HOLY CRAP I'M SO EXCITED! New book, new book, new book!
October 28th: Release date for the newest A Song of Ice and Fire book, a World of Ice and Fire, which is a comprehensive history of Westeros.
Sure, we know a lot about Westeros already. It's mildly disappointing because most of the lore that we get is already about Westerosi history.
Martin has already written a series of prequel novellas called Tales of Dunk and Egg which goes back 90 years before A Game of Thrones (you might recognize Dunk from Old Nan's stories). We've already pieced together most of the Targaryen family tree, which was specifically mentioned as being part of AWOIAF. What's more, the characters make enough mention to Westerosi history that we can't be finding out too much new information.
On the other hand, I'd love to get more insight on Robert's Rebellion, and I'm sure there are a lot of things in the Age of Heroes that are more interesting than that. Illustrations of Casterly Rock, Dragonstone, or the Water Gardens by Ted Nasmith (who did illustration work for J. R. R. Tolkien) would make the rest of the book worth it on its own. Plus, it'd be nice to have a laid out explanation of what exactly went on in the Dawn Age other than the arrival of the First Men.
Okay. The minor but obvious detail being that Martin didn't actually write this, so he can't formulate new lore and give us a comprehensive history of Essos. Fair. He was used as consultation to make sure everything written was cannon, but he's probably got other things to do (hopefully like write Winds of Winter). If there is one thing that we know how to do, it's cut GRRM some slack.
As excited as I am for AWOIAF, though, I am hoping that The Winds of Winter or A Dream of Spring (the 7th and final book in GRRM's plans as of right now) goes deeper into the history and culture of Essos. Right now, the entire continent seems to be written off as "some other foreign place where everyone has accents". If a AWOIAF sequel comes out, I would be a happy camper!
Anyway, here's hoping it's good. Exactly 5 weeks until release!!