Game of Thrones is a sprawling fantasy epic that carefully blends grounded medieval realpolitik with magic and supernatural elements. George RR Martin has gone on record about his inspiration for the politics of the series: the real-world dynastic battles of the War of the Roses, with Starks and Lannisters being analogues for ye olde Englande’s northern Yorks and rich Lancasters.
But what is the origin of the supernatural mono-myth that seems to dominate the story? I’m talking about the story of Azor Ahai and related myths that are so prevalent in Westeros and Essos.
Born under a bleeding star.
Posted in Books, Comics, Opinion
Tagged A Song of Ice and Fire, Azor Ahai, Fortress of Solitude, Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, history, Jon Snow, Jor-El, Krypton, Littlefinger, mythology, Superman
It’s happened, the thing that I feel like most fans predicted when the show began. Game of Thrones, the HBO show returning this weekend, has out-paced A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series it is (was) based on. It’s become a meme, practically, of things that George R.R. Martin is doing rather than writing… but even if the next book were coming out next month, it would be too late for the show!
I haven’t looked this up, since I doubt anyone has a solid answer on it anyway… how much of this season is based on what will end up in the books? And how much is just building off of what came before? On the one hand, I feel like they must be privy to at least broad strokes. On the other hand, it felt like they went completely off the rails last season – and that was a season with books out to back it up!
I also haven’t really watched the trailers. I just haven’t been as excited. But there are trailers… so how about one of those? And then some spoilers and wild speculation after the jump!
Posted in Books, TV Shows
Tagged A Song of Ice and Fire, Arya Stark, Azor Ahai, Daenerys, Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, HBO, Jon Snow, Melisandre, Tyrion Lannister, Westeros
One of my favorite literary devices is prophecy. A good prophecy, sufficiently vague and mysterious, riddle-like and maybe rhyming, to keep you thinking back, keep you wondering. It can easily drive a plot. It usually points to a chosen one. Indeed, a recent favorite of mine hits all the important aspects:
“One day, a talented lass or fellow, a special one with face of yellow, will make the Piece of Resistance found from it’s hiding refuge underground, and with a noble army at the helm, this Master Builder will thwart the Kragle and save the realm, and be the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all times. All this is true because it rhymes.”
-Vitruvius, The Lego Movie
See? It rhymes. Must be true.
Prophecy, and indeed prophecy pointing towards a chosen one, is grounded in religion. Okay, so for our science fiction and religion series, this post is halfway there. But what about science fiction? One of the fundamental aspects of science fiction I have seen since the series started is that science fiction tends to stay away from religion. Meaning similarly, it stays away from prophecy in large part.
So I’m calling this post part one because I want to talk about prophecy, and the better way to do that is to talk about Fantasy. Then in part two, I’ll go into a couple of good science fiction examples and see how they differ. So onward for Fantasy prophecies, and an open thread!
Posted in Fantasy, Science Fiction and Religion
Tagged A Song of Ice and Fire, Azor Ahai, Chosen One, Eragon, Harry Potter, Kingkiller Chronicles, Lego Movie, Prophecy, Star Wars, The Dark Tower
The White Walkers in A Song of Ice and Fire are an extremely mysterious enemy. They are used in an interesting way in the stories because the audience knows and recognizes the horror that could be happening, but not many other people do. At the same time while the audience knows they exist and knows that they are going to do bad things we do not know their motivation. There seems to be a force driving them forward, but is there a larger evil or is it just a general lust for destruction. It does create a sense of mystery in the show and a lot of tension because as all these things are happening on one side we know something big is brewing on the other side. Continue reading
Posted in Books, Character Studies, TV Shows
Tagged A Song of Ice and Fire, A to Z Challenge, Azor Ahai, Daenerys, dragons, Game of Thrones, Night Watch, Stannis Baratheon, Westeros, White Walkers, Winter is Coming
We haven’t done much with Game of Thrones in a while, but with the show returning early next month, the excitement is filling us again. As such, it’s time to look at a few of the characters, and be thinking about what’s up with them, both in what has already happened in the show, and then into the future from the books.
Today I wanted to talk about Jon Snow. While all of George R.R. Martin’s characters are strong, have their own motivations and plans, some see more development than others. And this may be more true for Jon Snow than for anyone else. As the bastard brother living in the shadow of future lords and kings, he was young, naive, and had no real prospects at the beginning of the tale. From there, he becomes our main eyes in the north, the one who really learns what is going on in this world.
Alright, I’ve been trying to avoid spoilers for the most part, but from here there be spoilers. I’ll move chronologically so if you find yourself reaching the point where you’re caught up… read beyond that at your own risk!
Posted in Books, Character Studies, TV Shows
Tagged A Song of Ice and Fire, Azor Ahai, Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin, House Targaryen, Jon Snow, Ned Stark, Night's Watch, The Wall, White Walkers, Wildlings, Ygritte