Status Update


Hey folks, just wanted to update you on some things coming up:

  • New essay series at Tower of the Hand: “The Blacks and the Reds,” examining the Blackfyre Rebellions, will start this week with a mammoth Part I, examining the causes of the First Rebellion and who fought for which side.
  • Associated with that, I’m hopefully going to be collaborating with the awesome people at History of Westeros Podcast on a couple episodes of their series on the Blackfyre Rebellions. Look for that in the next month or so.
  • Season 2 Podcasts! Knocking on wood that the fates do not conspire to prevent Scott and I from recording, we’re planning to knock out 3 episodes tomorrow, to get all of Season 2 finished before Season 5 starts!
  • A Clash of Kings Chapter Analyses: I’ve got outlines for Arya VI through Catelyn III written and now that B&R I is done (which was necessary for me to do the History of Westeros thing), I can start writing them up.
  • Telltale Game of Thrones Episode 2: I have the game downloaded, and this weekend I will play and recap this. I know it’s late, but it’s been a really busy week and I’ve been looking forward to it since it launched. I will do it, I promise.
  • Some Exciting Future Announcements: I’ve got a LOT, and I mean, a lot of really cool announcements about the “Analyzing” book, Volume II of Race for the Iron Throne, and more that are in the works. Can’t wait to share some of this stuff with you. RFTIT is really going to explode (in a good way) in 2015!
  • Tower of the Hand – Hymn for Spring: pre-orders go live 3/15, book goes live 4/15! Really can’t wait for people to finally read this thing.



44 thoughts on “Status Update

  1. KrimzonStriker says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you disentangle the Blackfyre Rebellions after your commentary of them in the World book 🙂

  2. Brett says:

    Freaking fantastic. I especially can’t wait for the “Blacks and the Reds”.

  3. Winnie says:

    Great news Steve. Looking forward to the Blacks and the Reds especially…but even more so to further Kings chapters!

  4. KrimzonStriker says:

    Hey Steve, since you’re going over the Blackfyre Rebellions I’ve been wanting to run a thought by you concerning the issue of Daemon minting coins ever since I read the rebellion was only a year long. Rather then assume Daemon had the time/luxury of minting coins I’ve instead been considering circumstances where it would be NECESSARY for him to mint coins within a short time frame. And then it hit me, Fireballs campaign in the Westerlands would have given Daemon access to a windfall in raw ore reserves. It would then make sense to melt these unprocessed chunks of precious metals down and convert them into coinage (with his face stamped on for propaganda purposes) for the basic reason of easy transport and an accurate unit of measurement in acquiring the necessary resources to support the rebellion. You think I might be on to something with this?

    • Abbey Battle says:

      Given that we know that House Reyne at the very least (in the person of Red Rob Reyne) was deep in the councils of Ser Daemon the Pretender, it’s not impossible that these coins would have been minted almost as soon as The Red Lion declared for the Blacksword if you are correct.

      Castamere had mighty mines, as is well known!

      At the very least his own coinage would have been yet another significant trapping of Royal Power assumed by Ser Daemon (along with the Sword and a Kingsguard all his own); given we know he also chased a dragon egg and not one but TWO wives, it would be astonished if the Blackfyre Pretender did not make a point of accumulating (or seeking to acquire) any other accoutrement by which a King might make himself known that came within his reach.

      • You guessed it! Yeah, I think Daemon minted his coins with Castamere gold.

        In fact, the Reynes and Tarbecks were key to Blackfyre strategy, as I’ll explain in Part II. So interesting that they’re collaborating together well before the Rains.

        • KrimzonStriker says:

          Well in regards to royal power versus an economic means one thing I wanted to bring up is the fact that, as I reread the passage about the coins, it states that while Daemon’ s face was stamped on them they were labeled with Daeron’ s name. Doesn’t this seem like a counterfeiting strategy combined with an almost conflict diamondesque circumstance, since in this case the money is actually worth its weight in gold. By pretending they’re legitimate minted dragons Daemon essentially uses the Iron Thrones own financial solidity to facilitate and purchase resources in support of the rebellion. In that light it’s actually ingenious when debating on what to do with the raw ore he has access too from the Westerlands. So while the propaganda purpose is a nice side benefit I also want the actual economic benefits to be kept in mind.

          • No, they were labeled with Daemon’s name.

            1. Dunk can’t really read.
            2. People would have tried to change them after the fact to circulate them, given that it became illegal to possess them.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Gah, forget this previous post, I misread the text, the coins did have Daemon’ s name. I guess being worth their weight in gold means you don’t have to hijack another monetary system as anyone would still honor their value. Need to revise my thinking from modernism day paper money. I still hope you keep the economic benefits in mind along with the propaganda value, as unprocessed chunks of gold ore would be too difficult to trade for resources and hence an actual need to mint them himself.

