoodOldSatan
GeckoMayhem: Hahahahahaha. You are way too funny!
John Massey
129. subwoofer
@HAri- check the obits out- plenty o' folk droppin' after the 60 mark. And it's not like buddy has a strict health and exercise regime either. Dunno, feels like a ticking timebomb. If I hear GRRM lives the life of Jack LaLanne, I'd get some reassurance.

I'm just bummed that the GRRM reread comes at the expense of the WoT reread. Why do folks always have to try to reinvent the wheel? Literally. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it... or in this case, if the WoT thing is plugging along just great- why rock the flippin' boat? Gah. This is like when SD traded away LaDainian. Bad planning all round. Blood and bloody ashes.

Hugh Arai
130. HArai
subwoofer@129: I understand what you're saying, but I doubt Leigh is being blackmailed into this. That being the case, I suspect she felt like branching out and when/if Tor asked her to do ASoIF, she said yes. In other words, maybe it wasn't plugging along just great for Leigh. Maybe she felt like trying something new. Don't forget that everything else she does in her life also contributes to what makes Leigh's re-read something you want more of.

As far as GRRM goes, I haven't heard he's a fitness fanatic but then I haven't heard he leads a death-defying lifestyle either. In any event, I'm glad I've read the books he's written so far so we're just going to have to disagree on the "not going to start unfinished series" thing.

Of course I want him to finish the series, but if either of us was to die tomorrow, I wouldn't feel he cheated me. The idea just seems so weird to me. Since I know you're a big WoT fan, let me ask you this: On the day you heard RJ had passed away, did you say to yourself "Gee these books that I've enjoyed and re-read and discussed with friends and fellow fans are now worthless and are now dust to me? Damn you for not finishing the series RJ!" I'm kind of betting you didn't. If you did, maybe you can explain it to me.
John Massey
131. subwoofer
Actually, I didn't know RJ passed on until about a year and change after the fact. I even posted so on Dragonmount. Then I started on these sites to find out if anyone would finish the series cause I hate being SoL. And I did think- famous last words "until they put the nails on my coffin." I hope GRRM didn't say anything like that in his "about the author" bit. I wasn't as plugged in to WoT until after RJ died then I was praying that somebody would be found to finish the series or that somebody found a stash of finished books by RJ that were not given to his editor. Either way, yeah, I felt sad for the loss but I was crushed by the fact that the series I was introducing friends to was not finished and would never be.

I do not want to go through that again.

Might follow along if GRRM stopped eating doughnuts. We'll see;)

John Massey
132. subwoofer
Double post!

I blame the Looooong load times and the bug ridden new site... er no offense Insectoid.

Scott Sherris
133. ssherris
Since I know you're reading this even though you rarely participate...
I really never read the WoT comments because after a hundred or so comments, they get all jumbled up. I'm not breaking any news when I say there can be dozens of conversations going on, all mixed together.
I really think threaded commenting would enhance your rerad (and the rest of Tor). As of now it's basically unuseable to me. It would be nice if the reread and comments were less jumbled up and confusing than the original books. :)
Marcus W
134. toryx
subwoofer @ 131:
Might follow along if GRRM stopped eating doughnuts. We'll see;)

subwoofer, you're a standup guy and all (and I love dogs) but it's comments like this one that drove me away from the Wheel of Time comment thread in the first place. That's just disrespectful and frankly, it offends me.

George Burns ate donuts, smoked cigars, and enjoyed women as much as he wanted and he still made it to 100! And it certainly wasn't RJ's lifestyle choices that led to his passing.

Writers work hard and do remarkable things and I just happen to think that they deserve a little goddamned respect.
Teresa Nielsen Hayden
135. tnh
ssheris @133: I'm not answering for Leigh. I'm just answering.

I'm sorry you have trouble following WoT comment threads after a while, but has no plans to introduce threaded comments, now or ever. Threading is great if you're trying to find the half-dozen messages that explain which printer driver you need to install for your specific configuration, but it cripples general conversation.

