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Daniel von Gothenburg

Medieval miracle as inspiration for Bran's fall from the tower?

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This might be of some interest, especially to any Swedish readers.

There is a Swedish novel named "The Road to Jerusalem", written by Jan Guillou and first released in 1998. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Jerusalem )

The story's set in the 12th century, in what would later become Sweden where rivaling noble houses compete for the throne in both brutally violent and politically shrewd ways. The main character, Arn, is born the younger son of one these houses (not one of the main houses competing for the throne but close friends to the current king, somewhat mirroring the Ned Stark / Robert Baratheon relationship). In winter time, after a royal visit to his father's castle, Arn goes climbing on of the towers (to retrieve a bird he believes belongs to the royal family) and falls. He lies unconscious, while his mother sits by his bed praying. Finally, he awakes and it is considered a miracle.

Sounds a bit familiar? Well, with 99,99% certainty I can promise that the Swedish author never read or even heard about A Game of Thrones, at least not in -96/97. They just draw from the same sources of Medieval settings and actual history, similar to much of Europe. (And apart from this beginning, there are absolutely no other similiarities between the two works.)

I recently read a quite rare work-memoir released in 2002 by this Swedish author ("På jakt efter historien", meaning either or both "Hunting history" or "In search of the story"), where he reveals the history research for this novel. The plotline with the boy falling from the tower is mentioned. Personally I had already reflected on the similarity with Bran in AGoT, but always ruled it out as pure coincidence, However, he reveals that this plotline was not a work of his own imagination but entirely based on an existing so-called miracle story from the Middle Ages, a common sort of wide-spread stories from those times (religious propaganda, or fairy tales if you so will). 

Who knows! (Maybe someone on this forum.) Perhaps George RR Martin was inspired by this same Medieval miracle story, about the boy in winter falling from the tower and miraculously waking up? Not impossible!

(Contrary to Bran though, the child in "The Road to Jerusalem" is fully recovered and in later novels becomes the heroic Knight that Bran dreamed to be.)

The novels about Arn are well worth reading, if you like history novels about knights and medieval politics, but I'd advise you to stay away from the quite stupid and extremely watered down movie adaption (trailer below) that plauged cinemas in 2007.

Well, this interested me enought to mention it. Now you know.





Edited by Daniel von Gothenburg

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