          • Sure, economic benefits are huge. Especially since we know Daemon planned to hire a lot of Myrish crossbowmen.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Ah, I see you already read the post. On your second point they’d likely still be valuable even if technically illegal in Westeros, gold as a universal unit of measurement in its own right doesn’t require the same government backing like paper money I would think.

          • They’re valuable – the Snail Knight talks about melting them down – but they’re very dangerous. Bloodraven will put you in jail for owning them.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Good, good, I was hoping you’d remember the Myrish mercenaries that were supposed to be at Redgrass. Now with that out of the way I’m looking forward to seeing how you piece together the puzzle that are the Blackfyres Rebellions 🙂

          • Oh, I am rolling deep on notes on ASOIAF, WOIAF, and Dunk and Egg. No worries.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Yeah you’re right about the risks, I was thinking more in terms of their use during the actual Rebellion. In modern day circumstance few would accept a newly circulated currency from an unstable rebel institution barely a year old, but actual gold seems to help negate these more modern problems we face today as an assurance to back its worth.

          • Oh, during the Rebellion, they were incredibly useful – you’re right about the gold thing, but they’re also a great way to acquire loyalty by handing them out, buying things with them, accepting them as payment for taxes. Now people have a reason to want Daemon to win to keep their money good.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Yeah, that’s true, at least as an initial hope upon victory, I hadn’t really considered the domestic use that far given how quickly the Rebellion was over, since things like collecting taxes wouldn’t seem feasible until the end of the war given all of Daemon’s constituent provinces were spread out and many seeing heavy internal fighting but you’re right in how Daemon might have hoped the initial distribution of his coins would further bind his supporters. In terms of translating that to a hard currency value though the places on Essos were my main target as a means of acquiring further resources to supplement the Rebellion, given how heavily disrupted traditional trade in Westeros itself would have been by the war, hence Myrish crossbow men etc. The Blackfyre Rebellion would have been such a mess to carry out normal economic activity, with no one constituent rebel region being secure until Daemon managed to pacify it like he did with Fireball in the Westerlands.

          • At least in the North Reach and the Riverlands, he had enough density that I think he could tax directly.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            The North? Nobody really mentions the North during the Rebellion. And maybe the Southern Riverlands thanks to the Brackens and Harrenhal, but with the Tullys and Riverrun on the loyalist side, along with the Blackwoods, I’d hardly think Daemon’s holdings in the Riverlands would be secure enough for taxation. I always imagined his campaign as a giant arc, starting from the Dornish Marches, then moving North-west to subdue the Westerlands and then turning east toward the Riverlands to plow his way to King’s Landing now that he had gathered sufficient strength and secured all his flanks, with the Yornwoods and Dornish Marshes keeping the Martells off his back, the Tyrells penned up in HighGarden, and the Lannisters knocked out of the war.

          • Sorry, didn’t mean the North, meant the Reach.

            I think he could tax in the Riverlands with the support of House Bracken, House Frey, House Grey, House Heddle, House Nayland, House Paege, House Shawney, and at least at first House Lothston of Harrenhal. That includes a lot of the major Lesser Houses of the Riverlands. At the very least, he could tax those houses.

            And as for the arc, all I can say is you’re clearly psychic, because I haven’t written Part II yet.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            This is just my opinion, but even with the Tyrells penned up in Highgarden they’d represent a substantial danger and disrupt-able force in the center of the Reach in addition to their control of the strategic crossing along the Mander to once again hamper economic activity for the rebels. Between that and the HIghtowers essential neutrality Daemon would have been cut off from the life-blood of economic activity in the Southern Reach coming through Oldtown. And while I agree they probably opportunistically picked their spots, the Tyrells had incentive to stay Targaryean loyalist at the beginning given that their rule has been challenged by so many of the same vassals that joined Daemon. In the case of the Riverlands though, even assuming all those Houses did join Daemon, which is a big if, the problem is that the Tully’s and the Blackwoods, like the Tyrells before them, hold the strategic middle of the Riverlands in combination with the Vale bordering on the Riverlands east. So while Daemon would have had access to the south of the Riverlands thanks once again to the Brackens and Harrenhal any support among the northern riverlords (if any did join him) would have been cut off at this point and he’d have had to fight his way up there to secure it which I doubt he did given Redgrass would have supposedly opened the way to King’s Landing. If my arc of movement is right Daemon would have had nominal control from the Dornish Marshes of the Stormlands, through to the northern Reach, nominal control of the Westerlands after Fireballs campaign, and then up to the Southern Riverlands until being stopped at Redgrass.

