Hardhome’s Refugees and the Rocks of Cannibal Isle

George R. R. Martin likes boats.

In Arya’s The Blind Girl chapter in A Dance with Dragons, we hear tell of two boats in particular: the Elephant and the Goodheart. These two ships – a pair of Lyseni galleys, crewed by pirates and rascals – dropped anchor at Hardhome after having been driven north by a storm. Ever the enterprising (and amoral) businessmen, the Lyseni pirates offered to take all the women and children from Hardhome to safety. As soon as the women and children were loaded on the galleys, however, they were clapped in chains and hauled off to be sold as slaves at the markets in Lys.

Fate intervened, though. The gales of autumn still blew in the Narrow Sea. Another storm separated the Goodheart and the Elephant. The Goodheart was blown to Braavos, where the Sealord immediately seized her and her cargo. Slaving, after all, is illegal in Braavos. Arya (as Blind Beth) overhears sullen sailors from the Goodheart discussing their plight. She relays their conversation to the Kindly Man:



Toxic Narratives and ASOIAF: From Within and Without

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.


Hot Link Sunday: Evening Edition

Michael’s Catfish Fry of Internet Links

ONCE AGAIN it’s time to look back on the week and share some highlights!

AltShiftX continued his fantastic series of ASOIAF videos with “Will Timmett Rule the Vale?” It’s one of my favorite pet theories; I don’t see it really happening in the books, but it sure does make a little too much sense.

Almost a year ago, KCenturion released a big google spreadsheet of all the characters in ASOIAF. Yes, all of them. Now he and his pals have gone a step further: they’ve started up The Weirwood-Net, a full-fledged website that you can use to track characters throughout the series. How many characters, you ask? ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FOUR. And they have physical data, detailed location information, SKILLS – it’s incredible. Seriously, check it out.

GRRM himself did a little Q&A this week at his theater the Jean Cocteau. Mostly it was to plug THE COLONY, but he did answer a number of ASOIAF questions, which /u/aquaneer helpfully sorted into one big post. My personal favorite was the question he answered about the assassinations of Jon Arryn (successful) and Bran (unsuccsessful) and how far ahead he’d planned those plot points. Turns out the answers is “VERY FAR AHEAD.”

And if you’re following along with the big Game of Thrones rewatch before Season 5 – check out the first week’s thread here! We’re watching five episodes a week, which is totally a reasonable thing that adults do.


VK’s Bits of Gaming


So this week we have several fun stories to share in the gaming and technology world, starting off with HTC’s big announcement of the release date and price for the HTC Vive.  The Vive Consumer Edition will begin to ship in early April 2016 for $799.  The Vive will include two wireless controllers that have been heavily featured in demos of the device for quite some time, two room sensors to work with the headset/controllers, and also includes two games (Job Simulator, and Fantastic Contraption).  I plan on doing a proper write up about my thoughts behind the upcoming VR wars, where I stand, and how that could change within the next few days so stay tuned!

Also this week, a big departure for the Mass Effect team as they lost lead writer Chris Schlerf, who has departed the studio and now will be working for none other than other gaming juggernaut Bungie as a writer for the Destiny franchise. The upcoming 4th game/reboot of the series Mass Effect: Andromeda has also received a swirl of questions in regards to if it’ll actually make a 2016 release date.  Personally, I think we won’t know until E3, nor will they even decide till E3 if the game needs to be moved into 2017.

Bethesda finally has released details about the first wave of DLC for Fallout 4.  I fell off this game way too quickly and hope this might drag me back into the wasteland.

Bored at work/school?  Go watch this Quick Look on Giantbomb and be endlessly entertained.

Beloved video game developer Hideo Kojima finally was given the recognition he deserves following his departure from Konami at the DICE awards this week.  Kojima who recently formed his own studio in conjunction with Sony was inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame this week.

And that’s it for my links this week folks, there’s plenty of other news out in the verse for you to soak up if you please, but I’ve had a crazy weekend and so with that note happy reading!


In Case You Missed Anything This Week From Us…

Michael published a nice look at drafts and why beginnings can be the absolute worst for a writer.

We got a nice BSG style video from a group of gamers in Elite Dangerous

And just in case you missed it last week, go check out these awesome GOT photos!