There are numerous instances of of GRRM foreshadowing with dreams and some innuendos that pop out when you re-read. But, aside from the very obvious foreshadowing of dreams how much of it is intentional and how much of it is people creating interpreting innocent words into foreshadowing?

Are there any comments from GRRM about this?

  • 2
    I am re-reading AGOT again reading through the series previously, and it is scary just how much foreshadowing there is in the early chapters so far. Jul 17, 2014 at 18:00
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    A related question was asked and GRRM have answered in Sword and Laser episode 6 (at around the 6:40 mark): youtu.be/_tWg7LPq4nE?t=6m40s . A shame that they've stopped producing the series after Amazon bought Goodreads.
    – slebetman
    Jul 17, 2014 at 18:18
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    He doesn’t just foreshadow. He fiveshadows! Jul 17, 2014 at 19:10
  • he uses pretty obvious foreshadowing: If you are a main character you die.
    – Colin D
    Jul 18, 2014 at 14:25
  • @Colin: Also, if you're a minor character you die. The only people that survive are those insignificant enough, and even they will end up worse than dead, come winter.
    – user24620
    Jul 18, 2014 at 19:40

2 Answers 2


According to this Q&A with his editor Anne Groell, GRRM foreshadows all the time as part of his "three-fold revelation strategy":

Q: Anne, although you're the envy of many a GRRM fan, do you ever wish you didn't have to edit the books so that you could be surprised by them all at once along with the rest of us?

A: No. As above, he doesn’t tell me a lot. He feels I am most effective at my job if I am surprised along with everyone else. And it is easier to tell when he’s overplaying a hand and revealing things too early if you don’t actually know going in what will happen. That said, now that I’ve realized his three-fold revelation strategy, I see it in play almost every time. The first, subtle hint for the really astute readers, followed later by the more blatant hint for the less attentive, followed by just spelling it out for everyone else. It’s a brilliant strategy, and highly effective.


There are comments from GRRM about this stating the he does explicitly foreshadow in a way that is extremely subtle and non-obvious to first-time readers.

I don't have the exact source to cite, but I recently watched a video interview where he said something along the lines of: "I like to reward people who re-read my books."

The first time through you are reading for the plot and subsequent readings allow your mind to focus on the nuances.


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