RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! Now that Dunk & Egg 2 is done, I’m sort of at a crossroads of what to do next, as I don’t have anything outlined. So right now I’m thinking that I’m going to do another People’s History of the Marvel Universe essay, and then bear down on ASOS to get to the Red Wedding.

But in the meantime, we’ve got some good stuff on the Tumblrs.




  • What do you think were the reactions, when Ser Duncan the Tall became commander of the King’s Guard?
  • I think Ser Duncan’s elevation was key to cementing the idea that Aegon V was “more than half a peasant.” Here is the more prestigious chivalric office in the kingdom, and he’s handed it to a disreputable hedge knight from Flea Bottom.
  • The reader learns in AGOT that the Dothraki think it’s acceptable to kill during a wedding. Is that not a problematic attitude since social norms like “Guest Right” exist, so that strangers can come safely together? I mean, won’t the dead have avenging friends and family?
  • The Dothraki don’t really seem to have the same social custom, in part because they live in a highly communal society in which everyone knows everyone else in the khalasar, since everyone is always out in the open and visible to one another, and other khalasars are always threats (until they are defeated and subsumed into your khalasar). The one exception is the taboo on shedding blood in Vaes Dothrak, because of Vaes Dothrak’s religious role in Dothraki identity and eschatology. 

Guest Appearance on Boiled Leather Audio Hour

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour

Given what’s going on in the world, it’s hard to avoid the topic of epidemics – and ASOIAF isn’t an exception, as we saw with Sworn Sword. When I discussed writing that essay on Twitter, my friend and colleague Stefan Sasse of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour thought we should sit down and talk about the many plagues of the World of Ice and Fire, how they shaped and reshaped Westerosi society, and how they compare to the Black Death and other medieval and early modern crises.

Have a listen.

Dunk and Egg, Essay 2: “A Sworn Sword After the Spring”

Amazon.com: The Sworn Sword (A Game of Thrones) (The Hedge Knight ...

If Hedge Knight was something of an exercise in finding the empty space where the Blackfyres would go in the story of Dunk & Egg, there is no such difficulty with George R.R Martin’s next entry in the series, Sworn Sword. Here, we have an embarrassment of riches, as Dunk spends the whole novella in the service of a veteran of the Redgrass Field, so that there’s very little in the text that doesn’t have some bearing on our topic.

In this this essay, therefore, I’ll be exploring GRRM’s first real stab at the Blackfyre through three interlocking themes: the role of romanticism and nostalgia in shaping memories of civil war; what fsctors motivated people to join the Blackfyre cause; and the ways in which the Osgrey/Webber feud stands in for the Blackfyre Rebellions as a whole. (There’s enough material in Sworn Sword to cover a fourth topic, namely the ways in which Bloodraven’s dictatorship prolonged the crisis, but since I’ll be covering that topic in much more detail in my essay on Mystery Knight, I’m moving that material to the latter essay.)

Continue reading

Guest Appearance on Ranking Thrones

Hey folks! Work on the second Dunk & Egg essay continues – I’m up to 3,800 words and still going strong – but in the mean-time, I’ve got something fun for you to listen to while I work on finishing up the essay. A couple weeks ago, I recorded a podcast with James Kelly and JSLAL (of WarsofASOIAF fame) over at Ranking Thrones, where we discussed the Blackfyre Rebellion in some detail, since I’ve got that particular conflict on the brain at the moment. 

Have a listen!

Non-ASOIAF Content: Talking Venture Brothers with Elana @ Graphic Policy Radio

Venture Bros. Wrapup: “Operation: P.R.O.M.” | grayflannelsuit.net

As longtime readers will remember, I used to do a podcast about the Venture Brothers with my friend and colleague Elana Levin over at Graphic Policy.

Since we’re all stuck indoors (and we’re still waiting on Season 8 to come out), Elana and I thought it would be fun to do a podcast about a classic VB episode. Our Twitter poll decided that we should cover the Season 4 finale episode, “Operation P.R.O.M,” and so we did.

Have a listen!


Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Arya VIII, ASOS

“When Arya saw the shape of a great hill…she knew it at once. They had come all the way back to High Heart.”

Synopsis: Arya goes back, then forwards. 

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.

RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! So Dany IV is now in the can, and I’m planning to move ahead with both Arya VIII (which is outlined and just needs the quotes plugged in before I can move foreward) and the next Dunk & Egg essay, since I have more time on my hands than is usual.

In the meantime, I have some good stuff on the Tumblrs…




  • What do you think is the inspiration for the race of giants in ASOIF and what role are they going to play in the story?
  • I have more than a sneaking suspicion that GRRM is something of a Bigfoot enthusiast, because the giants of ASOIAF resemble popular depictions of the American cryptid way more than the kind of giants you’d see in your Monster Manual. As for what role…they seem to be mostly thematic, a symbol of man’s negative impact on nature.
  • What are Shagga, Son of Dolf, and the Stone Crows doing in the King’s Wood? Do you think, they will play a relevant part again?
  • Being bandits, apparently. They might be a roadbump for the Golden Company, but I don’t think more than that.
  • In the last Arya-Chapter, you mentioned Gendry’s social advancement. This gave me a crazy idea. Could it be, that Martin plans for Gendry to be King at the end of ASOIF, sort as a “Gendry Baratheon, the Even-More-Unlikely-than-Egg-Wow-totally-Did-not-see-that-coming, First of his Name”, or am I just tripping right now?
  • I doubt it. Unlike in the show, Gendry’s social advancement has gone in a very different direction, what with him having his own smithy. Also, the books have Edric Storm, who’s better positioned for that role.


Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Daenerys IV, ASOS

“I am only a young girl, and do not understand the ways of war…”

Synopsis: Dany holds peace talks and wins a battle.

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.

RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! With Hour of the Wolf Part III in the rearview mirror and work on Dany IV well underway (up to 4,300 words but there’s some distance to go yet), it’s time for another Tumblr Roundup!



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