Wed
May 29 2013 11:15am

The World of Ice and Fire Encyclopedia Delayed to 2014, No Longer an Encyclopedia

The Guardian is reporting that Random House and HarperCollins have pushed back the release date of The World of Ice and Fire, the Song of Ice and Fire encyclopedia created by George R. R. Martin and series historians Elio M. Garcia and Linda Antonssen to fall 2014.

The companion book was originally slated to be an encyclopedia of the world of Westeros (and beyond), detailing the many events and notable persons that shaped the world before the events of A Game of Thrones. Originally the book was scheduled for release in November of this year. So why is it being pushed back?

It’s becoming a multi-volume affair! According to Martin’s UK publisher Jane Johnson at HarperCollins, the author was originally supposed to contribute 50,000 words to the project and ended up jotting down five times as much while chronicling the history of A Song of Ice and Fire.

When the material came in, Johnson and the authors decided to shift the focus of The World of Ice and Fire from a straightforward encyclopedia to a lushly illustrated retelling of some of the more key moments in the history of Westeros. (Such as Aegon’s Conquest, the War With the Faith, The Dance of the Dragons, the Paramours of Aegon the Unworthy, and more according to GRRM’s blog.) Martin’s chronicling of The Dance With Dragons spawned its own story, which will see release in the upcoming Tor Books anthology Dangerous Women.

Additional art has been commissioned for the project, hence the delay to 2014. (Art for epic fantasy books tends to be commissioned well in advance of the publication date for a variety of reasons.) The coffeetable format volume is now tentatively scheduled to come out in fall 2014.

And what of the further history that Martin wrote out? Some of it made its way into The World of Ice and Fire. (Garcia teases that we’ll find out more information about the new places revealed in The Lands of Ice and Fire and “the surprising person from whom the Lannisters are descended.”) But the rest will be saved for an eventual Silmarillion-esque continuation of the world’s history, according to the Guardian article.

20 comments
Chris Nelly
1. Aeryl
I could have sworn I read somewhere that Lann the Clever was a woman, but now all I can find is that the Lannister line descended through the women after they married into the Andals.

But Lann was reputed to be a trickster, and with that delightful tease about "the surprising person" I'm NOW thinking I wasn't wrong in my assumption, that Lann IS a woman, who presented as man, and that's why the descent through the female line is important.
L Lawson
2. L Lawson
He wrote 250k words for this! That's the entire size fo a new novel!!! He could have written TWOW!

Sorry...had to get the obligatory bitching about how GRRM spends his time in. For the record, I don't care how GRRM spends his time. I love his books, but he should live his life and spend his time however he wants.

Looking forward to this encyclopedia, though.
L Lawson
3. Anthony S.
A thorough history of the Starks and the North is all I crave to read. But I suppose that could be a book all on its own.
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
@3, I think the history of the Starks may give away Martin's game. If the WW are a side effect of the confrontations of the Children of the Forest and the First Men(my supposition, but I've seen other people theorize it too), the history of the Starks would explain that. Plus, Bran the Builder legends aside, the Wall has to be a magical construction.
L Lawson
5. Al C
I want illustrations and stories about Snarks and Grumkins. So far they've just been a MacGuffin tease.
David Levinson
6. DemetriosX
@2
I thought that at first, too. But then I realized that most of those 250,000 words were probably already written in his notes and background.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
7. AlirozTheConfused
I just want 250,000 words of Dolorous Edd quotations.

That is all.
Chris Nelly
8. Aeryl
"Coming in Spring 2015, while the world eagerly awaits the completion of Winds of Winter, The Wit and Wisdom of Dolorous Edd"

Also, I DID A RHYME!! Did you like it??
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
9. AlirozTheConfused
Yes, I like it.

It has much wit.

You've got some skill

But now must drill

home your beats

into rhythm sweat

practice, Aeryl

and you will do well.
L Lawson
10. Croaker42
GRRM. If he ever meets a deadline I think I'll die of shock.
Zorila Desufnoc Eht
11. AlirozTheConfused
As a much better author than GRRM once said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by".

