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So Spake Martin

I it was named Dorne so that it sounds similar to Dawn and rhymes with morne. I still like your find of the macedonian Dorn though, the story of Alexander the Great was certainly on Martin's mind, so who knows.

That's what I mean, he simply had inspiration by the name. You can link back most of his regional names to actual places, the culture could be inspired by something else but the name itself might of been inspired by Dorn. The similarities between Mediterranean cultures are pretty plentiful, it seems his regions mostly model on a general culture then a very specific one. Dothraki = Mongol hordes, yi ti = far east/orient etc

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So Spake Martin

I it was named Dorne so that it sounds similar to Dawn and rhymes with morne. I still like your find of the macedonian Dorn though, the story of Alexander the Great was certainly on Martin's mind, so who knows.

That's what I mean, he simply had inspiration by the name. You can link back most of his regional names to actual places, the culture could be inspired by something else but the name itself might of been inspired by Dorn. The similarities between Mediterranean cultures are pretty plentiful, it seems his regions mostly model on a general culture then a very specific one. Dothraki = Mongol hordes, yi ti = far east/orient etc

Which is also why he hesitates about pinning it, saying well I guess you could say Spain under the Moors. Dorn was pretty small for most of its life so I'd say its more like a sub region, like the stony dornish or Dornish marches regions, in comparison to Spain, its also near an ocean gapping it, to some islands, to a dark and stormy continent called Sothoryos/Africa nobody knows much about at the time. I have a personal, strong attraction to boats and water, large bodies which I attribute to my Med side vs small amount of Polish, which the Rhoynar voyage honestly sounds like the influx of Muslim refugees after peace during the crusades.. If it wasnt thought of while writing this I'd be surprised if he really knows his shit which I know he does. Women, children, elderly flee from war. Just like today in Syria and the area ISIL is terrorizing for non-Islamics in their current occupied territory.

Edited by Ulthosian Stark

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"Marya" Seaworth could be another nod to Memory Sorrow and Thorn as "Marya" is an alias used by Princess Miriamele early in the trilogy.


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It seems like Marya is an actual name, just from a quick google search. To be fair though, I think the original influence is evident in a lot of the main characters names, such as giving the hero a plain name with a snowy ending.


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Robert E. Howard reference:



In A Dance with Dragons, while Tyrion is playing Cyvasse with Young Griff, he uses a metaphor about Daenarys's 'sandaled feet' that Howard used for Conan:



“… I know she is proud. How not? What else was left her but pride? I know she is strong. How not? The Dothraki despise weakness. If Daenerys had been weak, she would have perished with Viserys. I know she is fierce. Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen are proof enough of that. She has crossed the grasslands and the red waste, survived assassins and conspiracies and fell sorceries, grieved for a brother and a husband and a son, trod the cities of the slavers to dust beneath her dainty sandaled feet."



And this is how Howard opened the very first Conan story (it was also used often in the Marvel versions as a general epigram, if I recall correctly):



“Know, O prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars…. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”



That quote is well-known (and made of awesome in my opinion) and I have no doubt that GRRM is referencing it here. Clearly there is a general similarity between Conan's world and Essos, particularly the cities of Slavers' Bay and Qarth, and also Valyria before the Doom.


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House Borrel of Sweetsister might be a reference to clan MacCodrums of the seals. Apparently, they claim to be descended of selkies and that explains why they have hereditary horny growth between their fingers that made their hands resemble flippers.


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Unless it's already been said, Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers is pretty obviously an Elric of Melnibone reference and his counterpart and half brother Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers is Conan (though less obviously then Bloodraven).

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Unless it's already been said, Brynden "Bloodraven" Rivers is pretty obviously an Elric of Melnibone reference and his counterpart and half brother Aegor "Bittersteel" Rivers is Conan (though less obviously then Bloodraven).

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" which the Rhoynar voyage honestly sounds like the influx of Muslim refugees after peace during the crusades.. If it wasnt thought of while writing this I'd be surprised if he really knows his shit which I know he does. Women, children, elderly flee from war. Just like today in Syria and the area ISIL is terrorizing for non-Islamics in their current occupied territory.



You are aware the the Moorish Conquest Of Spain occurred in the 9th century AD some 200 to 300 years before the Crusades, and that it was not a "peaceful" inflow of refugees but an armed invasion from North Africa which was never a involved in the Crusades at all?


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I just got my Lands Of Ice And Fire this week and I came across The Mountains Of The Morn. Where I'm from is called The Mourne Mountains. The very mountains that inspired C.S. Lewis to create Narnia.

I'm from The Mourne Mountains too and I had absolutely no idea this place was the inspiration for Narnia. You really do learn something new every day I guess.

