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snkrfnd said: I'm a fan of the crossroads inn. When I'm reading and the inn makes an appearance, I'm about guaranteed there will be an interesting plot development. How do you feel about it and it's continued place for exciting Westerosi happenings?

nobodysuspectsthebutterfly:

I think it’s a pretty interesting place! The story that Septon Meribald relates about it is fascinating:

“The Old Inn, some call it. There has been an inn there for many hundreds of years, though this inn was only raised during the reign of the first Jaehaerys, the king who built the kingsroad. Jaehaerys and his queen slept there during their journeys, it is said. For a time the inn was known as the Two Crowns in their honor, until one innkeep built a bell tower, and changed it to the Bellringer Inn. Later it passed to a crippled knight named Long Jon Heddle, who took up ironworking when he grew too old to fight. He forged a new sign for the yard, a three-headed dragon of black iron that he hung from a wooden post. The beast was so big it had to be made in a dozen pieces, joined with rope and wire. When the wind blew it would clank and clatter, so the inn became known far and wide as the Clanking Dragon.”
“Is the dragon sign still there?” asked Podrick.
“No,” said Septon Meribald. “When the smith’s son was an old man, a bastard son of the fourth Aegon rose up in rebellion against his trueborn brother and took for his sigil a black dragon. These lands belonged to Lord Darry then, and his lordship was fiercely loyal to the king. The sight of the black iron dragon made him wroth, so he cut down the post, hacked the sign into pieces, and cast them into the river. One of the dragon’s heads washed up on the Quiet Isle many years later, though by that time it was red with rust. The innkeep never hung another sign, so men forgot the dragon and took to calling the place the River Inn. In those days, the Trident flowed beneath its back door, and half its rooms were built out over the water. Guests could throw a line out their window and catch trout, it’s said. There was a ferry landing here as well, so travelers could cross to Lord Harroway’s Town and Whitewalls.”

So, here’s an inn, of ancient history, run by basically the closest thing Westeros has to bourgeoisie, middle-class smallfolk with surnames. Originally named in honor of the Targaryens (Jaehaerys and Alysanne, my favorite), tangentially involved in the Blackfyre Rebellion (the story of the black dragon disguised as a red one is something many feel is a hint to “Aegon”’s plotline). And interestingly, Jon Heddle’s probable descendant Black Tom Heddle was involved in the Second Blackfyre Rebellion (as seen in The Mystery Knight).

And it was a center of commerce and travel, even after the river moved (some 70 years before the present day). Masha Heddle ran the inn (woman-owned business, yo), until unfortunately the incident with Tyrion and Catelyn took place there. And so when Tywin got to the inn, he hanged her. Her nephew tried to run the inn, even bringing in whores to attract business (during wartime in the hell of the Riverlands, not easy), until the incident with Sandor and Arya and Gregor’s men happened there… and so some lord killed him too. (It’s not easy being an innkeeper who gets blamed for bad stuff they can’t control. It’s not easy being a Heddle for that matter.)

And so Masha’s young nieces, Jeyne and Willow, took over the inn… working with the Brotherhood Without Banners, basically running it as a home for children orphaned by the war. Gendry worked there as a blacksmith and protector, too. Until the incident with Brienne and Rorge and Biter… though thankfully between Brienne and Gendry, no one was hurt (except Brienne’s poor face).

Anyway… yes, I’m sure the Inn at the Crossroads will continue to have significant events happen there. I mean, the crossroads are where things tend to go down anyway, and this inn is… well, it may not exactly be cursed, but it’s definitely got the curse of interesting times.

I’m also pretty sure at least one Dunk and Egg story will have a scene there. Perhaps the one GRRM recently mentioned, “The Village Hero”? We’ll just have to wait and see. :)

I expect a major battle against the Others will take place at the Inn at the Crossroads. it might be their Gettysburg (except furthest South, rather than furthest North).

If not there, then near Harrenhal/Gods Eye.

