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symbolic names


Is Shaggydog Dead? Symbolic Direwolf Names and Ironic Reversals

[Like all fan theories, this article may have spoilers.] Many Game of Thrones fans harbor theories about the direwolves.  Summer’s death – if he did die – made it clear that the name “Summer” wasn’t foreshadowing an outcome of salvation but rather the death of Bran’s dreams of his own halcyon “summer” days.  (He might not be quite so indulgent with the greensight after his losses last Sunday night.) The direwolf names appear to symbolize the fate and arc of…

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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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Stormborn: Historic Recap Season 7, Episode 2

Episode 2 of Season 7 not only sets up more action to come, but it offers a few thrills, gasps, and “aw” moments of its own. First of all, Arya’s long-awaited reunion with Nymeria finally happens. Wonderful. After some frustrating stagnation at the Citadel, Sam finally acts with a truly grotty scene that demonstrates his deep loyalty to Lord Commander Mormont, his now departed Night’s Watch commander. Cersei continues to chill us — Qyburn gives her a means to destroy…

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Lovers and Old Friends Reunite: Season 8, Episode 2 Recap

This may be the perfect episode for it evokes in the viewer – at least this viewer – a faint replica of feeling the events evoked in its participants. As the series marches towards its finale, I find myself filled with sadness and a desire to linger, just like the lovers and old friends who spent their last night together before death marches on Winterfell. For the last two episodes, I’ve been struck by how much this feels like CS…

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The Soprano’s Medieval Heart

For quite some time, I have been meaning to write an article about Game of Thrones‘ fantastic Emmy win. Yes, I realize the news cycle has passed, but I still think the win is superb and long overdue recognition of fantasy as a genre. In the meantime, however, I found this article sitting on my hard drive, so I thought I would publish it. While rewatching some episodes of The Sopranos, I noticed some references to the Middle Ages and became…

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Symbols in Game of Thrones

In many ways, Game of Thrones is written like a traditional literary novel. It has symbols, themes, and foreshadowing – all of which it employs to create a richer story. In this part of last Sunday’s interview, I talk about the symbols I’ve noticed in the books. I’m sure there are probably a lot I’ve missed, so I’d be very interested in hearing what you think. 6. What analysis have you come across reading the books? Literary analysis? Very little. I…

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