Hi, everybody, here are a couple of my observations. A completely mixed bag, from poetry to historical parallels: First of all, the title of "Song of Ice and Fire" always made me think of this poem by Robert Frost: Fire and Ice Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I've tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice. Robert Frost Then, in AFfC, Lancel quotes Oscar Wilde, from the Ballad of Reading Gaol, when he says that "The brave man slays with a sword, the craven with a wine skin." The original: Yet each man kills the thing he loves By each let this be heard. Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word. The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! And, when I recently reread that poem, I also found this: Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Lust, Some with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold. Seems familiar? Since the poem is - among other things - about the things done for love or to love ones, I'm sure it would be possible to find more unspecified allusions, too, but the "hands of gold" are rather striking. Ok, on to history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_Nesle_Affair The fate of Margaret of Burgundy has a lot of parallels to the plot Cersei concots to bring down Margaery and her cousins: both get accused of adultery. The guilty men are knights and brothers, and the thing is brought to light by a beautiful blonde queen with a reputation for being a b*tch... Let's just hope Margaery doesn't end like Margaret. A lot is made of the War of Roses parallels, but just one really struck me: Edward IV breaking a marriage contract and marrying Elizabeth Woodeville in secret, thus alienating his most powerful supporter, while bringing his bride's relatives to court and making them influential. But of course, this is just a very, very superficial parallel, aside from the fact that Woodeville sounds a bit like Westerling.