Acronym Guide

I use a lot of acronyms while typing up theories, because it’s easier and the in-universe or in-fandom lingo is common to most fans. But it’s not good from a plain language standpoint, and that’s something I am passionate about.

So… here is my list of commonly used acronyms or weird phrases and their meanings!

TLDR – too long, didn’t read:
this is the summarised, shorter than short version of the huge blob of text you are about to read or have just read. While some blogs put them at the end, I try to put them at the top, so you can work out if you want to read it or not 🙂

ASOIAF and other novel acronyms:
This is just straightforward acronym: using the first letter of the book or series title. So…

  • A Song of Ice and Fire = ASOIAF
    this is what GRRM originally called the book series
  • A Game of Thrones (the book) = AGOT
  • Game of Thrones (the TV Series) = GOT
    some people, misled by TV, think that this is the name of the book series too. I’m a purist book wanker – it isn’t. The books are clearly intended by the author to be called the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, OK. 
  • A Clash of Kings = ACOK
  • A Storm of Swords = ASOS
  • A Feast for Crows = AFFC
  • A Dance With Dragons = ADWD
  • The Winds of Winter = TWOW
    next book, currently in progress
  • A Dream of Spring = ADOS
    GRRM’s projected title for the next after next and final book in the main ASOIAF series
  • Dunk & Egg novellas = D&E
    the short stories published in various anthologies that tell the story of Ser Duncan the Tall and Egg, his squire, who is really Prince Aegon Targaryen, who goes on to become King Aegon the Unlikely, also known as Aegon, Fifth of His Name, King of the Seven Kingdoms etc etc etc…. 
  • The World of Ice and Fire = TWOIAF
    published as an awesome coffee table book of art and info about Westeros, it’s actually written as if it was written in universe by Maester Yandel of the Citadel as a present for Robert (crossed out) Joffrey (crossed out) Tommen, First of His Name….. which never ceases to make me giggle.
    he information is interesting for theory crafting as much of what Maester Yandal espouses as fact we, as omniscient book readers exposed to things like the Others, dragons and other magic throughout ASOAIF, know is factually inaccurate. TLDR – Septon Barth was probably right about everything.

The War of the Five Kings (or WOTFK): the civil war which is covered in ACOK and ASOS, where the “Five Kings” of Westeros go to war – King Joffrey Baratheon of Westeros, King Robb Stark of the North, King Balon Greyjoy of Pyke, King Renly Baratheon of Westeros, King Stannis Baratheon of Westeros. Now if only those pesky Baratheon claimants had been content to let the North and Iron Islands be independent…. le sigh….

The Meereenese Knot: the narrative block that GRRM faced in ADWD, where one of his primary characters, Dany, was stuck in plot sand on the wrong continent, messing about with slavers and Harzoos and plots and dragons, while various other characters (like Tyrion and Jorah) needed to meet up with her to move that plot forward to eventually join with the main plots in Westeros. This part of the story, and indeed the overall length and confusing nature of ADWD has been criticised by fans and led to the lengthy delay in GRRM publishing ADWD. However, as very articulated argued in various essays by the Meereenese Blot, there’s some really valuable character development and plot development done by GRRM to unravel this particular knot, and Dany’s ADWD needs to be appreciated a lot more.

That said… Harzoos – a term developed on /r/asoiaf to describe all the indistinguishable and similarly named characters in Essos, Slaver’s Bay and Meereen, that contribute to the plot mud and make ADWD somewhat confusing. While you could argue through a racism-centric focus that this is colonialism by the readers, I’d like to hope that my personal inability to distinguish between Harzoos is actually because they are all described, speak and act similarly so that I can’t tell who one is and who another is!

AAR/TPTWP: Azor Azai Reborn and The Prince That Was Promised. Analysed in more depth in a blog post.

R+L=J: Shorthand for Rhaegar + Lyanna = Jon. One of the leading ASOIAF fan theories, accepted by many (including me!) as being damn well near canon because the clues in the text are so obvious. Some people are determined to see other options, and so there’s a variation of secret Targaryens or secret bastards:

  • N+A=J – Ned Stark + Ashara Dayne = Jon
  • B+A=J – Brandon Stark + Ashara Dayne = Jon
  • R+L=J+M – Rhaegar and Lyanna had twins, Jon and Meera Reed
  • R+L=D – Daenerys, not born of Rhaella and Aerys but Rhaegar and Lyanna? Nah.
  • N+A=D – Ned and Ashara produced Dany? Some people are desperate for Dany to not be who we are told she is, I don’t know why
  • J+A=T – Joanna Lannister + Aerys Targaryen = Tyrion
  • J+A=C+J – the Lannister twins are the result of consensual sex or rape by the Mad King on Joanna Lannister
  • D+D=T – the utterly mental and deliberately silly suggestion that Drogo and Daenerys’ foetus was actually Tyrion, who time travelled back to Joanna’s womb, killing her. It arose on as a joke to demonstrate how totally crazy some tinfoil theories around secret Targaryens are, but has been sadly taken as an actual possibility by some fans who seem to lack common sense or humour!

SSM: So Spake Martin. This is the fandom’s name for any facts or assertions made by the man himself, George R R Martin. Summarised both at the Citadel and more recently here by the epic Brynden BFish. Often newbie fan theories are shot down in flames by a more experienced fan quoting a SSM nugget.

Tinfoil: a theory that is highly speculative and possibly nonsense. The term originates from the idea of a “tin foil hat” worn by conspiracy theorists in any area, but in terms of ASOIAF, is used to cover theories that range from the entirely stupid to the interesting, but most likely irrelevant.

YMMV: “Your Mileage May Vary” – a cliche nicked from used car salespersons, I think, but within the context of fandoms it means “I think this, others might think something else.” An example would be “Stucky” shippers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom: some (including me) think statements like “I’m with you to the end of the line” between Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers indicate a much more intense relationship than just mere best friends/surrogate brothers, and that there may be some realised or unrealised sexual tension between the two; others think Bucky and Steve are just the ultimate realisation of brothers in arms and it’s all totally heterosexual, no homo here. The actors and directors have added enough meaningful looks, dialogue, body language reactions for it to mean either, and either interpretation adds to the viewer’s experience of the story without it altering the primary plotline in any way. All we need to know is that Steve loves Bucky enough to risk dying to save him – whether that’s because he loves him like a brother or a lover is up to the viewer. YMMV.

Shipping: oh boy. How to explain this one simple. “Shipping” is drawn from relationship, and is when fans hypothesis, extrapolate, speculate or just fantasise about various characters in relationships. Shippers are fans of particular pairings – e.g. Stannis/Melisandre shippers, or Jon/Sansa shippers etc. I tend not to think of canon established relationships as “shipping”, e.g. Ned/Cat.

Canon: if something is canon, it’s truthful or verified – it’s from the primary source material. For ASOIAF that means it’s from the published books (whether ASOIAF, TWOIAF or D&E or the other novellas) or from something GRRM has confirmed in interviews (the So Spake Martins.)

Planetos: we don’t actually know what the world that ASOIAF is set in is called. We know that the western continent is called Westeros, and the eastern continent is called Essos, and that further along are other countries like Yi Ti and Asshai. It may or may not be a round world or a flat one (Euron’s claims to have sailed around much suggest it’s round, but Euron’s a massive bullshit artist, so who knows?) But the planet itself has no name, so fans have dubbed it “Planetos” in lieu of anything from GRRM.