Edited by Tastes like Frey

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Barbara Hambly's Winterlands series, in particular the Northlands and Lord John Aversin, seem to have influenced Martin.



- Northern culture that's always somewhat wintery (Northlands vs North)


- Said northern culture is full of "barbarians" and is seen as less civilized than the south


- There's a northern lord who dispenses justice for a far away king (John Aversin vs Ned Stark)


- Said northern lord never wanted the job (John Aversin would rather read books and be an engineer, Ned Stark was the second son who wasn't supposed to rule)


- Nonetheless, both northern lords do their duty despite taking no joy in it


- The northern lord committed a notable, impossible deed years ago (John Aversin slayed a dragon 10 years ago and is the only living person to have done so vs Ned killing Arthur Dayne, the best fighter in Westoros 14 years ago)


- The northern lord is called to the south (John to slay another dragon vs Ned to become Hand)


- Upon arriving south, the northern lord doesn't try and blend into the southern decadence and politics (John pretends to be a complete fool vs Ned remaining aloof and honourable)


- Reality is not what the songs say it is (Sansa Stark's love of knights vs Gareth's love of songs about Dragonbanes)


- Upon learning that things aren't like in the songs, the innocent characters are forced to grow up and accept their lot (Sansa has to first be betrothed to a monster in Joffrey, then a dwarf in Tyrion vs Gareth eventually becoming king)


- the king, a former noted warrior, is ruled through his queen (Robert/Cersei vs Uriens/Zyerne




In particular, I especially see parallels between these passages about dragon slaying:





“No doubt. Well, Hugor Hill, answer me this. How did Serwyn of the Mirror Shield slay the dragon Urrax?”


“He approached behind his shield. Urrax saw only his own reflection until Serwyn had plunged his spear through his eye.”

Haldon was unimpressed. “Even Duck knows that tale. Can you tell me the name of the knight who tried the same ploy with Vhagar during the Dance of the Dragons?

Tyrion grinned. “Ser Byron Swann. He was roasted for his trouble … only the dragon was Syrax, not Vhagar.”




"Did you-did you see him slay the dragon?" Gareth asked, after they had ridden in silence for some minutes. "Would you tell me about it? Aversin is the only living Dragonsbane-the only man who has slain a dragon. There are ballads about him everywhere, about his courage and his noble deeds... That's my hobby. Ballads, I mean, the ballads of Dragonsbanes, like Selkythar the White back in the reign of Ennyta the Good and Antara Warlady and her brother, during the Kinwars. They say her brother slew..." By the way he caught himself up Jenny guessed he could have gone on about the great Dragonsbanes of the past for hours, only someone had told him not to bore people with the subject. "I've always wanted to see such a thing-a true Dragonsbane-a glorious combat. His renown must cover him like a golden mantle."


And, rather to her surprise, he broke into a light, wavery tenor:



Riding up the hillside gleaming,

Like flame in the golden sunlight streaming;

Sword of steel strong in hand,

Wind-swift hooves spurning land,

Tall as an angel, stallion-strong,

Stern as a god, bright as song...

In the dragon's shadow the maidens wept,

Fair as lilies in darkness kept.

‘I know him afar, so tall is he,

His plumes as bright as the rage of the sea,

'Spake she to her sister, ‘fear no ill...'


Jenny looked away, feeling something twist inside inside her at the memory of the Golden Dragon of Wyr.


She remembered as if it were yesterday instead of ten years ago the high-up flash of gold in the wan northern sky, the plunge of fire and shadow, the boys and girls screaming on the dancing floor at Great Toby. They were memories she knew should have been tinted only with horror; she was aware that she should have felt only gladness at the dragon's death. But stronger than the horror, the taste of nameless grief and desolation came back to her from those times, with the metallic stench of the dragon's blood and the singing that seemed to shiver the searing air...


Her heart felt sick within her. Coolly, she said, "For one thing, of the two children who were taken by the dragon, John only managed to get the boy out alive. I think the girl had been killed by the fames in the dragon's lair. It was hard to tell from the state of the body. And if she hadn't been dead, I still doubt they'd have been in much condition to make speeches about how John looked, even if he had come riding straight up the hill-which of course he didn't."


"He didn't?" She could almost hear the shattering of some image, nursed in the boy's mind.


"Of course not. If he had, he would have been killed immediately."


"Then how..."


"The only way he could think of to deal with something that big and that heavily armored. He had me brew the most powerful poison that I knew of, and he dipped his harpoons in that."


"Poison?" Such foulness clearly pierced him to the heart. "Harpoons? Not a sword at all?"