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"Walter White is a bigger monster than anyone in Westeros."

George R.R. Martin

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My sister’s jack russell puppy, Willie, is staying with me and Georgia. It’s not going well. Georgia is pretty cranky.

To soothe her, I gave her a duck stick. She trotted off with the treat, but instead of nomming down, she dropped it behind her. And then peed on it.

She left a peed-on duck stick for Willie.

Euron’s gifts are poisoned.

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"At some point, I stopped and I drew a map, and by that time I think I knew it had to be at least a novel. Probably had to be a trilogy. In ‘91 trilogies were still the form everyone was working in in fantasy. It was Jordan was the one who broke that mode by going beyond the trilogy concept, and I’m not sure that’d happened yet, by ‘91."

George R.R. Martin

(As a friend reminded me yesterday, it is the very opposite of encouraging that GRRM cites Robert Jordan as an influence on his unfinished magnum opus.)

(Source: observationdeck.io9.com)

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io9 on Daenerys’ storyline

"The Dothraki storyline is just a stepping stone for Dany’s overall storyline which is more deeply racist - essentially, a liberal white woman who goes around saving and civilising brown people."Aamer Rahman at io9

Rahman seems to nail the plot, but miss the point. Dany’s story is precisely the story of a white liberator of non-white people, but it is about how troubling that image it is and how endemic it is in fantasy.

George R.R. Martin is a revisionist epic fantasy author, rewriting and altering some of the tropes and themes that spoiled most post-Tolkien fiction in the swords n’ sorcery genre. Just as he did with the story of the warrior son avenging his father (murdered at a wedding) and the single honorable man saving the realm (beheaded by the king), Martin is unraveling the white liberator mytheme.

I’m not going to go into detail about future books, but I’d say that A Dance with Dragons is first and foremost about the problems of hegemony and disrupted power structures (both at the Wall and in Meereen). Dany’s storyline is exactly about what Rahman says it is not, which brings me to something I see too often.

The inability to separate depictions of social ills from social ills themselves is a barrier to meaningful criticism. The author’s tone and the reactions of readers and viewers is too often sucked out of the equation. While I’d never say that works like ASOIAF or Buffy the Vampire Slayer are without their problems, it’s either asinine or foolish to say Martin and Whedon are not aware and deliberate of their actions.

Dan and David added a “crowd surf” scene to the television show. It’s a pretty little white girl freeing a bunch of darker skinned people and then getting raised above them in an act of parental fealty (they’re actually chanting “mother.”) I know some people have read that purely on the surface and thought it a quaint hero moment, but it’s so on the nose that I’d bet most viewers noticed the irony dripping off the screen. While most of the complexity in Dany’s plotline has been scoured on the TV show, this moment worked for me on both levels, as I imagine it was intended.

Rahman goes on to say he is troubled by what he thinks he is supposed to do— i.e. root for Daenerys as a fantasy hero, despite all of the problems inherent in her story— when what he is actually doing— feeling troubled— is the actual heart of the story.

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Young Avengers #3 (vol. 2)Artist: Jamie McKelvie, Writer: Kieron Gillen

Young Avengers #3 (vol. 2)
Artist: Jamie McKelvie, Writer: Kieron Gillen

(Source: comixology.com)

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ZOMG. New sample chapter from The Winds of Winter!

ZOMG. New sample chapter from The Winds of Winter!

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BABY RHINO’S NAME IS ASHA (Greyjoy)

BABY RHINO’S NAME IS ASHA (Greyjoy)

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It is no accident that the most psychopathic, banal lord in Westeros shares his name.

It is no accident that the most psychopathic, banal lord in Westeros shares his name.

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Brutally honest house mottos

Brutally honest house mottos

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The Akin political fracas reminds me of Ramsay Snow and Roose Bolton.

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Oberyn and Tywin

SPOILERS FOR A STORM OF SWORDS and A FEAST FOR CROWS

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