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Tyrosh's Achievements


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  1. You gotta be kidding right? Start with Charlemagne, great King of the Franks, he even used Roman name in the title, as he was crowned the Emperor of the Romans... That entire archetype, used in fiction, of small European kingdoms (with crowns, princess and princesses, tournaments etc) was rooted in that era. If you wanna go east, all the way to Russian Cars, the very word - Car is derived from guess what - Caesar. Look no further than Redkeep, throne room, solars etc it's all very spacious and Roman-like. Harold Foster used similar scenography for Camelot. Middle age courts were very modest in contrast. That for 2 reasons - Kings of that era were devoted Christians (officially at least), and their treasure was considerably smaller from what Roman senators could afford for palaces, spas etc. You can see Wessex court pretty well reconstructed in The Last Kingdom - It was all very humble, they wisely chose to use their limited coin on weapons, armory and scrolls/books.
  2. Granted, unification of smaller kingdoms and calling themselves empire was common throughout Europe in middle ages, they all saw themselves (when unified) as new Rome. And in some capacity (be it Roman law, executive branch, conquest or trade) they would succeed, for a short period of time. Keep in mind Roman empire was undisputed ruler of western-world for over 1000 years, much like Westeros, on both accounts. Length in time and size and scope. In addition, Kingslanding is much like the city of Rome, described really well in Catelyn chapter, during her failed stealth mission. Finally you get that unique Roman outlook from Spider and Littlefinger, as if they just jumped out of Gladiator or some other Roman spectacle. It's interesting you see it more as Wessex/early England, I am not here to tell you there is a "correct" way to interpret fiction. George, much like Robert E. Howard, is mixing up things, using history a lot and drawing from everywhere. One of the reasons why using fantasy is such a good choice (as opposed to historical fiction), it gives him freedom. As for the magic, also like Howard, he is keeping it up to a minimum, so far, but that deserves another thread. Magic is tricky, even for the best of authors.
  3. No not really, the Realm of the Iron Throne is one of the many children of the Valyrian Freehold, which is the Roman Empire of Planetos. Not really, judging from the 1st book, Valyria is more like ancient Greece or Egypt, or mixture of both, a prototype to Rome/Realm. In it's inception Rome was uniting conquered tribes under it's own realm, obvious parallel with 7 kingdoms. Conqured tribes/kingdoms would be incorporated into a single realm (they would not burn everything to the ground). That, BTW George brought perfectly in early chapters, you have clear sense of kingdoms and the Realm, while you don't necessarily see how it will dissolve and what is about to go down. One thing I forgot to mention is plants/fruits/vegetables. They indeed appear to be the same as what we have on Earth, and familiar, however that can be easily rationalized or fixed without any editing. Take oak for example - There is oak from the frontier, Japanese oak and of course continental/European oak. Now if you would write a novel that takes place in Edo-period Japan, you wouldn't use term "Japanese oak", primarily because none of the characters knew for any other type, plus Japan as a state did not exist at the time. By the same token, onion in Westeros may have a stronger aroma, while it's somewhat smaller in size, and color is slightly different. It's famous Riverrun onion LOL
  4. Yeah, that would be a pretty good back story. I am picturing it as just another planet similar to Earth, inhabited with humans (most plants and animal species are the same or similar, and there is a single moon too LOL). Geography and technology/knowledge are different - good enough. There are reasons however why I think it's better left unsaid/ambiguous: - By spelling it out you gain nothing, better let reader unleash his/her own fantasy (or SF construct) and imagination. (Both SF-inclined and fantasy-oriented people can have their own back-story). - By providing it, ASOIF would officially become SF-Fantasy, and that would endlessly confuse distributors, book stores, marketing and licensing people etc., they like clear-cut labels. - Even though George's SF novels are as high in quality as ASOIF, he never had much commercial success with them, while ASOIF is a smash-hit, so I guess he doesn't want to jinx himself. - By leaving it as Fantasy-fantasy you do not have to provide a scientific explanation for every little thing, can be distracting (and conflicting down the road). I love the idea of human-only aliens, who developed different technology, have their own history (which parallels in many ways Earth history) etc. It was not explored in SF all that much, I mean we almost have alien-archetypes in popular fiction: - Unimaginable monsters (Alien). - Exact opposite from the above - Utter innocence (IT, Avatar etc.) - More humanoid aliens (That stereotypical alien with huge head and black eyes, Engineers from Alien/Prometheus etc.) [There was a comic-book fantasy series (by Rosinsky/Van Hamme, the original run) - Thorgal, that executed the idea of human-aliens (and Earth-human visitors, similar to what you described) pretty well. It starts off with viking stories, transitions into Lord of the Ring type fantasy-adventure (with magic toned down to a minimum) and 2 or 3 major arcs are SF-fantasy.] Few interesting things about the technology in ASoIaF: - There is quite spectacular heating system in Winterfell, would love to have something like that. Granted, Romans did build bathrooms atop natural heat sources, but entire Stark's heat-distribution system is well above and beyond. At the present day we are still using external contraptions and radiators (heating embedded in walls would be quite expansive I guess). - Food and gastronomy are not of this Earth LOL. - Realm (as united by Thargerians) is the Roman empire of "Planetos", "dark-age" of course came afterwards on Earth (dark-age in many ways was a result of the fall of mighty Roman empire). It's reminiscent of Harold Foster's wonderful Prince Valiant series, a romanticized version of history, mixed up with English folklore and mythology. Camelot is pretty much a Rome of this alternative history; while banners, armory, clothing and of course tournaments George draws from there (more so than from actual history), and it's good that he does - I love it. It's not a homage (too long for that and embedded everywhere), and it's not a rip-off (story and characters are original), rather the atmosphere and look and feel - he nailed it. It's interesting to have fiction derived from fiction (Prince Valiant) which was in turn derived from fiction (romanticized history and folklore + myhtology), whilst at the same time human characters are sport on - hard ultra-reality. - Solars gained in popularity in late 15th century in northern Europe, while they are widely used in castles all over Westeros. - Fabric and clothing, they are using linen and silk. It was Marko Polo who brought silk to Europe way after middle-ages. Colors too - vivid colors and higher palette would probably shock a commoner from Euro middle ages. - Tecnological progress is way, way slower on Planetos; that may not be by design but gels perfectly nevertheless. There are probably many other examples of different/asynchronous technological development on Planetos, it's just wonderful read altogether, I am only half-way book 1 (1st read).
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