Quick Analysis of WOAIF Barnes & Noble Sample

For those of you eagerly salivating for the upcoming World of Ice and Fire book, Barnes and Nobles’ page for the book has some interesting sample images. Check them out! Commentary below the cut:

The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones

The Kings of Winter:

  • giants and skinchangers south of the Wall!
  • the Barrow Kings seem pretty logical for a southern North power center that the Starks had to overcome.
  • lots of royal blood in the North. The Flints, Slates, Umbers, Lockes, Fishers, Ryders, etc. Even the Glovers, a mere Masterly House! We’re running out of vassal houses that weren’t kings.
  • the Blackwoods were of the North, a reverse Manderly?! That’s confusing as all hell.
  • looks like the Starks’ warging comes from the Warg King of Sea Dragon Point. Very interesting that the Children weren’t always buddy-buddy with the Starks.
  • The Red Kings were some gruesome bastards. Although the sacking of Winterfell is a bit odd – I thought Winterfell had never fallen?
  • interesting that the Bolton surrender coincided with the Andal invasion; does help to explain why the Starks were able to fend off invasion if they had managed to centralize power in the North rather than being internally divided.

…damn, unfortunately can’t read the other pages. Can anyone else?

Also wanted to mention: I will be doing a chapter-by-chapter analysis of the WOIAF book, the book should be in my hands by the evening of the 28th, but I may be a bit delayed by grading.

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43 thoughts on “Quick Analysis of WOAIF Barnes & Noble Sample

  1. scarlett45 says:

    I can’t wait!

  2. I want this book so badly, so very badly. Thank you for sharing this little tidbits of info Steve.

  3. Kuruharan says:

    I spent an embarrassing amount of time yesterday trying to make the page with the giant and the child readable without luck. I think all the other ones (except for the Kings of Winter page, but we can read that) have been seen before, although I can’t seem to find the Highgarden page again.

  4. Todd says:

    Do you think the illustrations are worth it to get this as a physical book versus ebook? I wonder if I’m going to miss out on anything too material if I get the Kindle version…

  5. Winnie says:

    I think the Red Kings sacking Winterfell-and might be a continuity error.

    • I hope so. Besieging Winterfell I could see.

      But sacking Winterfell would kind of lessen the impact of the end of ACOK.

      • Amestria says:

        If they burned the Winter town and penetrated the first two walls but couldn’t take the keep, does that count as sacking? If you’re dealing with multiple layers of defense and inhabition, a place being sacked does not necessarily mean it fell.

        • I don’t think you’d use that term. Sacking generally comes after the castle falls.

          • rw970 says:

            The term used was “taken and burned Winterfell itself.” Not that that changes anything.

            It would perhaps explain why Ramsay burned Winterfell, an act that didn’t really make sense strategically. Yeah, he’s a hot head, but now there’s a larger symbolism behind it, in that the historical zenith of Bolton power was when the Red Kings burned Winterfell.

      • Ian G. says:

        I dunno – you could see it that way, or you could see it as the repetition of an ancient pattern – a theme we’ve seen a lot in the series. It’s still a catclysmic event if it hasn’t happened in millenia, rather than ever.

        In other news,I continue to gather wool for my crackpot theory of a familial relationship between the Boltons and the Redforts; that the Boltons styled themselves Red Kings and had Kings with the name Royce – hey, it’s a family from the Vale, anyway – will only feed my fevered imagination.

  6. Sean C. says:

    The page on the history of the North feeds into one of my fixations with minor details of this history: namely, the inconsistent use of regnal numbers for the various pre-Targaryen states.

    We get a Royce II and Royce IV among the Bolton kings here, which is the first time regnal numbers have been used for historical kings north of the Neck; ergo, they aren’t completely foreign to it. We’ve also seen regnal numbers used in the Reach (Gyles III, Garth XII, Mern IX), the Rock (Tommen II, Lancel IV, Lancel V), Runestone (Robar II), the old River kingdom (Tristifer IV, Tristifer V), and the Seastone Chair (Balon IX, Euron III).

    But regnal numbers are conspicuously absent from other histories. Notably, the Arryns, the Martells, and (especially) the Starks. Every King of Winter we’ve been referred to has either a unique name (Jon, Edwyn, Rodrik, Harlon, etc.) or a shared name with a distinguishing epithet (two different Benjens, the endless Brandons).

    • Abbey Battle says:

      It might be inferred that the various Kingdoms employed different enumerating conventions (so while the Kings in the North disdained to employ a Regnal number, their near-neighbours the Red Kings did … possibly because Red Kings had a higher turnover rate than their near-neighbours and foremost rivals).

      It should also be noted that it’s perhaps unsurprising that as we’re going to be deluged with a multiplicity of monarchs in The World of Ice and Fire (a fictional history, as opposed to a novel) Archmaester Martin and his co-authors will feel both more comfortable with and more inclined to use regnal numbers in the text.

    • Well, we don’t know very much about the different Arryns or Martells to know much about regnal numbers.

      I had previously thought it was a North/South thing, but I’m guessing it’s something GRRM was just inconsistent about, or it’s a copy-editing mistake (a la Lady Forlorn).

