The Middle Ages

Mikken’s Mark: The Brand of the Middle Ages?

When Ned Stark finds Arya’s sword “Needle,” he quickly realizes the sword wasn’t some castoff from one of his men. Ned knows the sword was superb quality and custom-made for his daughter. Luckily for Arya, Ned accepts her interest in learning to fight. But, how does Ned know the sword was superior? He found “Mikken’s mark” on the blade. That is, a symbol indicating Mikken, the best blacksmith in Winterfell, created the blade. But, what is a blacksmith’s mark? And, what is the significance of…

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Trial by Ordeal, Combat, and the Hound’s Fight

Episode: Season 3, Episode 5 “Kissed by Fire” In last night’s episode, “Kissed by Fire,” the Hound is accused of murder and the red priest sentences him to trial by combat. If the Hound kills his combatant, it means the Lord of Light deemed him innocent. However, for the Hound to save his own life, he must face his greatest fear, fire. By pitting the Hound against a flaming sword, George RR Martin combines both trial by combat and trial…

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