To kick it off, I'll just rattle off a few that come immediately to mind:
- "... black hood, blue beetle, and green arrow": A reference to comic books, specifically the Archie comics superhero the Black Hood and the DC Comics heroes Blue Beetle and Green Arrow.
A variation on this appeared where the black hood was replaced by thunderbolts, which has been speculated to be a reference to the DC Characters the Flash (who is, with the Blue Beetle and Green Arrow, a member of the Justice League of America) and/or Johnny Thunderbolt of the Justice Society of America.
- "Lharys, Mohar, and Kurliket": Reference to the Three Stooges, Larry, Moe, and Curly.
- The Houses Vance: References to Jack Vance abound. The castle Wayfarer's Rest refers to Liane the Wayfarer in The Dying Earth, and the castle Atranta refers to the fantasy world invented by the titular character in Bad Ronald. And speaking of Bad Ronald, the sons of Lord Norbert (who, like Vance, is blind) are further Vancian references: Ronald the Bad (reference to the aforementioned novel), Kirth (reference to The Demon Princes), Hugo (for his Hugo awards), and Ellery (for the Ellery Queen mysteries that he ghost-wrote). The children of Lord Karyl Vance are also references: Emphyria (referencing Emphyrio), Rhialta (another reference to the The Dying Earth sequence, specifically the novel Rhialto the Marvellous), and Liane (as in the Wayfarer mentioned above.)
- House Jordayne of the Tor: A nod to Robert Jordan, who is published by Tor. The arms of the house include a quill, referring to his writing.
The lord of the House is Lord Trebor, whose name when reversed reveals "Robert".
Archmaester Rigney: An archmaester who wrote time is a wheel. This is a reference to Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. Jordan's real name is James Rigney.
- House Willum: Lord Willum's sons are named Josua and Elyas, and are quarrelsome. The reference is to Tad Williams and his "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" epic fantasy series, which feature (in part) the feuding royal brothers Josua and Elias. GRRM has cited the series as a major reason for why he went forward with "A Song of Ice and Fire".
- H.P. Lovecraft: It is speculated by some that the Drowned God of the Ironborn is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu. This may be made likelier by the fact that the name 'Dagon' (that of Lord Dagon Greyjoy) was used by Lovecraft in his horror fiction, who borrowed it from an ancient Philistine fish-god.
- Costayne of Three Towers: A reference to a Thomas B. Costain, a favorite historical fiction writer of GRRM's.
Harry Sawyer and Robin Potter: Two mock suitors of Brienne the Beauty who paid for their humiliation of her at the melee in Bitterbridge. She recalls unhorsing Harry Sawyer and then mentions having given Robin Potter a nasty scar on his head. Some intrepid readers speculate that the close proximity of the names, and the scar Potter received, is a reference to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, who has a distinguishing scar on his forehead.
Courtenay Greenhill: A knight who pays court to Margaery Tyrell, his names refer to two makers of to knights (which GRRM collects), Richard Courtenay and Peter Greenhill.
- Alaric of Eysen: A far-travelled singer in the books, the character is a reference to Phyllis Eisenstein and her minstrel character Alaric.
- Samwell: Speculated to be a nod to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, which contains the character Samwise Gamgee. Both characters share the diminutive Sam and both are loyal and steadfast to a friend (Samwell to Jon and Samwise to Frodo).
- Nightflyer: A ship captained by Lord Baelor Blacktyde that refers to an award-winning novella by GRRM, "Nightflyer".
Bakkalon, the Pale Child: A god of some foreign culture in the series, referencing a god of the same name in GRRM's story "And Seven Times Never Kill Man" and mentioned in several other tales set in GRRM's future history.
Rugen the undergaoler: Speculated to be a reference to be a The Princess Bride, which features the villain Count Rugen who maintains a dungeon.
- The Fever River: A river whose source is in the Neck is named after the river which gave GRRM's novel, Fevre Dream, its name.
- Lord Titus Peake: A reference to Mervyn Peake and his seminal work of fantasy,
the Gormenghast trilogy, starting with Titus Groan.
- Blackadder: House Wyl features a black adder on its arms. GRRM has confirmed that this is a nod to the BBC historical comedy series, [strong]Blackadder[/strong].
- House Frey: The famously virile Lord Frey and his large family probably owe their name to Frey, a Norse god of fertility.
Edited by Ran, 08 July 2012 - 04:10 AM.