This Is It: The End of Game of Thrones Will Be The End of ASOIAF

A+ analysis.

Off The Bookshelf

Introduction & Caveat

May 19th, 2019, saw the end of Game of Thrones, after eight tumultuous years. Through this final season, one refrain in particular has resurfaced time and again: well, it won’t be like that in the books. Right? Arya won’t kill the Night King, Daenerys won’t burn innocent people after the Others are defeated, Jon won’t retire beyond the Wall in true superhero fashion. Right?

Wrong, friend.

Before I get into why I think this is the same ending we’ll get in the books, I do want to lay out one important caveat:

I understand I might be wrong. I do! I am going to argue my opinion and my case as persuasively as I can. But I understand that the only one who really knows is George R. R. Martin, and he ain’t talkin’.

Okay. With that said. I think this is the ending we’re getting…

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Ser Jay of House Gatsby: American Myths in ASOIAF

This is very, very good.

GRRM is showing us that Gatsby wasn’t quite as kind and tragic and romantic in Littlefinger, by showing us that at heart of it all is a man who wants to control a woman.

Off The Bookshelf

A sword shivers from a scabbard. A lion banner flaps in the early winter wind. The moors are disquiet. To the north are the cold mountains and crags; to the south are the lands of decadence; to the east are the horselords and their strange wild customs. To the west is the open sea, the end of the world, from which no sailor returns. Kings brood in golden halls. Something that isn’t quite the Catholic Church holds sway with the peasantry.

Hey, look at that! We just built 90% of all fantasy settings!

The Medieval European Milieu Experience (MEME for short) is the most common setting for fantasy stories through the last century. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions – there are tons of exceptions – but the image of fantasy is a decidedly French-British-Germanic one, variations on the theme of the heyday of feudal Christendom.

A Song of…

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Toxic Narratives and ASOIAF: From Within and Without

This is very good.

GRRM is a good writer, very good. But he’s not perfect… and the problems in the fandom flow from the problems in his writing.

People who want to romanticise the problems of history, inequality, slavery and so on, see no issue with how GRRM also does this.

Off The Bookshelf

That was in the dawn of days, when our sun was rising. Now it sinks, and this is our long dwindling (Dance, Bran III)

A specter is haunting ASOIAF – the specter of the past. Our characters are haunted by the great things that came before them, from myth and song to parents and grandparents. In this essay, I’m going to talk about some of the toxic nostalgia our characters participate in…and then talk about how some in-real-life toxic nostalgia may be informing some of the storytelling choices GRRM makes.

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Morality Beyond the Wall: Con of Thrones 2018 Panel — The Clanking Dragon

Panel from Con of Thrones featuring Watchers on the Wall feature writer Patrick Sponaugle, author Ian Thomas Malone, Professor Priscilla Walton, and myself talking about the morality and ethics that exist beyond the Wall. Skinchangers, cannibals, tribal wars, trade through the Wall among Other topics.

via Morality Beyond the Wall: Con of Thrones 2018 Panel — The Clanking Dragon

Why did Benjen take the black?

At least once a month, if not more on /r/asoiaf someone asks…

Hey guys – does anyone know why Benjen Stark took the black?

I mean, House Stark had just been decimated and sure, Ned was married but he only had one (legitimate) son and his wife was pretty pissed with him for bringing home a bastard… wouldn’t it be more prudent for Benjen to hang around, get married and supply some spare Starks?

Without fail. Every few weeks.

YES THIS IS A GOOD QUESTION. But from now on, I’m just going to copy/paste a link to this blog as my response.

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A hero of many names

The Prince That Was Promised.

The dragon must have three heads.

Azor Ahai Reborn.

The Last Hero.

The Stallion Who Mounts The World.

There are lots of prophecies floating around in ASOIAF about the person who will lead the armies of Westeros against the Others in the new Battle for the Dawn. Or at least, that’s what we readers think the prophecies are about. In universe, the characters think these prophecies are about a number of other things – for instance, Dany believes that the prophecies about Targaryen dragons and the Dothraki Stallion Who Mounts The World speak to her success in regaining the Iron Throne.

What prophecies of dominant leaders are likely to be about one figure? And if there is a clear idea of there being one figure, who is most likely to fulfil that role?

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Quick post: bastard names

Something that is often brought up by new fans, and I sure as hell was one of them, is the realisation that if Rhaegar Targaryen + Lyanna Stark = Jon Snow, then our dearly beloved bastard of Winterfell isn’t actually a Snow!

Right?

Yeah nah. Not how bastard names in Westeros work.

Here is a quick guide to my interpretation (opens to feedback otherwise!) about how GRRM intends bastard names to work in Westeros.

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