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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RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks: so the fixing of the physical manuscript for Volume II is almost done, and should be done by this Friday, and Volume I should be done the following Friday. And once that process is done, we will actually be off to the printers!

Tyrion III is up to 4300 words and Politics of Dorne Part II is up to three pages, so we’ll see how writing goes. In the mean-time I have a few things from the Tumblrs:

Analysis of “Sons of the Dragon”

credit to Amok

Our long wait for more George R.R Martin content – it’s been a year and four months since we got “The Forsaken” – has ended, as we now have “Sons of the Dragon,” an unexpurgated version of the reigns of King Aenys and King Maegor.

Now that the withdrawal shakes have faded, what new information do we get about their reigns?

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RFTIT Tumblr Weeklish Roundup

Hey folks! First bit of business: Marc my editor wanted to let you know that Amazon should have sent update emails to anyone with e-book copies of Volume I, so you should definitely go ahead and get that updated so you have the most up-to-date version. Also, work with the physical manuscript is proceeding, although some errant formatting on the website made a bunch of stuff all-caps so that has to be fixed.

On to matters of content. So I’ve put in the quotes to my outline for Tyrion III, and I have a feeling this is going to be a particularly long one, because this is the chapter where the new Small Council divvys up the goods from the War of Five Kings, where Tyrion and Cersei’s marriages are set up, and ultimately where we see the Red Wedding from the (Tywin) Lannister perspective. (I’ve also started writing Politics of Dorne Part II, so there’s plenty of content on the way.) In the mean-time, we’ve got Tumblrs:

The Headcanon Challenge: A Commentary on the True Life of the High Spider, Part II

A while back, JSLAL from Wars and Politics of ASOIAF got a really interesting question on Tumblr, asking him to come up with a character who could fill in some of the gaps in Westerosi history. I really liked his response, and so when I got the same question, I decided to see if I could do one better.

(Much thanks goes out to @hiddenhistoryofwesteros and @cynicalclassicist for their assistance in pre-reading and editing this document.)

Below the cut is part two of the life of the High Spider…

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Book/Kickstarter Announcement

More news on the book front!

First, the updated version of Race for the Iron Throne Volume I is now up on Amazon, so if you have already have your copy of the e-book, make sure to update it either on your app or through Amazon’s website.

Second, we are in the process of finalizing the print manuscript for both Volume I and Volume II for submission to Amazon. According to my editor, “the plan right now is to submit the finalized manuscript for Vol. II by next Friday, and to do the same for Vol. I by the following Friday.” Once the manuscripts are approved by Amazon, we’ll get to work shipping them out to the Kickstarter backers, and sometime after that making them available to the general public.

I cannot wait to have these things in my (and your) hands!

Politics of the Seven Kingdoms: Dorne (Part I)


The Dorne chapter of World of Ice and Fire is one I feel profoundly ambivalent about. On the one hand, of all of the kingdoms chapters it provides the most vivid portrait of a people, which does go to some lengths to giving Dornish culture more depth and variety. On the other hand, it is the least historical of any of the chapters, providing only a few snapshots of the very recent history of Dorne, which cannot help but give the chapter the feeling of a travelogue of an exoticized land, a land without history.

And this brings us to the issue of orientalism…

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