~D. Adams.
L Lawson
12. AO
I noticed a couple of weeks ago that this had been pushed back (via Amazon). Glad to know the reason for it, thanks.
L Lawson
13. kid_greg
Is just a companion to a series is enough to warrant a 2 volume encyclopedia?
Sorry I was once a die hard of fan of ASoIaF but the life of it has just about been sucked out.
I'd rather Martin actully log his time into completing the story than doing companions, RPG's, etc..What will happen if HBO catches up to where Martin is in the series?
Bridget McGovern
14. BMcGovern
kid_greg @13: We've actually been discussing exactly that--what will happen if the show gets ahead of the books--over on this thread. It seems that HBO has a plan in place, at least...
Adam Whitehead
15. Werthead
There is some misleading info in this article, apparently a result of the writer's unfamiliarity with the history of the project (which has been documented in full on Westeros.org for the past six years) and some rather odd misreading of the Guardian article.
The Guardian is reporting that Random House and HarperCollins have pushed back the release date of The World of Ice and Fire, the Song of Ice and Fire encyclopedia created by George R. R. Martin and series historians Elio M. Garcia and Linda Antonssen to fall 2014.
The book was delayed to fall 2014 some time ago. As the actual Guardian story says, it's now been tentatively brought forwards to Spring 2014.
The companion book was originally slated to be an encyclopedia of the world of Westeros (and beyond), detailing the many events and notable persons that shaped the world before the events of A Game of Thrones.
It was never an encyclopedia, if by that you mean an A-Z book of peoples, places and things. It was always a lavishly-illustrated companion book, reminiscent (but with vastly superior art) of The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time or The World of Shannara and various Tolkien companion books.
It’s becoming a multi-volume affair!
No, it isn't. It's still what it always was. GRRM created a lot more material for it than what was needed, so once what was needed for the book was taken out, the remaining stuff was cut for a potential 'GRRM-arillion' book, to come out after the novels are finished. The 'GRRM-arillion' is a totally new work, whilst The World of Ice and Fire remains what it was always intended to be. It hasn't become The World of Ice and Fire, Volume I and Volume II.
When the material came in, Johnson and the authors decided to shift the focus of The World of Ice and Fire from a straightforward encyclopedia to a lushly illustrated retelling of some of the more key moments in the history of Westeros.
Nope. This is always what the book was, from when it was first announced in 2007. It was never an encyclopedia. I have no idea where this impression came from, as it's certainly not what Ran, Linda and GRRM have been talking about for the past six years.
Additional art has been commissioned for the project, hence the delay to 2014. The coffeetable format volume is now tentatively scheduled to come out in fall 2014.
It's officially scheduled to come out in fall 2014, but GRRM and his publishers are now working on a plan to bring it out in Spring 2014, featuring cross-marketing with the fourth season of Game of Thrones (which should start in March or April 2014). This plan isn't fully confirmed yet.
Church Tucker
16. Church
@1 I suspect Lann is still a dude, but I like the way you think.
L Lawson
17. sictak
As much as I crave learning more about the world of westeros and essos, it seems it would make more sense to publish this kind of thing sometime after the book series has ended. that way everything will be added. if it comes out when at least two volumes of the series have yet to be published, then it will be incomplete. will people buy an expensive multivolume twice after the data from the last two books have been added? i cant see that.
L Lawson
18. Germanengineered
If grrm can come up with 250,000 words of new material then I would very much assume he could come up with the rest of TWOW which is just a closing of the material from book three. Book 4& and five didn't really resolve any issues, only slightly progressed them. I know he's going to do what he wants and write what he wants but it seems he's focused on the small picture and is disregarding us loyal fans with the big picture. With the shows popularity growing the main story should absolutely be number one priority not some side crap with some artwork that takes forever.
L Lawson
19. Cosca
Well, good to see George has found another outlet for his procrastination. Doesn't he realise that he has legions of fans eagerly awaiting his next Wildcards masterpiece, or another ultimate popcorn recipe?
L Lawson
20. WriteLiketheWind
So write, George
write, like the wind

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