    • Are the regnal numbers self applied by the northmen, or is this a southron maester applying a familiar concept onto a foreign culture?

  7. Abbey Battle says:

    I must admit that having waited so long for and being now so close to the release of The World of Ice and Fire my current mindset can best be illustrated with a Motivational Poster of Mr Ian Holm in character as Mr Baggins-by-way-of-Gollum jonesing for The Ring and captioned GIVE US THE PRECIOUS! (One must admit that this is EXACTLY the reaction invoked in this desperate nerd when the Precious – AHEM, ‘The World of Ice and Fire’ is mentioned).

    Unfortunately no one has actually created this poster as yet (Internet, I’m not angry just disappointed – this one should be Obvious).

    On a more serious note Maester Steven I salute your courage in taking upon yourself not one but TWO not-quite insupportably enormous tasks of annotation and commentary (at this point I shall have to start thinking of you as the Maester of La Mancha!).

  8. Abbey Battle says:

    I would like to suggest – given the relative ambiguity of the phrasing – that House Blackwood may have ruled lands in both the North and the River-lands; they were after all once Kings and it’s not impossible that they might have conquered that far North no matter how difficult HOLDING such widespread lands would have been.

    • Yeah, I don’t think they could have held both lands at the same time.

      • Abbey Battle says:

        Admittedly Robb Stark didn’t make a very good job of that business, but his example proves that it’s not technically impossible – merely impossible difficult! (made marginally more plausible at a time when the North and the Trident both honoured the ‘Old Gods’).

        It’s also possible and arguably a great deal more likely that the Blackwoods may have planted a collateral branch of the family tree in the North at some point.

        • It’s not just that it’s in the North, but it’s on the other side of both the Starks and the Barrow Kings.

          I lean much more heavily toward migration, first kings in one location, then the other.

      • Grant says:

        I suppose it’s possible based on the balance of power for a short period of time. We’ve seen both holdings spread out over various areas and kingdoms briefly expand greatly before contracting again in real life.

        Or it could be a case of overarching kingship that gave them brief leadership over other kings. There were examples on occasion among the Irish and Anglo-Saxons that could be inspiration.

  9. Abbey Battle says:

    One last thought Maester Steven; have you considered that there may be grounds upon which to draw comparisons between Prince Daemon Targaryen and Alcibiades of Athens? – both men of great gifts, not least amongst them a gift for making trouble …

    Both were born into what generously be described as a Golden Age, both were objects of envy and scandal in equal measure, both pursued a chequered career and both played a significant role in bringing that Golden Age crashing down (although whatever his vices, Prince Daemon at least numbered Loyalty amongst his virtues – his Brother doubtless suffered headaches on his account, but Usurpation never seems to have been numbered amongst them).

      • Abbey Battle says:

        I’m rather glad to see you say so; somewhat to my embarrassment my reading in the run-up to the release of THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE has been more focussed on the Ancient World than the Medieval (although especially in the case of Alexandrian period the differences can less remarkable than the similarities – just look at the Wars of the Alexandrian Successors … ).

        Another possible point of comparison which has struck me would be between the office of Triarch and the office of Strategos in Ancient Athens – obviously there also exists a debt of inspiration to the office of Consul in the days of Rome’s Republic (particularly the fact that inauguration takes place on New Year’s Day), but the very fact that it’s possible to serve consecutive terms as Triumvir (for decades on end) seems to make parallels to Magistracies of Republican Rome incomplete.

        Republican Romans of Senatorial rank REALLY hated being forced to wait their turn in the top office, after all! (even Augustus was smart enough to realise that a chance at the Top Office mattered more to the Senate than Supreme Power in the State … at least after several decades of civic strife).

        It also occurs to me to mention that I believe Triarch Horonno of the Tigers was the mastermind driving the Volantene drive for hegemony during The Century of Blood (not unlike Pericles during the Thrice-Nine Years War), a theory I’d be willing to bet you a stag to a star on!

        One wonders if the Triarch Trianna of the Elephants was his wife? (I’d imagine that it would take an unusual woman to bring the Century of Blood to an end AND become the only female known to have voted into Triumviral office – why not one able to support her Husband through nearly half a century in office?).

  10. Abbey Battle says:

    THE PRECIOUS HAS BEEN DISPATCHED!

    (I just received the appropriate E-Mail and could only constrain myself from bellowing out my Joy, heartily spiced with Relief, at the prospect of finally READING this particular volume by popping over here immediately and sharing the good news with all of you … or at least whomsoever happens to be desperate enough for something to read to look through MY posts!).

    Best wishes for the gratification of all our desires, all ye who await THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE – May none of us be entirely disappointed with out purchase.

  11. Sean C. says:

    I went to my local indie bookstore today to see about their hours tomorrow, and they just let me buy it today. That aborted my various plans to do law school readings, and I spent the last few hours going through it (I’ve covered somewhere between half and two-thirds, I’d say, leaving the Essosi portions and some of the Seven Kingdoms’ individual portions to read).

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