You might want to try sticking to discussions in the forums, where the "reply with quote" function makes it easier for commenters to identify who and what they're responding to.
Leigh Butler
136. leighdb
ssheris @133: I would listen to TNH on this. Just so you know, I have no control over the mechanics of the website itself, either in comment management or when posts are posted. I just write the posts.
William Fettes
137. Wolfmage
tnh @ 135

Very glad to hear it! I can't stand the click-fest atomisation of threaded conversations, and IMO they're ill-suited to the kind of free-flowing exchange of ideas and multi-quote laden wide-ranging posts that typically follow from Leigh's re-reads anyway. I know not everyone has time to wade through a long, flat thread of rabid, encyclopaedic fans, but mostly everyone uses the alias @ # convention so it’s not that hard to follow specific conversations even if you jump in somewhere mid-way through. Every decent browser has an instant search function that can jump to such post references, and you can use bookmarks as reading aids.
Tam Dolan
138. Mouette
"it's not unreasonable to expect fairly regular new installments"

This. I hate this. I loathe this concept so much that I spent a good hour on the web searching for a particular blog post/article that detailed exactly why I hate this, wandering through the posts of Rothfuss, branching out to Scalzi and vainly searching Google, until I finally stumbled across it. I'd forgotten it was by Gaiman. Yeah, *that* Gaiman.

To sum up - an author doesn't owe you one damn bloody thing. When you buy a book, you buy the story set between those two covers. You don't buy a lease on the writer's future time to be devoted to continuing the series. You don't purchase his free time. You don't purchase the right to deny him the ability to make a living off of other projects and let the next book simmer, as some books need to do, before he can make it something worth reading. Yes, you pay money for the book, some of which even makes it into the writer's pocket. That money, for that one book, is a payment for *past* time that the author has already put in - all the months or years of work before the book you bought was ready. It is not a time slot purchase for future work.

There are several lengthy and better discussions of this whole topic much better than mine - links following.
John Massey
139. subwoofer
@Toryx- oki doki, but you want to know whom I think deserves respect IMHO? Maybe more so than an author, a person?


I believe it even says something to that effect in the Bible...

"Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

You want to be offended at a comment made in jest at a person, fine. I figure GRRM has had worse stuff said about him and his works from professionals so what I say doesn't amount to a hill of beans. If he wants to take me to task, fine. Mea Culpa. I'm getting really, really tired of folks playing the victim though and being offended on someone elses behalf. Heck, IIRC I made some racey comments about KFC the other day, and come to think, I may have gave smokers a bum rap too. Bring it. But I can play that game too. I am really honked off that you cursed with the Lord's name in vain. I'm a Christian and have made that a known fact. I am not sure of your religion, or if you even have one, but at the very least, if you are going to curse, captialize the G.

Here's the thing, RJ passed and it had nothing to do with healthy eating, lifestyle or otherwise. It was a tragic illness that took him from us and nothing could be done differently to change that. RJ created this huge epic world that I could almost live in and picture and surround myself. The man that had such incredible vision was lost to us. Frankly I don't thnk I could go through that again. Clearly you did not notice my winky face at the end of that comment.

GRRM regardless of how he lives his life had writers block. From all the sites and otherwise that sentiment was echoed. IMHO it felt like no matter how old he got, he would not finish the series because he did not know how. I dunno, a 5 year hiatus between books is a bit long so I was skeptical I admit. Now that there is much work being done, I do feel like there will be an end in sight and as a result, I have actually started the series, and have commented as much.

And a healthy lifestyle does not equal longevity. Ask Jim Fixx... or his family, seeing as he is dead. The guy was a very famous marathoner that dropped dead of a heart attack. While jogging. Even wrote a book, "The Complete Book of Running". Life happens. Go figure.

Marcus W
140. toryx
subwoofer @ 139:

I decided to respond to you personally. But for the record, I apologize for offending you.
John Massey
141. subwoofer
No worries, folks say stuff, things get heated, somebody breaks a nail. We're all friends at the end of the day. I appologize to you as well and let's let the past be the past:)

Sanctume Spiritstone
146. Sanctume
I had a day off yesterday, anyway,

Happy 1 Year ASoIF Read!

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