analysis

The Others as Shoggoths: Lovecraft & Martin

As much as GRRM likes to draw on traditional high fantasy tropes, A Song of Ice and Fire is very much a sword-and-sorcery world, akin to something written by Robert E Howard. Howard himself was a contemporary and collaborator with H.P. Lovecraft himself, the father of eldritch weirdness. A lot of people have pointed out the many Lovecraftian elements to the world of ice and fire – from Leng to the Five Forts to Asshai to Toad Isle to the Seastone Chair to Battle Isle to the mazemakers to the squishers.

But there’s one big element that needs to be addressed: the Others.

One common theory is that the Others are, essentially “misunderstood snow elves.” They’re a race whose goals and aims run contrary to human life…but they aren’t necessarily evil. This is a popular theory. Some think there’ll be a pact with the Others, that humans need to resolve their Other-ing of a different race. That to end with a big battle would be disingenuous to the messages of ASOIAF, about hard peace etc.

I disagree. And I promise I’ll explain! But first,

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Game of Thrones S6E5: The Door

There is a canon, a pantheon, of nerd trigger phrases. You know the ones I mean. “This was a triumph…” “It’s a trap!” “Yer a lizard, Harry!” When someone quotes Monty Python or Portal or Star Wars, the room is required by Social Law to echo back some white noise – maybe laughter, maybe a followup quote, maybe just shouting that quote back at someone.

On May 22, 2016, “Hold the door!” entered that hallowed codex.

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King Broken-Smile: Theon’s Path to the Seastone Chair – Part 2: Landlubbers

In this long, LONG essay, I’m going to break down how I think Theon will end up sitting on the Seastone Chair by the end of ASOIAF (even if he doesn’t stay there for long!) In part 1, we looked at the conspiracies and revolts brewing on the Iron Islands, particularly on Great Wyk. In part 2, we’ll swing over to the mainland to look at the various parties potentially invested in a King Broken-Smile. Originally, I planned on a potential part 3 on the thematic importance and relevance of these plots. Because I am both lazy and economical, I’ve rolled part 3 into the end of this hefty-sized essay, making part 2 THE FINAL PART.

Onward!

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Jaq in Black: Why was a Faceless Man in the Black Cells?

Everyone loves Jaqen H’ghar. It’s hard not to; dude’s pretty tight. Arya first meets him in A Clash of Kings; he is a prisoner from the black cells of King’s Landing, bound for a life on the Wall.

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All credit to Rene Aigner: http://reneaigner.deviantart.com/

The Brotherhood in the Background

One of the most interesting features of Feast and Dance is the behind-the-scenes movement of the Brotherhood without Banners, particularly under their new leadership. This is post is more aimed at people who might be reading these books for the first time. There’s a lot to miss when it comes to the Brotherhood, so I’m going to lay out some of their background movements. First I’m going to lay out some of their background movements and track their progress, pointing out that they seem to have several companies acting in different theaters of the Riverlands. This section is to help cover some of the bits of Feast and Dance that slip under the radar. Then, we’re going to look at what’s next for our favorite band of merry outlaws, and get into some wacky predictions.

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Art: King in the Narrow Sea by Rene Aigner

Jon Snoe: The Hero and the Everyman in ASOIAF

Who is Azor Ahai?

It’s a fan-favorite question in Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire. Who is the mysterious hero foretold in prophecy? Well, in short: everyone is Azor Ahai.

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