Jenny shook her head, not knowing whether to feel amusement at the boy's disappointed expression, exasperation at the way he spoke of what had been for her and hundreds of others a time of sleepless, nightmare horror, or only a kind of elder-sisterly compassion for the naïvete that would consider taking a three-foot steel blade against twenty-five feet of spiked and flaming death. "No," she only said, "John came at it from the overhang of the gully in which it was laired-it wasn't a cave, by the way; there are no caves that large in these hills. He slashed its wings first, so that it couldn't take to the air and fall on him from above. He used poisoned harpoons to slow it down, but he finished it off with an ax."


"An ax?!" Gareth cried, utterly aghast. "That's-that's the most horrible thing I've ever heard! Where is the glory in that? Where is the honor? It's like hamstringing your opponent in a duel! It's cheating!"


"He wasn't fighting a duel," Jenny pointed out. "If a dragon gets into the air, the man fighting it is lost."


"But it's dishonorable!" the boy insisted passionately, as if that were some kind of clinching argument.




The stories say to do something impressive and honourable when trying to kill a dragon. Doing so only gets you killed.




Someone's probably pointed all of this out though, but if not then yay for being the first :)


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Robert E. Howard reference:

In A Dance with Dragons, while Tyrion is playing Cyvasse with Young Griff, he uses a metaphor about Daenarys's 'sandaled feet' that Howard used for Conan:

“… I know she is proud. How not? What else was left her but pride? I know she is strong. How not? The Dothraki despise weakness. If Daenerys had been weak, she would have perished with Viserys. I know she is fierce. Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen are proof enough of that. She has crossed the grasslands and the red waste, survived assassins and conspiracies and fell sorceries, grieved for a brother and a husband and a son, trod the cities of the slavers to dust beneath her dainty sandaled feet."

And this is how Howard opened the very first Conan story (it was also used often in the Marvel versions as a general epigram, if I recall correctly):

“Know, O prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars…. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandaled feet.”

That quote is well-known (and made of awesome in my opinion) and I have no doubt that GRRM is referencing it here. Clearly there is a general similarity between Conan's world and Essos, particularly the cities of Slavers' Bay and Qarth, and also Valyria before the Doom.

GRRM notes in Dreamsongs that that quote got him into fantasty in the first place

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GRRM notes in Dreamsongs that that quote got him into fantasty in the first place

Wow! Thanks - I will definitely go read that book!

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No doubt that it's been mentioned, but a historical priest of The Drowned God is called Sauron. Obvious reference, unless the name itself means something (which I'm sure it does, Tolkien was good like that.)

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I was wondering if anyone saw the similarities between the Dance of Dragons, the civil war between Aegon II and his sister Rhaenya which ended with Rhaenya's son Aegon III the Dragonbane on the throne, and the Anarchy in England following the death of Henry I. Where King Stephen fought the Empress Maud (Or Matilda) and it ended with Maud's son Henry II on the throne. The events and the general state of anarchy surrounding it seem very similar to me.

Hey Hedge Knight, just wanted to confirm that I definitely saw that parallel, too! Rhaenyra being Empress Matilda is what first clued me in - their personalities were similar, too.

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Bendubz - I believe that GRR Martin already admitted this was part of what the RW was based on in an interview a few years back. That and an incident in Scottish history involving two clans whose names I can't recall.

http://history-behind-game-of-thrones.com/real-events/redwedding

This site gives an admirable history of the Scottish Black Wedding.

It also goes into the many "Princes in the Tower" theme that shows up throughout the series.

I didn't read all 78 pages, so sorry if this has been brought up already, but I see a lot of similarities between Cersei and the Lancastrian queen Margaret of Anjou.

This is how wikipedia describes her on her wedding day, according to a courtier who witnessed it:

"She was described as beautiful, and furthermore "already a woman: passionate and proud and strong-willed".[3] Those that anticipated the future return of English claims to French territory believed that she already understood her duty to protect the interests of the Crown fervently.[4] She seems to have inherited this indomitability from her mother, who fought to establish her husband's claim to the Kingdom of Naples..."

her mother even sounds a lot like Joanna supporting Tywin as he fought to restore the honor and prestige of House Lannister after the mess Tytos made of things.

The wedding scene also reminds me of Cersei recalling coming out of Baelor's Sept with Robert, and her faint hope turning to cynicism as she sees Jaime's face:

"The day she wed Robert Baratheon, thousands had turned out to cheer for them. All the women wore their best, and half the men had children on their shoulders. When she had emerged from inside the sept, hand in hand with the young king, the crowd sent up a roar so loud it could be heard in Lannisport. “They like you well, my lady,” Robert whispered in her ear. “See, every face is smiling.” For that one short moment she had been happy in her marriage... until she chanced to glance at Jaime. No, she remembered thinking, not every face, my lord."

Edited by brave danny flint

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Alf of Runnymud's name might have been inspired by Runnymede, the place where John "Lackland" sealed the Magna Carta in 1215.


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