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I think Ramsey and Roose Bolton may have been inspired by two Roman emperors, Severus and Antoninus.

From Machiavelli's The Prince, "That We Must Avoid Being Despised and Hated" :

"Whoever examines in detail the actions of Severus, will find him to have been a very ferocious lion and an extremely astute fox, and will find him to have been feared and respected by all and not hated by the army..."

and "But Antoninus his son...his ferocity and cruelty were so great and unheard of...that he became hated by all the world and began to be feared by those about him..."

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I was Reading the Windblown Chapter, I read a line that made me laugh out loud and left me wondering if it's a Monty Python reference

page 325 in my copy, i think Books, Beans and Dick Straw were talking about the unsullied about having to face the queens real unsullied

"....the dragon's queen has got the real item, the kind that don't break and run when you fart in their general direction" HAHAHA GOOD STUFF!!!

there's no doubt in my mind if George intentionally put that in there as a reference, just wondering if anyone else has an opinion on the matter????

Honestly found the "fart in their general direction" line TOTALLY jarring, in that I immediately went "whaa? A Monty Python reference?" and lost my immersion in the story for a good couple minutes.

Edited by RhymesWithChic

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During the scene when Jaime and Brienne are arguing with Ser Cleos over whether they should continue riding, or just go to sleep, Jaime says:

No coz, the wench is right. We have promises to keep, and long leagues before us. We must ride on.

May be a reference to Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, which ends with the lines:

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep/But I have promises to keep,/and miles to go before I sleep."

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I think Ramsey and Roose Bolton may have been inspired by two Roman emperors, Severus and Antoninus.

From Machiavelli's The Prince, "That We Must Avoid Being Despised and Hated" :

"Whoever examines in detail the actions of Severus, will find him to have been a very ferocious lion and an extremely astute fox, and will find him to have been feared and respected by all and not hated by the army..."

and "But Antoninus his son...his ferocity and cruelty were so great and unheard of...that he became hated by all the world and began to be feared by those about him..."

Those would be Lucius Septimius Severus (145-211, reigned 193-211) and his son Aurelius Severus Antoninus, nicknamed Caracalla (188-217, reigned 198-217). Septimius rose to power through a three-way civil war. He managed to outmaneuver Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. He was essentially ruling through the support of the army, never particularly popular with the Senate. He was an effective military commander, credited with expanding the African borders of the empire and strengthening the border fortresses to the north. Both Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall received repairs and additional troops. He eventually fell sick during a campaign against the Caledonians (in modern Scotland). He died in Eboracum (modern York). He left as a legacy a greatly enlarged Roman military (the largest numbers of soldiers in its history) but a debased coinage.

Caracalla is today famous for granting Roman citizenship to all freemen across the Roman Empire. He gained his negative reputation by ordering the assassination of his younger brother, co-ruler, and rival Publius Septimius Geta (178-211, reigned 209-211). Making him a kinslayer. He then proceeded to slay various supporters of Geta, his own ex-wife and former father-in-law, etc. He increased taxation and forced the senators and other wealthy men to construct palaces, theaters, and other places of entertainment for him. All at their own expense. The soldiers experienced pay rises and better treatment.

Caracalla was eventually assassinated by a man of his personal bodyguard, allegedly for a personal grievance. The Prefect of the Praetorian Guard, Marcus Opellius Macrinus proceeded to declare himself emperor. Adding the family name "Severus" to his own name. he was deposed himself a year later by the family of Caracalla. Kinsmen of Caracalla continued ruling the Empire to 235.

Edited by Dimadick

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In ASOIF Martin weaves within his prose references to classic literature: thus, plot elements in DWD mirror those in Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar. This is deliberate on Martin’s part for he even borrows direct quotes, such as, "Cowards die many times before their deaths, / The valiant never taste of death but once" Julius Caesar (II, ii, 32-37). Check out Jojen Reed’s analogy of Bran’s greenseer abilities after they are “Martinized”: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . . The man who never reads lives only one”.

