Aemon the Dreamer

Video of this can be found HERE

“Dragons,” Aemon whispered. “The grief and glory of my House, they were.”

I see them in my dreams, Sam. I see a red star bleeding in the sky. I still remember red. I see their shadows on the snow, hear the crack of leathern wings, feel their hot breath. My brothers dreamed of dragons too, and the dreams killed them, every one. Sam, we tremble on the cusp of half-remembered prophecies, of wonders and terrors that no man now living could hope to comprehend

– A Feast for Crows Samwell III

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Stannis Baratheon: Macbeth Revisited

Shakespeare of Thrones

It’s no surprise to find Macbeth‘s influence in A Song of Ice and Fire; both stories are steeped in political desire, fringed with the supernatural, and pulsating with an undercurrent of psychological torment.  But why present Stannis Baratheon, the most just and duty-driven of all characters, as a parallel to the greedy and ambitious Macbeth?

If for no other reason, to do what George R. R. Martin does best–smash up the literary tropes and make them his own. With a “justice” tweak in the Macbeth narrative, Martin has a conversation with Shakespeare and his readers, challenging them to a new question: if horrible deeds are committed in the name of duty and justice, does that relieve the heart and conscience?  In this essay we’ll compare the narratives and motifs of Macbeth and the Stannis storyline, and explore what the common metanarrative foreshadows for our One True King of Westeros.

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Morality Beyond the Wall: Con of Thrones 2018 Panel


Panel from Con of Thrones featuring Watchers on the Wall feature writer Patrick Sponaugle, author Ian Thomas Malone, Professor Priscilla Walton, and myself talking about the morality and ethics that exist beyond the Wall. Skinchangers, cannibals, tribal wars, trade through the Wall among Other topics.

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The Lemon Tree and the Red Door

Daenerys Targaryen is a woman who  yearns for the simpler times of her life. Long before she was Queen, Khaleesi, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of chains, she was just a child running through fields barefoot and looking out her window at a friendly lemon tree. Her house with a red door in Braavos, when things were easy and idyllic. Wait…Braavos? The dour, rainy, overcast place with a bustling port, merchants yelling about their oysters, clams, and cockles that looks like Venice mixed with Seattle? That’s where Dany remembers wide open fields, citrus trees, and calm easy living? How can those memories be of the same place?

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