Sunday Funnies: Bane of Thrones

Totally me.

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Book Crush: Review of ‘Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s a Song of Ice and Fire’

“Beyond the Wall” covers the series up until “A Dance with Dragons” and season one of the television series, Game of Thrones. This post contains no major spoilers. If you’ve only watched the show or haven’t finished the series you won’t be spoiled.

Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is a book of essays about our beloved series. After the second season of Game of Thrones ended and I finally finished A Dance with Dragons, I was a mixed bag of emotions. I was happy to have finally completed the massive series, and sad that I had no more Game of Thrones to consume. But then I realized I could finally enjoy my copy of Beyond the Wall without a fear of spoilers.

I’m a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire series and the Game of Thrones show. After 16 years since first being published, the conversation still burns as bright as the fires of R’holler. The authors in Beyond the Wall take these conversations a step (or two) further. It’s thought provoking and thoroughly entertaining. Topics such as feminism, sexual violence, outcast/the other, fantasy realism, religion and more are all explored in this book of essays.

Not only does Beyond the Wall break down the world of Westeros and Essos, but it exemplifies, page by page, something that us fans have known for a long time, that A Song of Ice and Fire is not only a great work of fantasy, but also a great work of literature. In the foreword, R.A. Salvatore says, “A writer writes to get people asking questions more than to give them answers, and the ultimate achievement of literature is to begin a conversation. To read [Beyond the Wall] is to recognize the depth and breath of the conversation A Song of Ice and Fire has started.”

This book is filled with essays that analyze characters, events and scenes in a captivating and still very accessible way. If you were to look at my copy you would think it has been through the red waste and back. It’s dog-eared, covered in neon pink highlighter, and graffitied with barely legible scribbles, exclamation marks and notes that only I can decipher. Because of Martin’s POV chapters, you get an even deeper sense of the characters. However, there are essays that I’ve read in Beyond the Wall that gave me a better understanding of characters I thought I knew like the back of my (Quran Half)hand.

One of the more enlightening essays is “Art Imitates War: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in A Song of Ice and Fire” by Myke Cole. In this, Cole describes how Arya Stark and Theon Greyjoy are both suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in very different ways. Not only did I learn about PSTD and the Cooper Color System, but, for me, Cole also focused the lens on these two characters storylines. One of my favorite essays is by Matt Staggs, “Petyr Baelish and the Mask of Sanity”, which basically goes on to say that Littlefinger is a psychopath. Literally.

To say that George R. R. Martin writes strong female characters is an understatement. From Arya to Brienne to Cersei, all of the women are strong in their own way and all embody very different and complex representations of woman. There are several essays that delve into the women of Westeros (because one just isn’t enough). In Caroline Spector’s essay, she can condense in one sentence the role of women in ASoIaF by stating, “Martin has created a subversively feminist tale.”

You can’t talk about Game of Thrones without talking about magic and religion. The two worlds are connected; overtly like R’holler and Melisandre and in more subtle ways like the green-seers and old gods. The aptly titled essays, “Of Direwolves and Gods” and “A Sword Without a Hilt”, by Andrew Zimmerman Jones and Jesse Scoble respectively, explore the fascinating ways magic and religion are portrayed in ASoIaF and how it effects Westeros, Essos and its people.

Whether you pray to the old gods or the new, if you consider yourself a fan of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire, you should read Beyond the Wall.

Order the book on Amazon

Tattoo Tuesday- Game of Thrones

War and winter are here! Season 2 of the HBO series Game of Thrones premiered Sunday and if you’re a fan like me, you were buzzing with excitement! Because of my love for the show, I began reading the series it was based on, A Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin. I obsessively devoured the series and finally made it to the massive hardcover A Dance with Dragons.

For me, the major thing about the series is the characters. I’m pretty passionate about a lot of books and shows, but when characters grow on me is when I know I’m in deep. The character development is rich and dynamic. You feel like you know them, you relate to them, you’re protective of them. Of course, the story is amazing as well. The characters wouldn’t grow to who they become without the story. Simply put, Martin is brilliant. He knows how to keep us on our toes!

Most of the tattoos I found were House of Stark, no surprise there. But there were even two Greyjoy tats! Granted, I haven’t finished A Dance with Dragons yet, but they have been pretty much assholes throughout the series. So I’ll assume that person got that ink for Crow’s Eye and Asha, because they are pretty bad ass.

Oh and it’s my name day today!

I include all the information about the tattoo that was available. If you are interested in having me feature your tattoo on a future Tattoo Tuesday feel free to email me at girlgonegeekblog[at]gmail.com.