Jon Snow parallels Julius Caesar, whose friend Marcus Brutus [black brother Bowen Marsh] joins, then heads, a conspiracy to stop Caesar’s growing power by assassinating him in the Capital. Likewise, Lord Commander Jon Snow is betrayed by his sworn brothers of the Night’s Watch, stabbed in the presence of shocked onlookers. [A theme in JC is the “mob” mentality – how easily they switch sides and how vulnerable they are to manipulation ].

Shakespeare sets up his characterization of JC by making him arrogant, dismissing all the many, many warnings he receives in advance of his death. A Soothsayer bids him “Beware the Ides of March,” much like Melisandre warns Jon Snow of her fire visions – ‘daggers in the dark’. A ‘Night Watch’ reports to JC of strange events in Rome – a lioness hath whelped in the middle of the street. Compare this to Ghost and Mormont’s raven behaving strangely, seemingly aware of some danger their master is ill-equipped to perceive himself. [Lots of really weird stuff happened in Rome ‘supposedly’ the night before JC’s death – I just picked one; for instance, the graves also opened to yield their dead, which parallels ASOIF and the white walkers]

Caesar meets with several conspirators before the deed just as JS meets with Bowen Marsh. It is Brutus’ stab that is the “unkindest cut of all” and prompts “Et tu, Brute. Then fall Caesar”, after which Caesar collapses at the foot of Pompey’s Statue. Similarly, Bowen Marsh stabs JS, after which JS drops to his knees, whispers ‘Ghost’, grunts, and falls face first in the snow.

On the other hand, many, many marked differences exist between JC and JS (For instance, JC is stabbed 33 times, JS only four ‘that we know of’.). These intimations I noted are fun literary quizzes, and I think Martin likes to mix it up with artistic nods to the classics in his work.

Dolores Ed describes Septon Cellador, Othell Yarwyk, and Bowen Marsh as follows: “They have a hungry look about them . . . “ (517), which echoes Julius Caesar’s remarks to Marc Antony regarding the head conspirator Caius Cassius: “Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look, / He thinks too much; such men are dangerous” (Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 190–195).

Moreover, in Jon Connington’s POV, Varys tells him: “Those who die heroic deaths are long remembered, thieves and drunks and cravens soon forgot” (311).

From Antony’s funeral oration come these similar words: “The evil that men do lives after them; /

The good is oft interred with their bones (Julius Caesar Act 1II, scene 2). Note the twist in meaning between the two quotes – a sign that Martin is having some fun?

In Julius Caesar, Cassius compares Caesar to a Colossus, which mirrors Martin’s the Titan of Braavos from AFFC.

CASSIUS says to Brutus:

Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world

Like a Colossus, and we petty men

Walk under his huge legs and peep about

To find ourselves dishonourable graves. (Act 1. Scene II)

The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the seven wonders of the world, an enormous statue that straddled the Harbor of Rhodes, and sailors had to sail beneath its feet. From Wiki:

“The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek Titan Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes on the Greek island of Rhodes by Chares of Lindos between 292 and 280 BC. It is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.”

On AFFC, Arya sails beneath the Titan’s legs: “the Titan towered with his eyes blazing and his long green hair blowing in the wind. . . His legs bestrode the gap, one foot planted on each mountain . . .” (128).

Martin even calls him Titan.

Shakespeare also borrowed his info from Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.

Edited by evita mgfs

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Ramsay Snow keeps the skin of his female victims as trophies, like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.

I'm always waiting for Ramsay to show up at the door to Theon's cell and say "It put's the lotion on its skin or else it get's the hose again! It put's the lotion on its back put's it in the basket!"

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I'm always waiting for Ramsay to show up at the door to Theon's cell and say "It put's the lotion on its skin or else it get's the hose again! It put's the lotion on its back put's it in the basket!"

Sadly Ted Levine is probably too old and his image as a psychopath has been ruined by "monk" etc. Who to cast for Ramsey? Perhaps Daniel Radcliffe?

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In The Great Gatsby, Nick Caraway, the first person point of view narrator, warns Jay Gatsby: “You can’t repeat the past."

"Can’t repeat the past?" he [Gatsby] cried incredulously. "Why of course you can!"

(Gatsby 6)

  • These words are similar to in DWD, Bloodraven tells Bran, The past remains the past. We learn from it, but we can’t change it” (DWD 458).

