Category Archives: A Song of Ice and Fire

RTFIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! So unfortunately, the exciting book announcement isn’t quite ready, but the progress reports I’m getting indicate that it’s very close. In the mean-time, since those of us on the East Coast of the U.S are somewhat snowbound, here’s some tumblrs:


Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Catelyn III, ASOS


Outside the thunder crashed and boomed, so loud it sounded as if the castle were coming down about their ears. Is this the sound of a kingdom falling?”

Synopsis: Rickard Karstark commits suicide in an extremely elaborate fashion.

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.

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RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! Now that Politics of Dorne (and with it, the entire Politics of the Seven Kingdom series) is done, it’s back to ASOS (which I know will make some of you very happy indeed). Also, I should have an exciting book-related announcement in a day or two.

In the mean-time, we’ve got Tumblrs:



Politics of the Seven Kingdoms: Dorne (Part III)

Dorne map

credit to ser Other-in-law

Politics of Dorne Part III

With the arrival of Aegon I Targaryen to the Westerosi mainland, we get the most detailed section of Dornish history, with extensive coverage both in the Dorne chapter and the various chapters of the roll of Targaryen monarchs and their foreign policy towards the only foreign kingdom on their content. All the same there are some frustrating silences in the record that leave major questions about Dornish political culture.

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RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! I’ve finished teaching for the semester, which means I’ve got a week and a bit clear to do some writing before final papers come in to be graded. So with any luck I should be able to finish Politics of Dorne Part III (currently at 1,000 words) and the next ASOS chapter before then.

In the mean-time, we’ve got some stuff on the Tumblrs:



RFTIT Tumblr Weeklish Roundup

Hey folks! Thanks for putting up with my long delay on finishing up Part III of the Life of the High Spider (which still has some errors that’ll need to be fixed when I combine all three parts into one document). I’ve already started work on the last part of the Politics of Dorne,  but it’ll be a while in coming because I have a lot of grading to do in the next week.

In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of great stuff on the Tumblr:



RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! With the behemoth of Tyrion III out of the way, work has begun on the High Spider Part III and Politics of Dorne Part III. When the latter is done, that’ll mark the end of that particular Kickstarter essay series (definitely the longest non-chapter essay series I’ve done so far), which means there will be some space in my rotation. So after the Politics of the Seven Kingdoms series is finished, I’ll be doing a one-off on elections in Westeros and then my next series will be analyzing the Dunk & Egg series through the lens of the Blackfyre Rebellions.

But in the mean-time, there’s some good stuff in the Tumblrs:

Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Tyrion III, ASOS

“Too many strange faces, Tyrion thought, too many new players. The game changed while I lay rotting in my bed, and no one will tell me the rules.”

Synopsis: Tyrion attends a Small Council meeting and finds out he’s engaged. Mazeltov?

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.

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Politics of the Seven Kingdoms: Dorne (Part II)

credit to Sir Other-in-Law

If in Part I, there was a crippling lack of information about the history of Dorne, with the arrival of Nymeria and the Rhoynar we go from drought to flood. While I would argue that the full story of Nymeria’s odyssey to Dorne is one of the best additions to WOIAF, providing a great and sweeping drama of storms, pirates, haunted lost cities, plagues, and finally a safe harbor, the sheer romantic force of the story can obscure as much as it reveals. To give one short example:

“The mightiest river in the world, the Rhoyne’s many tributaries stretched across much of western Essos. Along their banks had arisen a civilization and culture as storied and ancient as the Old Empire of Ghis. The Rhoynar had grown rich off the bounty of their river; Mother Rhoyne, they named her. Fishers, traders, teachers, scholars, workers in wood and stone and metal, they raised their elegant towns and cities from the headwaters of the Rhoyne down to her mouth, each lovelier than the last…

Art and music flourished in the cities of the Rhoyne, and it is said their people had their own magic —a water magic very different from the sorceries of Valyria, which were woven of blood and fire. Though united by blood and culture and the river that had given them birth, the Rhoynish cities were elsewise fiercely independent, each with its own prince…or princess, for amongst these river folk, women were regarded as the equals of men.

The Rhoynish warrior with his silver-scaled armor, fish-head helm, tall spear, and turtle-shell shield was esteemed and feared by all those who faced him in battle…” (WOIAF)

This is a quite rich picture of Rhoynish culture, and we can see in it the seeds of much of Dornish culture: its arts and its music, its gender egalitarianism, its technology, and even its way of war. The problem is that the more we learn, the harder it becomes to see a distinctly Dornish culture before the Rhoynar came: what gods did they worship, since the weirwood-less First Men of Dorne were unlikely to have taken up the Old Gods of the Children of the Forest? Which songs did they sing? What were their customs and traditions of gender roles? How did they go to war? And these questions are quite important when it comes to how we analyze the story of Nymeria and the Rhoynar: is this a story of immigration and cultural integration or a story of colonization?

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