Apr 29 2011 11:33am

A Dance With Dragons’s Manuscript is Earth-Shatteringly Huge

Speculation ran rampant on Wednesday when George R.R. Martin posted a photo of a dead King Kong on his blog Not-a-Blog. Was A Dance With Dragons finished? Really?

Yes, yes it is. And Anne Groell, Martin’s editor, has some ground-shaking proof on film.

Del Rey Spectra wasn’t happy with the first video released, but the one above is approved and more comprehensive, featuring Groell reading random bits from the text. Here are a few things that can be gleaned from the (admittedly fuzzy) screen and audio, according to

  • Pg. 452 Tyrion playing a game with a thin man.
  • Pg. 958: More about Ramsay’s man-at-arms being killed, called Yellow Dick. Clearly right before the example from earlier.
  • Pg. 1256: Something in Meereen, a man crushed in the press after a dragon.

Groell also reads the very last word of the manuscript and can’t say what exactly it is, but does hint that it begins with a “D”....

That’s one thick book, heavy enough to rattle-and-roll the Bantam Spectra offices; and with a July 12th deadline, those editors certainly have their work cut out for them as they prepare it for printing and shipment to bookstores!

Aidan Moher is the editor of A Dribble of Ink, a humble little blog that exists in some dusty corner of the web. He hasn’t won any awards, or published any novels. But he’s, uhh... working on that.

He is also a contributor at SF Signal and the lackey for io9’s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

Samuel Walker
1. lambada
How does this compare size-wize with other manuscripts, e.g. The Gathering Storm / wheel of Time
Chris Lough
2. TorChris
Good question. It looks roughly the size of the manuscript for The Wise Man's Fear, which was absolutely massive. ( I don't have info on any WoT books, however.
Sanctume Spiritstone
3. Sanctume
OMG, I'm just happy that there's another book to look forward to in ASOIAF series! Real soon, I hope!
T. Nielsen Hayden
4. T. Nielsen Hayden
The manuscript of Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings was 1,427 pages. (I broke my toe when I accidentally kicked it.)

The manuscript of A Dance with Dragons is 1,547 pages.

That's not a precise comparison. Authors differ in their page formats, so the number of words per page can vary. Still, if you assume GRRM is using a reasonably standard page format, the new book is in the upper range for trade paper bindings.

How does it compare with Robert Jordan's titles? It's longer.
Elio García
5. Egarcia
One correction, the last quote is actually about Yunkai, not Meereen. I erred! To expand on it a little more, it seems a man was crushed in the press of people trying to get away when a dragon allegedly was seen.
Joel Cunningham
6. jec81
i can't remember where i saw it, but something i read suggested a word count in the range of 425,000. wise man's fear was just under 400,000.

going by audiobook length, ASOS was nearly 48 hours. WMF is around 44.
Aidan Moher
7. aidan
@Lambada — A Dance with Dragons is alledgedly of similar length to A Storm of Swords, which rang in at approx. 424k words. According to Sanderson, Towers of Midnight clocks in at about 359k words. So, a fair bit longer.
Marcus W
8. toryx
I look forward to savoring every page of this monster.
Aidan Moher
9. aidan
@Lambada — A Dance with Dragons is alledgedly of similar length to A Storm of Swords, which rings it at around 425k words. According to Sanderson, Towers of Midnight is roughly 359k words. So a fair difference between the two.
T. Nielsen Hayden
10. D. D. Syrdal
Ken Neth
11. neth
I wonder if Yellow Dick is Pat from the Hotlist?
Rich Bennett
12. Neuralnet
wow that is a big stack of paper. cant wait to read it
T. Nielsen Hayden
13. ediFanoB
Now I believe! When everything goes well I will receive my copy around my birthday :-))

Thanks forthe post Aidan and thanks to Anne Groell for sharing a few sentences.
Elio García
14. Egarcia
@11: Ser Patrek of King's Mountain is the character named for Patrick St. Denis of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, after he finally won his annual football bet with GRRM.

"King's Mountain" being a reference to Montreal, where I believe Pat lives.
T. Nielsen Hayden
15. E Kovar
I've worked as a bookstore clerk so my reaction was abject terror. I'm assuming that when these arrive in bookstores they're at first going to be in a stack display but someone gets the fun of creating shelf space as well.

I recall one chain's rubric for this sort of book and just ballparked how much will be needed for this in hardback. Am I allowed to warn my local bookstore?
T. Nielsen Hayden
16. Ger
And thats why i love e-books :D

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