One of the best moments in the book, hands down, is when Martin throws shade at Game of Thrones and the show runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. Under the guise of the discussion of a book called "A Caution for Young Girls", Martin makes his opinion of certain decisions made in the adaptation process of his own books very clear. He begins by calling the book “distasteful,” a book found in brothels and catering to those of low morals. He then mentions that parts of the book “strain credulity” given how ridiculous the tales are, and increasingly so as the story continues.

“We have no way to ascertain the veracity of her story, nor even whether she was in truth the author of this infamous book (some argue plausibly that the text is the product of several hands, for the style of the prose varies greatly from episode to episode).”
(Fire and Blood, p. 157)

I mean…good lord. The use of “episode to episode” makes the true object of his ridicule pretty clear. But he doesn’t stop there. Continuing with his mockery of the writers of the tales, he writes,

“[T]he scribes responsible were most likely septons expelled from the Faith for drunkenness, theft, or fornication, failed students who left the Citadel without a chain, hired quills from the Free Cities, or mummers (the worst of all). Lacking the rigor of maesters, such scribes oft feel free to “improve” on the texts they are copying. (Mummers in particular are prone to this.)

In the case of "A Caution for Young Girls", such “improvements” largely consisted of adding ever more episodes of depravity and changing the existing episodes to make them even more disturbing and lascivious. As alteration followed alteration over the years, it became ever more difficult to ascertain which was the original text, to the extent that even maesters at the Citadel cannot agree as to the title of the book, as has been noted.” (Fire and Blood, p.158-9)

I found it heccing weird because he stops in the middle to write a long description of this ultimately insignificant book.

  • 3
    The most likely answer is that he isn't and even he was I doubt he'll ever come out and say that's what it is.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    May 9, 2019 at 11:30
  • 5
    It's pretty telling that the whole text does not contain even a hint of an actual question. Truly debatable whether this is conforming to this site's MO.
    – Annatar
    May 9, 2019 at 13:34
  • 3
    Or to put it differently, “______ sucks, am I right?” (example from the Help Center) is not much different from “______ said that ______ sucks, am I right?”, right?
    – Annatar
    May 9, 2019 at 13:38
  • 7
    @MagicFleet Do not refer to anyone as idiots or dumb or use any other insult. That applies to people who are not SE users, such as the creators of the show.
    – Null
    May 9, 2019 at 13:59
  • 2
    @MagicFleet "Episode to episode" as an indication it is referring to an tv show? Television has been common for only about 70 years, while the word "episode" was first used 341 years ago in 1678. For example, I have read The Episodes of Vathek, written by 1786 but not published until 1912. May 9, 2019 at 15:19

1 Answer 1



Whilst it is incredibly unlikely that George would ever admit to doing this, especially whilst the show is still running, it is unlikely it is even a reference to that in the first place. The book appears to have first been mentioned in A Dance with Dragons and hinted at being poorly written then before the show went downhill.

The galley was also where the ship's books were kept. Her captain being an especially bookish man, she carried three—a collection of nautical poetry that went from bad to worse, a well-thumbed tome about the erotic adventures of a young slave girl in a Lysene pillow house, and the fourth and final volume of The Life of the Triarch Belicho, a famous Volantene patriot whose unbroken succession of conquests and triumphs ended rather abruptly when he was eaten by giants. Tyrion had finished them all by their third day at sea. Then, for lack of any other books, he started reading them again. The slave girl's story was the worst written but the most engrossing, and that was the one he took down this evening to see him through a supper of buttered beets, cold fish stew, and biscuits that could have been used to drive nails.

A Dance with Dragons, Tyrion VIII

  • 1
    Just seems to be more shade. "The slave girl's story was the worst written but the most engrossing." hinting at the Hollywood influence on the show and appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator. But I think it were just coincidences, so I would accept your answer.
    – user116329
    May 9, 2019 at 11:42
  • 9
    @MagicFleet Very unlikely to be about the TV show because A Dance With Dragons was published just a couple of months after the first season of the TV show aired. May 9, 2019 at 11:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.