Category Archives: News

My Own Private Hardhome

I regularly get inquiries about my health, especially since I haven’t posted an update since last August. I figure my latest correspondence with my headache specialist should suffice:

Hello Dr. Liu:

I am in agonizing pain. It seems that the second round of Botox has yet to have helped me at all. As of right now, I am hurting a great deal and have taken two sumatriptan and have taken all fourteen of my nightly pills (exedrin/ibuprofen, olanzapine, topamax, indomethacin, gabapentin, verapamil, prilosec, buproprion) and my head still hurts really bad.

Dr. David’s office says that my insurance will not cover the neurostimulator they wanted to consider, and that they have referred me back to your office for further care/treatment. I was desperate and asked how much it would cost me if I wanted to pay myself ($100,000)… I can’t afford that much.

I need to know if there are other providers that could help me out with more permanent/advanced options that might be covered because I’m in a living hell. The meds I’m on make me drowsy and stupid, they mess with my stomach and they probably aren’t good for my organs (at least not at the doses I’m taking). I haven’t slept the night through in almost a week because of head pain, it’s making me crazy. I’m terrified of trying to go to sleep tonight.

Please help me.

To put it simply… life with 100% never-ending excruciating head pain is so … so monstrously ruinous, it destroys all quality of life.

An update

I’m sure by now some people would like to see something new from me, or at least see me back in the community. That hasn’t happened yet, due to some major problems with my surgery.

I’m only putting this out there so that people know just how difficult writing is for me at the current moment. Since my brain surgery, I have been to the Emergency Room three times. Last night was the last, and by far the worst.

I am dealing with some sort of inflammatory process that will not relent and only responds to really strong steroids (dexamethasone) and opiates. I am essentially a non-functioning human being at the present moment. I want to write, I want to play with my kids and squeeze my wife. Heck, I almost want to work.

But I can’t. Further, I don’t have the energy right now to be involved in the threads on /r/asoiaf that I interest me. There are lots of good things I see that I can’t talk about these days.

Temporarily out of commission

Just a small alert to the community and anyone who might try to contact me in the near future: I am having brain surgery July 20th, and fully expect to be completely offline for at least two weeks.

The surgery is relatively minor as far as brain surgeries go… only a procedure called a microvascular decompression, designed to treat my ongoing trigeminal neuralgia. It’s just that any time you operate on the brain, healing can be slow.

Feel free to comment as usual, but I won’t be responding for quite some time. Seven blessings and all that.

Apologies, Revisions and Major Changes

Sorry folks… I was wrong. Wrong about some major details I put in the Mannifesto.

In particular I was wrong to think that the wildlings were the ones who would capture the Dreadfort and wrong that Mance wrote the Pink Letter. I apologize for leading people astray.

People had been asking me to complete the later volumes of the Mannifesto for weeks, but I hadn’t. The reason was because something just didn’t feel right. Volume III felt way to conspiracy laden and baroque. The only essay that felt truly worthy was my insights regarding an attack on the Dreadfort (“The Dark Fortress”).

After a whole lot of rumination I think I’ve found the right answers for the Stannis-Bolton endgame (or at least much more likely ones). In the interests of keeping my essays more in line with the most evidence based theories, I have decided to make some major changes to the Mannifesto. Continue reading

News: Progress and Updates to the Mannifesto


I am still working on several essays for the Mannifesto:

Worthy of a King – intended to marry the essays about Val to those concerning the capture of the Dreadfort, this is meant as a “rubber-meeting-the-road” essay that ties the whole room together.

Variations and Other Cruft – Throughout writing the Mannifesto I found many alternatives and variations that I vetted and ultimately set aside. This is a compilation of those other ideas, as well as some responses to especially pointed or critical questions from the community.

The first essay might break into two if it gets too long. Both are still in rough draft format with ongoing “fact-checking” and the required period of self-doubt. Dates of release TBD.


Since the original release of the Mannifesto, I have found (or been introduced) to various details that support or help articulate points in the series. I will be incorporating them into the original essays as time permits.

I will share most of them here as well. This allows people already familiar with the series to immediately see the new details without rereading the original essays. Continue reading