Speaking Ill of Kings: The Influence of Maurice Druon on ASOIAF (Part I)

Image result for rois maudits


Especially when discussing the more controversial aspects of ASOIAF, George R.R Martin will often point to history as a legitimizing factor – saying in essence if not outright that “this is how it was back then” – which has led to quite a few arguments from medievalists who point out that Martin’s world is far from the historical norm when it comes to some important issues.

To a certain extent, however, part of the confusion between Martin and his medievalist critics is due to the fact that Martin is far more influenced by historical fiction than recent medievalist historiography. And as a Romantic author himself, Martin is particularly attracted to historical fiction that already leans to the outré, which gives us something of a Man Who Shot Liberty Valance situation.

Continue reading


Non-ASOIAF Content: Book Announcement

As you all know, in my day job I’m a historian of public policy. And I’m very pleased to announce that my first academic book, People Must Live By Work: Direct Job Creation in America, from FDR to Reagan, is now available from University of Pennsylvania Press. (You can buy a copy here and here, hint hint.)

I know that 20th Century U.S social and economic policy is a far cry from Medieval Europe, but if you’re curious to know what’s been keeping me from devoting every waking hour to writing about A Song of Ice and Fire, here’s your chance! And if the topic interests you, I’m hosting a book club over at Lawyers, Guns, and Money.

RFTIT Tumblr Weekly(ish) Roundup (Part I)

One of the unintended consequences of taking a long time to finish an essay – the Maurice Druon essay is up to about 1000 words, btw – is that a lot of Tumblr stuff piles up in the mean time. So just eye-balling it, I’m guessing that it’s going to take more than one post to clear my backlog. Speaking of which…



RFTIT Kickstarter Fulfillment News

Hey folks, just wanted to post a quick update about the progress of Kickstarter fulfillment. My editor Marc has been sending out physical copies of the books in batches, and I’ve seen the emails showing that people have started to get them in the mail, which is great. On my end, all but one of the signed sets of books have been mailed out and that last one should be going out this week.

With that done, Kickstarter fulfillment is starting to come to an end. It’s not completely done; I still have some bonus essays to write and a presentation to record, and at some point I need to find a time and place in NYC for people to watch “Blackwater” (if there’s still interest in that). And of course, when the Kickstarter is complete, I have big plans for the future…

However, I do want to thank everyone for their patience and their support once more.


Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Arya V, ASOS


“They can’t hurt me, they’re dying. She took her cup from her bedroll and went to the fountain.”

Synopsis: Arya and the Brotherhood Without Banners visits Stoney Sept, where they debate the ethics of the death penalty and whether Gendry should bone his half-sister, before Arya meets someone from her past.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

Continue reading

RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! So now that Sansa III is out of the way – which officially pushes me over the one-third mark through ASOS – I’m going to take a little bit of time to do some work on some Kickstarter essays. I’ve started doing some notes on Maurice Druon’s Accursed Kings and I’ve hauled out my notes on Dunk and Egg, so I’m hoping to spend the next week writing those up.

In the mean-time, I’ve got some stuff on the Tumblrs for you:



Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Sansa III, ASOS

“Sansa tried to run, but Cersei’s handmaid caught her before she’d gone a yard.”

Synopsis: a pre-teen girl is forced into marriage with an enemy of her family and for some reason people think she is the bad guy.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

Continue reading

RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup (Part II)

Quotes have been put into the outline for Sansa III, which is going to be a rather difficult essay to write, because it requires a very delicate touch. The mountain of signature books has been successfully moved from front door to living room, so I plan to start signing them tomorrow.

In the mean-time, lots more Tumblrs:



%d bloggers like this: