Game of Thrones Reaches Academia

Is academia embracing Game of Thrones? And, if so, what does this mean? Does it mean the world is changing or simply that Game of Thrones is worthy of analysis? Recently, I learned from David Levesley’s great article that the University of Virginia is offering an English summer class on Game of Thrones. The course aims to use literary techniques to teach students how to analyze television. Instructor Lisa Woolfork describes Martin’s work as follows: “Literarily speaking, it’s very diverse and rich text….

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George RR Martin’s French Interview Translated, His Use of Burgundian History

Recently, George RR Martin did a book signing in <gasp> Burgundy. Why is this a reason to get excited? Because he also gave an interview with the French alternative rock station Le Mouv from the burial site of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless, who were key players in the French civil war that inspired so many events A Song of Ice and Fire. Saying I was excited about Martin’s interview when I found it on Nerdalicious is the…

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Brothers Apart: Oathbreakers and Turncloaks

As viewers we tend to see Theon as Robb Stark’s adopted brother, therefore we see his betrayal as an unnatural thing. When we look at Edward IV’s younger brothers, George Duke of Clarence and Richard III, we see George as the betrayer and Richard as the loyal one. Is it not natural to support one’s own brother over a cousin? Or was George’s decision a little closer to that of Theon Greyjoy’s, choosing between a father and a brother? Theon…

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The Lost Princes & Tyrion’s Escape from the Tower

Tyrion’s flight from the tower faintly reinforces George RR Martin’s Princes in the Tower theme. Tyrion, as the son of the duke-like Tywin, could be considered a prince. When Tyrion escapes from the dungeon, it mirrors the hypothetical escape of the princes in the Tower of London. [This article is the latest installment of  the Princes in the Tower series. It picks up on a theme in an article Olga Hughes wrote that discusses how Martin plays with the idea…

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George RR Martin’s Symbolic Character Names Symbols, Part 2

This article is continued from George RR Martin’s Symbolic Character Name Choices and looks at the names in Houses Bolton, Greyjoy, Baratheon, and Tyrell. One of the interesting patterns in George RR Martin’s character name choices is how often Greek names come up. Out of the twelve first names in this article, at least three (25%) have Greek roots and there were three Greek names in the last article. This seems to be yet another connection to the Greek-Roman empire (Byzantium)….

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George RR Martin’s Symbolic Character Name Choices

It’s widely known that novelists, including George RR Martin, agonize over the naming of their characters: names represent much more than just a handy handle. Classic literature often uses symbolic names to foreshadow the destiny of characters, amplify theme, or simply cement the character’s identity in the reader’s mind.  As Alastair Fowler writes on the Oxford University Press’ blog, “In literature, names are often doors to meaning, and words giving glimpses of the writer’s intentions.” Charles Dickens not only invested significant time in…

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George RR Martin Now Officially on Twitter

  In case you haven’t heard, George RR Martin is now on Twitter, as described in this CBC article. His official Twitter handle is @GRRMspeaking. I’ve seen a few media references to the account, but the CBC article is the first article I’ve found that actually confirms it. I mention this in case you’ve been following a fake George RR Martin account (such as the widely followed impersonator, @GeorgeRRMartin).  Although Twitter should restrict the ability to create handles using famous names, it doesn’t. (I don’t want…

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Richard III, Theon Greyjoy and The Lost Princes

I often forget exactly why the people of the North loathe Theon Greyjoy. Theon Turncloak. Many Northerners still believe Theon Greyjoy murdered Bran and Rickon, the last sons and heirs of the beloved house of Stark. However we know that Theon did not murder Bran and Rickon. It is true he murdered two innocent children, a terrible crime of which he should not be absolved. But Bran and Rickon still live. And in A Song of Ice and Fire there…

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Rolling Stone Ranks “Top” Game of Thrones Characters: Do They Get It Wrong?

While researching an upcoming article about character names, I got distracted by a Rolling Stone article from before Season 4 began. The article lists the “top” Game of Thrones characters, and its rankings, which I discuss below, are definitely debatable. Rolling Stone uses the word “top” to mean “the most memorable” characters, or the ones with the “strongest story arcs. The best one-liners. The most shocking demises.” Are their choices truly memorable? And, are they memorable now that Season 4 is over? A lot has changed. First of…

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Game of Thrones’ Most Unforgettable Moments

Right before Season 4 started, Rolling Stone ran a rather intriguing list about who the “top” characters are on Game of Thrones. They defined “top” as “memorable.” Now that Season 4 is over, things have changed. As a result, I don’t entirely agree with Rolling Stone and I suspect you won’t either. But, before we look at their list, it’s worthwhile — not to mention fun — looking at which scenes on the show are the most memorable. After all, in the last season…

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Betray or Obey? The Other Side of Theon Greyjoy and George Duke of Clarence

Olga Hughes, editor of Nerdalicious, takes another look at the Theon and Clarence. She finds the parallels between them complex and even finds Theon oddly sympathetic. George Duke of Clarence is a serviceable villain; after all, there are not many historical figures of well-known royal houses that betrayed their own brother. Yet research on George has previously not been easily accessible, and despite a new biography being published this year, it will be some time before George Plantagenet is reassessed on…

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A Near Feast for Crows? Game of Thrones fan rescues little girl

As George RR Martin noted on his blog, on May 2nd, near southwestern Siberia, a 47-year old man named Cairo Nurmagambetov found a missing two-year old girl by noticing a flock of crows circling over a field. Despite manning a search force of 400 police officers, 200 volunteers, and 15 dog handlers as well as using thermal imaging equipment, it wasn’t the man power or the technology that saved the day but rather a Game of Thrones fan. Two-year old…

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Suffer the Children? Episode 10, Season 4 Recap

Showrunners Weiss and Debioff have billed tonight’s season finale, “The Children” as the show’s finest hour. Does it live up to the hype? The twists – and deaths – keep coming there’s no doubt. Still, it is definitely the season’s act IV, a denouement and soft conclusion rather than an adrenaline filled time for the heroes. Despite all the characters who got axed, the show did not have the dark ending like Game of Thrones‘ ninth episodes — essentially an…

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Season 4 Finale Tonight: Does Tyrion live? [Preview]

It’s going to be hard for HBO to top last week’s “Watcher on the Wall” episode with tonight’s season finale. As Kit Harrington told Access Hollywood, last week’s Battle at Castle Black was “as big as Thrones has gone” and it was the “most expensive episode that they’ve ever made.” (As I said in the recap, it’s my personal favorite episode ever.) In terms of expense, the CGI to create the giants and the Wall itself helped that cost soar…

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All that Glitters is Not Gold: The Lannisters, Gold, and their Empty Mines

The Lannisters are broke, and the Iron Bank of Braavos will get its due one way or another. The Lannister wealth originally came from its gold mines, but the vein ran dry over three years ago. This article looks at some of the Lannister’s golden goods and their relationship to history. The Lannister Gold Mines Casterly Rock© HBO, via Wikia Map of Roman Britain showing the Dolaucothi mine in what is modern-day Wales. Image: Via Wikimedia Commons.   On the Westeros…

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