Similarly, Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” also has a sunless sea:

  • “Through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea.”
  • Leaf warns Bran and others[ Jojen and Meera] not to explore “The river you hear is swift and black, and flows down and down to a sunless sea (453).

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****Arya’s “no one”. Ancient Greek warrior and King Odysseus, known for his ‘brain not his brawn” is an epic hero who winkles his way out of difficult situations by using his mind.

When Odysseus and his men are trapped in the cyclops’ cave, the giant one eyed Polyphemus grabbed a few men and dashed their heads against the wall, spilling out their brains. He then eats as Odysseus and his men weep.

Wily Odysseus gets Polyphemous drunk on undiluted wine, during which Polyphemous asks Odysseus what his name is. Odysseus replies, “No One.”

Polyphemous promises as his ‘guest gift’ he will eat “No One” last.

Later, when Odysseus outwits the cyclops, blinding him, and the hero escapes Polyphemous’ Cave beneath the monster’s sheep, Polyphemous screams for his brother cyclopes to help him.

They ask, “Who is hurting you?”

Polyphemous says, “No one is trying to kill me!”

His brothers roll their eyes and leave him.

The Giant Wun Wun pulls apart Ser Patrick Florent in DWD in a fashion that echoes Homer’s description of Polyphemous killing members of King Odysseus’ crew. In Book Six of his epic The Odyssey. “Devoid of pity, he [Polyphemous] was silent in response, but leaping up laid hands on my crew. Two he seized and dashed to the ground like whelps, and their brains ran out and stained the earth. He tore them limb from limb for his supper, eating the flesh and entrails, bone and marrow, like a mountain lion, leaving nothing. Helplessly we watched these cruel acts, raising our hands to heaven and weeping.”

Fortunately, Wun Wun is not a cannibal like Polyphemous.

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I believe someone made a reference to Jamie Lannister (sans one of his hands) as a possible homage to Maedhros from the Silmarillion. I thought the connection was stronger between Maedhros and Qhorin.

From the Silmarillon: "HIs body recovered from his torment and became hale...and he lived to wield his sword with left hand more deadly that his right had been.

From ACOK: "Qhorin drew his longsword. The tale of how he had taught himself to fight with his left hand after losing half of his right was part of his legend."

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The night before the (planned) attack from the Fist, Mormont spits, and the spit freezes before it hits the ground. It had to be massively cold, colder than -50F (similar in C)

This appears to be a nod to Jack London

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" ... There are worse ways to die than warm and drunk. I knew a brother drowned himself in wine once. It was a poor vintage, though, and his corpse did not improve it."

"You drank the wine?"

"It's an awful thing to find a brother dead. You'd have need of a drink as well, Lord Snow."

Clash, Chapter 43 Jon.

Following his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson's body was preserved in a cask of rum to allow transport back to England. Upon arrival, however, the cask was opened and found to be empty of rum. The pickled body was removed and, upon inspection, it was discovered that the sailors had drilled a hole in the bottom of the cask and drunk all the rum, in the process drinking Nelson's blood.
Wiki.

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I found several references to the Spanish epic El Cid (which is about the true person Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar).

The Castilian King Sancho II was assassinated by his exiled brother Alfonso VI, who returned to Castile suspiciously soon after the death of Sancho II.

(The above is true history)

El Cid established his own kingdom of Valencia (though technically under Alfonso's rule) that lasted for five years until the Almoravids besieged it. During the siege El Cid died, however, according to the epic (though probably not true history) his wife put his dead body in armor and sent it out on his horse to lead a successful charge against the Almoravids, though Valencia was conquered soon afterwards.

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Pardon me if this has already been mentioned, but every time a character says how something is as useful as "nipples on a breastplate," I am reminded of the over-produced Batman and Robin movie from the 1990s.

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Pardon me if this has already been mentioned, but every time a character says how something is as useful as "nipples on a breastplate," I am reminded of the over-produced Batman and Robin movie from the 1990s.

You mean Batman Forever with Val Kilmer.

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Very Vague but when reading through the Lord of the Rings companion I ran into a Gondorian usurper called Castamir. Could be a reference to Castamere. (Both got totally obliterated)

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