A DANCE WITH DRAGONS Release Date AnnouncedJames Hibbard, one of the writers at Entertainment Weekly who was lucky enough to get an early copy of A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin, has answered ten ‘burning’ questions about the novel.

Some of the more interesting questions/answers:

Be aware, there are no true spoilers, but some might want to keep their eyes unsullied from all opinion/content. If so, stop reading now. My commentary includes spoilers through A Feast for Crows.

Is Dance better than Book 4?
Definitely. I’d rank the Ice and Fire series: 3>1>5>2>4.

What’s the most awesome thing about Dance?
Your favorite characters are back, and in abundance. Tyrion, Dany and Jon Snow get a lot of chapters, plus one character returns unexpectedly and that story just might be the strongest (and most heartbreaking) in the bunch.


Are there any new viewpoint characters?
Yes, mainly a prince of Dorne who sets out to win the hand of Dany. Other characters get one or two chapters where we duck into their perspective along the way, but the book mostly focuses on Dany, Tyrion, Jon and that other unexpected character I mentioned.

Are there any huge shocks?
That would be a “Yes.” One scene in particular will haunt you.

Really, all of this should be expected from a GRRM book. Of course there are huge shocks (with the exception, I suppose, of A Feast for Crows, all the novels have been full of shocking events that’ve flipped the series’ plot on its head), and of course there are new viewpoint characters scattered about (every novel in the series has featured new POV characters). The ‘heartbreaking’ viewpoint? Barristan Selmy. It will be interesting to get his take on Dany and her growing determination to gain back the country that was stolen from here. There should be heartbreak galore if he has to watch her grow to become more like her father and less like her eldest brother. Would be interesting, however, if the ‘heartbreaking’ character turned out to be the Hound, Sandor Clegane, who always struck me as one of the most interesting and melancholy characters in the series.

It’s both encouraging and discouraging to see Hibbard rank A Dance with Dragons smack in the middle of the series in terms of quality. We all hoped to see A Storm of Swords surpassed (which was likely presumptuous), but to see it placed above A Clash of Kings (a fine and under-rated addition to the series) is solid praise.

Well, only a few more days before we all get our grubby mitts on A Dance with Dragons and can make up our own mind about where it ranks against the other novels in A Song of Ice and Fire.

  • Guy July 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    i think the emphasis is on “returning” for that heartbreaking character
    so i think i could make a guess by chapters that have been around who it is
    (i would write the name by i some people might prefer not to know so i will wait :) )
    coming closer