George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has dozens, if not hundreds, of fan sites dedicated to the world of Westeros in all its violent, mesmerizing glory. Westeros.org towers over the rest, not for its coverage of the novels—which is impressive when you see the size and depth of its wiki—but because of its coverage beyond.
Many sites and podcasts examine Martin’s work, either on the page or on screen, in minute detail, complete with theories and predictions. Pat Sponaugle defends the indefensible. Watchers on the Wall keeps an eye out for upcoming TV news. And Reddit's ASoIaF subreddit is the chaotic ladder of the fandom.
But westeros.org one-ups every other site with its section So Spake Martin.
SSM is a collection of quotes from The Man Himself, gathered over 20-plus years, from email correspondence, interviews, online responses and comments he’s made at readings and signings.
Here Martin provides insights (the Tower of Joy chapters were frequently told to us in a dream, and “[o]ur dreams are not always literal”); shares his plans (six books, with Dunk and Egg prequels, stated back in January 1999); and discusses his writing process (A Dance with Dragons was famously delayed because of the Meereenese knot).
He also gives us some thoughts to chew on. For example, when asked if Sansa and Sandor have a relationship that is platonic or romantic, he suggests, “It could be very different things to each of those involved.”
As with the non-fiction book The World of Ice and Fire, SSM has canon material that isn’t actually in the novels. It’s a great way to dive even deeper into the vast pool that is A Song of Ice and Fire.
By the old gods and the new, SSM is a great way to spend your time waiting for The Winds of Winter.