Ran

References and Homages

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After coming across yet another reference that GRRM's snuck into AFfC, I've decided to actually go through the process of compiling all of these to put into the FAQ at the Citadel. I'd appreciate any assistance people can give. :) AFfC references should be proteced. We're including those that actually appear in the novels, rather than those that appear outside of them (i.e., unpublished Heraldry). We include some references that GRRM makes to his own work, but only those which seem like deliberate nods to those works rather than simply reusing names, ideas, etc. (i.e., Robb and Lyanna are reuses of the names Rob and Lya from "A Song for Lya", rather than a nod).

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.
    SPOILER: AFfC
    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.
    SPOILER: AFfC
    The lord of the House is Lord Trebor, whose name when reversed reveals "Robert".

  • SPOILER: AFfC
    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.

  • SPOILER: AFfC
    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.

  • SPOILER: AFfC
    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".

  • SPOILER: AFfC
    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.

  • SPOILER: AFfC
    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

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Ooh good idea to stick all the references together!

I also thought that the Red Wedding could be slightly similar to the historical St. Bartholomew Days' Massacre.

Edited by loathsome warg

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Well, we've had fever dreams popping up, which probably refer to Fevre Dream.

SPOILER: AFfC
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".

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kli,

Yeah, I know. But "And Seven Times Never Kill Man" is the only story where the Steel Angels are actually featured -- they're just referenced in everything else, IIRC. Still, I've added that detail. :)

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kli,

Yeah, I know. But "And Seven Times Never Kill Man" is the only story where the Steel Angels are actually featured -- they're just referenced in everything else, IIRC. Still, I've added that detail. :)

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Few things:

-Samwell being called Ser Piggy. Piggy was a character from Lord of the Flies. The most intelligent kid on the island, and overweight. He was loyal to Ralph (Jon Snow) the leader of the children.

-Arya being close to the name Arha in the Tombs of Atuan. Arha means 'nameless one' which refers to Arya more and more. (Arya also may be going down the path in La Femme Nikita, about a female assassin)

-Patchface: an equivalent to the Fool in King Lear or the boy Pyp (who is left floating in the sea and goes mad) in Moby Dick. Both offer a wisdom in their madness.

-Stannis, Davos, Melisandre. This triangular relationship is reflected in Moby Dick as well between Ahab, Starbuck and Fedallah. Starbuck (Davos) is Ahab's loyal man who tries to save him from self-destruction, while Fedallah (Melisandre) is a fire-worshipper, symbolized as a demon, pushing Ahab towards his fate and self-destruction.

-Aegon the Conqueror and William the Conqueror of England. Both established lasting monarchies.

-Norse Mythology. I believe the Long Night/Other's Invasion has similarities to Ragnarok the Long Winter/Apocalypse found in Norse Mythology.

-Bran/Hodor: MasterBlaster in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Little guy sits in basket on big guy's back. Master (Bran through warging) is the brains and Blaster (Hodor) is the muscle.

Edited by Jughead of the Round

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Jon says "You're a sweet fool, Sam" to Samwell. The exact same words are used by Frodo to Sam. (This would benefit from page references...)

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Jon says "You're a sweet fool, Sam" to Samwell. The exact same words are used by Frodo to Sam. (This would benefit from page references...)

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SPOILER: AFfC
p. 176
"Grand Maester Pycelle told Cersei that she had not lost a son, but rather gained a daughter."


This is a reference to Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail, where the King of Swamps Castle says pretty much the same thing.
Edited by Ran

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I´m currently reading "Angelique" by Anne Golon (got it on the flea market for 1€...) and the count Angelique married is called Joffrey. May well be just coincidence, however.

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An important figure in Stephen Donaldson's well-known fantasy series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is named Kevin Landwaster. The name of Kevan Lannister could be a reference.

I can't find the appropriate page number at the moment, but I think there is a House Rogers of Amberly, described as having a banner with nine unicorns on it. This is probably a reference to Roger Zelazny's Amber books, where the royal family has nine princes and uses the unicorn as its symbol.

Similarly, I can't find the reference at the moment, but I'm pretty sure there is a Titus Peake, whose banner features three towers. This is a reference to the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake, the main character of which is named Titus, and which takes place within a massive crumbling castle.

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SPOILER: AFfC
p. 176

"Grand Maester Pycelle told Cersei that she had not lost a son, but rather gained a daughter."

This is a reference to Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail, where the King of Swamps Castle says pretty much the same thing.

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Two possible nods:

* In AGoT's prologue, Will says My mother told me that dead men sing no songs which could be a nod to GRRM's book Songs Dead Men Sing

* In the first Arya chapter in ASoS it is said that That was the day without a dawn which I think is a nod to LotR in which the day without a dawn was the first day of the battle in the Pellenor fields.

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The big castle in Edinburgh, in Martin´s beloved Scotland, is called Castle Rock...does that ring a bell...?

Edited by BlackTalon

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This one is a bit tenuous, admittedly, but my dad noticed it and I was pleasantly surprised by the parallel.

When Khal Drogo crowns Viserys with a hot pot with melted gold, it's very similar to the way that Ayesha, She Who Must Be Obeyed from the H. Rider Haggard Story "She" kills her enemies and servants who disappoint her: she places a red-hot iron pot over their heads.

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When Joff makes a small cut on Mycah's cheek early in AGOT, it always reminds me off the six-fingered man from The Princess Bride.

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Two other possible nods:

* The Lady of Leaves from one of Arya's chapters in ASoS can be a nod to Galadriel from LotR, and the wood where she rules a nod to Lothlorien

* Oberyn Martell's repeating ""You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children." when fighting against Gregor Clegane, can be a nod to Inigo Montoya's words "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!" from the Princess Bride

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Two other possible nods:

* The Lady of Leaves from one of Arya's chapters in ASoS can be a nod to Galadriel from LotR, and the wood where she rules a nod to Lothlorien

* Oberyn Martell's repeating ""You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children." when fighting against Gregor Clegane, can be a nod to Inigo Montoya's words "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!" from the Princess Bride

Edited by Rhaegar's Son

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