Will George R.R. Martin ever write about Old Valyria? “If I live forever”

SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - AUGUST 16: American writer George R. R. Martin speaks during a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia on August 16, 2017. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - AUGUST 16: American writer George R. R. Martin speaks during a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia on August 16, 2017. (Photo by Sergey Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) /

Few parts of the fantastical world George R.R. Martin created in A Song of Ice and Fire are as mysterious as Old Valyria. Once the seat of a vast republic led by families of dragonriders, the Valyrian Freehold was swallowed by a natural disaster that wiped the civilization off the map. Only the Targaryens and their retainers escaped.

To date, Valyria has never appeared in any of Martin’s novels. Game of Thrones deviated slightly from the text to give fans a glimpse of the ruined freehold during season 5, when Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister sailed around Essos on their journey to Meereen. You remember the scene, where the two men recite a cryptic poem as they their boat glides down a canal through a breathtaking ruin:

Will George R.R. Martin ever write more about Old Valyria?

As part of Hollywood Spotlight’s massive new “Complete Guide to House of the Dragon” issue, author George R.R. Martin spoke on a number of subjects ranging from the dragons we’ll see in the upcoming prequel series to his forthcoming illustrated book Rise of the Dragon. He was also asked if we’d ever learn more about Old Valyria. House of the Dragon features a war of succession that revolves around a female claimant to the Iron Throne being denied her right by the patriarchy in Westeros. But since women become dragonriders just as often as men, there’s no guarantee things would have been similar in Old Valyria.

When put on the spot about Old Valyria’s system of rulership and whether Valyrians had different ideas about women in leadership roles, Martin chuckled. “I haven’t written about that yet. I may someday. I don’t doubt that there are great stories to be told about Old Valyria.”

"Aside from the dragons and the blood magic, I’ve always imagined that Old Valyria was something like the late Roman Republic. A lot of people, but only a handful of dragonrider families, maybe 20 to 30, all competing for supremacy. There are no kings — Valyria didn’t have a throne for thousands of years. But there’s a system of rule. In Rome, they had two consuls, elected every year, so there was a constant jockeying for power. That’s a little like I imagine Valyria to be."

Even though Valyria doesn’t appear in A Song of Ice and Fire, some of the traditions remain. “In A Dance with Dragons, Tyrion and Quentyn [Martell] pass through Volantis, one of the oldest Valyrian colonies,” Martin said. “Volantis has three triarchs, who are also elected and serve for a year. And there are women who serve. Not commonly, but there have been some.” It stands to reason that this type of government came from Valyria, which ruled Volantis before its eventual downfall.

But the question remains: will Martin ever actually write any stories about Valyria? “Maybe, if I ever get around to it, I’ll explore more of Old Valyria and its colonies, and expand on all that — if I live forever, and we can find more hours in the day.”

More Valyrian steel weapons could turn up in House of the Dragon

While Valyria itself may not be around any longer, the famed Valyrian steel weapons unique to the ruined freehold still linger. The art of making the nigh-indestructible weapons was lost to time, meaning that each weapon has become an exceedingly rare and valuable commodity, often passed down through generations by specific families.

Indeed, many of the Valyrian steel weapons in Martin’s works have as detailed and intricate a history as the characters themselves. We’ll see this come into play in House of the Dragon, which we already know will include the famed Targaryen family swords Dark Sister and Blackfyre, the latter of which was once wielded by Aegon the Conqueror when he took over Westeros. It will also feature an earlier version of the dagger a catspaw assassin tried to use to murder Bran Stark in Game of Thrones, and was later wielded by Arya Stark to slay both Littlefinger and the Night King.

“This is the first time [Blackfyre and Dark Sister] have been depicted on screen, so it’s cool to see them,” Martin said. “Will any other Valyrian steel swords make it into the show? Will we see Lady Forlorn? I don’t know. If the characters who bear them are included in the story, then they will be in the story as well.”

Lady Forlorn is a famous Valyrian steel blade associated with House Corbray, named after an even older sword that came over to Westeros with the Andals. During the Dance of the Dragons, Lady Forlorn is wielded by Ser Corwyn Corbray. Whether we’ll see Ser Corwyn or the sword, time will tell.

The Hollywood Spotlight “Complete Guide to House of the Dragon” is available now on newsstands across the United States, and features nearly 100 pages of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon coverage, including a few new pieces of art from the upcoming Rise of the Dragon coffee table book. House of the Dragon premieres on HBO and HBO Max on August 21.

Next. House of the Dragon will “do better” with dragons than Game of Thrones. dark

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels