Broken Promises and Shattered Bonds

The Tully family’s motto is Family, Duty, Honor. While Catelyn Tully perfectly embodies these virtues, her fate seems to be a slap in the face to these ideals. In a turbulent time like that in ASOIAF, doing the right thing can get you killed — a recurrent theme of the series. George R.R. Martin’s body of work suggests that  he is not a cynic. But, in the ASOIAF series, Martin is brutally honest about the gap between perception and reality: following…

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Reversed: Tyrion as Richard III and Coriolanus

Late in A Storm of Swords, Tyrion Lannister goes on trial for the murder of King Joffrey, his 13-year-old nephew. The plot is obviously inspired by not only the historical mystery of “Princes in the Tower,” but also Shakespeare’s depiction of the event in the play Richard III. A clear indication of George R.R. Martin’s nod to the play itself, beyond historical facts, is the effects of being born deformed and ugly on the central character and the dynamics between…

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The Lure of Futile Prophecies

====TV SPOILERS==== As a high-fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire is judicious in the use of supernatural elements, such as witchcraft, magic, super powers, and nonhuman intelligence. Besides the dragons and White Walkers, one element that’s been brought up repeatedly is various predictions to foreshadow future events. These predictions take on different forms, including the curses Mirra Maz Duur puts on Daenerys Targaryen, Melisandre’s fire reading, Bran Stark’s dreams, the deranged songs by Patchface on Dragonstone, Arya’s dark…

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Shakespeare’s Shadow on Game of Thrones: The Art of Villainy

This article contains minor spoilers Above is a paragraph from an early Tyrion chapter in The Winds of Winter, the yet-unpublished sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series; George R.R. Martin has read it in public. Does it hit you with a sense of déjà vu? Do you have a tingle of recognition in the back of your mind? If yes, you might be remembering a famous battle scene you have read or seen before: “A…

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