          • You’ll need to read the article.

            But the Hightowers were not essentially neutral, and I have a totally different take on the Tyrells.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            I’m not saying the Tyrells wouldn’t have switched sides if they felt they had to, but there’s little incentive to help Daemon at that point by allowing uninterrupted economic access through their borders, seeing as how Daemon generally relied on rival secondary Houses to the Lord Paramounts of their respective regions. Had I been the Tyrells, I would have hunkered down against any probes on Highgarden initially, then once Daemon took the bulk of his army up north I would use the Mander river as a screen while pacifying everything along the western coastline of the Reach, which would work provided the Shield Iands remain loyal, then swing back down south to bring everything near Old Town to heel, which provides a neat excuse to avoid battling Daemon’s main army and knocking out some of the potential pretenders to the Reach. Then once Redgrass was decided I either bend the knee from my stronger bargaining position or as what happened pick off all the retreating rival rebel lords from the northern parts of the Reach and solidify my rule of the region once and for all.

          • Read the article when it comes out.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Sure. That’ll be in Part II then. Now that I think about it how many parts are you planning in total for this?

          • At the moment, I’m planning for four.

        • KrimzonStriker says:

          Cool, I’ll look forward to Part I first then and seeing how your opinions have changed/been modified from your Hollow Crown entries since WOIAF came out :p

          • Well, I’m working with a lot more info now.

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Yeah, reading through it again now. Hmmm, wasn’t Ambrose Butterwell only Aegon IV’s Master of Coin before being elevated as Daeron II’s Hand?

          • KrimzonStriker says:

            Yeah, I see where you got mixed up now, it was Ambrose’s father’s father (his grandfather) who was Hand previously. Hmm, maybe Daeron just picked him because he was actually a good administrator/technocrat for the peaceful first half of his reign… Ah well, let’s leave all this until the Blacks and the Reds come out, don’t want to waste more of your time.

  5. Abbey Battle says:

    Maester Steven, truly you intend to spoil us with such a splendid abundance to be forthcoming! (I must agree with my fellow posters that THE BLACKS AND THE REDS in particular captivated my attentions, but the rest of what you’re advertising sounds D— Good too!).

  6. Sean C. says:

    Just for fun: What remaining chapters in ACOK (granted, a little more than two-thirds of the text) are you most looking forward to writing about?

    • I have some interesting plans for the seven chapters that encompass the Battle of the Blackwater.

      Cat III and IV. The core of the political argument of the book, the major turning point in the War of the Five Kings. Cat VI – the Battle of the Fords. Cat VII – freeing Jaime.

      Jon V through VIII. The Quorin Halfhand saga. Some of my favorite stuff in ACOK, and terribly mishandled by the show.

      Theon. All of Theon.

      Dany IV. HOTU!

      Tyrion IX – the riot!

      Davos II and the Case For And Against Stannis.

      Arya on Roose Bolton and when the treason began.

  7. All Hail the Space Pope says:

    Really enjoyed the work you’ve done this past year, looking forward to the new stuff, and thanks for all the fascinating free (and additional optional cheap) content but…

    I’ll believe in the new podcasts getting posted when I see them. Not one second before. I’ve been through anticipation, irritation, confusion (But…but they said the last two episodes of season 1 were done…), betrayal (It’s been a long, cold hiatus, and I was promised season 2 talk about shot choices and lighting and text to screen analysis and where it went wrong and where it went right and historical and political context damn you. Look at what I’m reduced to, I’m reading casting news…casting neeews), acceptance (You like it, it’s free and they have day jobs and lives, be patient), and have finally arrived at denial.

    Is there a third item in that list to look forward to? Because I’m afraid all I see is some blurry writing I can’t make out at all. The new book news looks exciting.

    • I understand your frustration, so I did want to let you know that SEK and I sat down and recorded Season 2, Episode 1 yesterday, and we’re going to be recording a bunch more next Wednesday. Also, Ep 9 + 10 of Season 1 will be sent to me for a final check on Saturday, and gods willing should be up next week.

  8. Hey, don’t forget to advertise my own essay on the topic form the upcoming Tower of the Hand book 🙂

  9. Ivan T.W. says:

    I think I’m most looking forward to the ebook on Essos, to be honest. I’ve become fascinated with Essos, mostly due to your essays on them.

    Totally off topic, but thanks as well for mentioning David Blight’s lectures on the American Civil War in regards to Iron Islander culture. I’m about 1/3 of the way through them and they’re absolutely amazing.

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