[Source: chiefsplanet]

“Knocked this little zinger out on my friend/fantastic Kiwi tattoo artist, Erin Chance… Game of Thrones, Stark family sigil…” [Source: archivetattoo]

[Source: noellesmith13]

Felippe Rodrigues from São Luis, Brasil and his Stark (and enterprise) tattoo [Source:  fyeahtattoos]

Tattoo by Erin Chance [Source: erinchancetattoo]

mrjacktorrance‘s tattoo, “I am a tremendous nerd. I fell in love with the Song of Ice and Fire books recently, and have devoured each book ravenously, watching the HBO series (Game of Thrones) twice and now, I will forever have a reminder of why I became a fan. House Stark, the wardens of the North. Their sigil, a grey and black direwolf, their motto: Winter Is Coming. The artist that inked me is a friend of mine, and a pretty talented guy for an apprentice. I can honestly say that of the few tattoos I have, this was the most fun.”[Source: fyeahtattoos]

Game Of Thrones Inspired Wolf – Sink The Ink, Doylestown, PA – Artist Benji Harris [Source: reddit]

[Source]

[Source: scrone-a-palooza]

House Targaryen tattoo, “Got my second tat at Wooster Street Social Club for HBO promotional free Game of Thrones day. Fire and Blood!” [Source: kdags4060]

 House Baratheon tattoo,”Done by Mig at Electric 13 Tattoo in Austin, TX.” [Source: fyeahtattoos]

Terry’s Greyjoy kraken tattoo, “My house greyjoy kraken tattoo, got today for free at Wooster social club, nyc” [Source: terryftw]

Read all about Wendy’s experience getting a free Game of Thrones tattoo curtosy for HBO on her blog,

“I wanted to get the Greyjoy kraken.  Here’s my reasoning:

A.) It’s a fucking Kraken! Krakens are badass, the Greyjoys are badass. (Shut up about Theon. He can suck it.  I just love Asha, and the rest of the drowned crew) Done.
B.) It was the best art. Let’s face it, it is a tattoo.  It’s for life.  I’m gonna go with what I would actually want on my body. I don’t really want a floating lion or direwolf head hanging out randomly on me.  I’m also not really a fan of getting a kinda tribal-y looking dragon – just not my style.  The Baratheon stag reminded me too much of the John Deere logo.  Nope, Kraken, you are for me.

My tattoo artist was Jeb. He usually tattoos at Fly Rite Tattoo in Williamsburg”  [Source: wendywatches]

Iron throne Ttattoo done by JD McGowan, “This is the first sitting for a full sleeve from the Game of Thrones. The iron throne took a good 6 hours to do but well worth it. thanks Miss Robyn.”  [Source: forbiddenimages]

Zac Scheinbaum tattooed this,”The tattoo of the cloaked skull is a nights watch tattoo I made up from the best books ever written! A song of ice and fire series by George R. R. Martin!!” [Source: zachsheinbaum]

“This tattoo was done by Sean at Ink Tattoo Studio in Kingston, Ontario. A couple of my buddies discovered this artist back in October and as soon as I saw his black and grey work I knew I had to have something by him. All I told him was “hawk”, “mountains”, and “Valar Morghulis”, and he did the rest. In the future, I might have the body and other wing of the hawk expanded, although at the moment I’m partial to the round shape of it.

“Valar Morghulis” comes from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and literally translates to “All men must die”. My personal attachment to the phrase comes from something Ygritte says in A Storm of Swords:

“You’re mine” she whispered. “Mine, as I’m yours. And if we die, we die. All men must die, Jon Snow, but first we’ll live.” [Source: fyeahtattoos]

[Source: cursedarmada]

“My 2nd tattoo, the House Stark heart tree from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. Art and tattoo by Jason, at Mind Over Matter.” [Source: tyshalae]

[Source: tattoosday]

Tattoo reads “I am the watcher of the walls. I am the sword in the darkness.”

Why Noelle Smith go this tattoo, “On the morning of my eighteenth nameday, my father came to me. You’re almost a man now, he said, but you’re not worthy of my land and title. Tomorrow you’re going to take the black, forsake all claims to your inheritance and start north. If you do not, he said, then we will have a hunt, and somewhere in these woods, your horse will stumble and you’ll be thrown from your saddle to die. Or so I will tell your mother. Nothing would please me more.

My story and Samwell Tarly’s is so similar it hurts. My father mentally and physically abused me for seventeen years. Constantly telling that I wasn’t good enough, that I would never become anything. One of my last memories of him is, him trying to kill my mother and threatening to kill me next.

From the moment I read Samwell’s story, I felt such a kinship with him. He was someone relatable. So broken and useless was exactly how I felt for many, many years. So I decided if Samwell could take the Black and say the words and come away a stronger person, that I would do the same. And here I stand.

I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls.” [Source: noellesmith13]