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I think Ser Shadrich the Mad Mouse is an homage to Mighty Mouse.

From the wiki:

"Ser Shadrich, known as Shadrich of the Shady Glen and the Mad Mouseis a hedge knight. His coat of arms is a large white mouse with red eyes on bendy brown and blue

Now, take a look at the iconic intro pic off Mighty Mouse

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Superraton.jpg 

Red, brown, blue and bendy, check, check and check.

The explanation for the colors and the design is because "the brown is for the lands he has crossed and the blue the rivers."

 

 

Now look at the intro to Mighty Mouse

Mister Trouble never hangs around
When he hears this mighty sound
"Here I come to save the day!"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!

Yessir, when there is a wrong to right
Mighty Mouse will join the fight
On the sea or on the land
He gets the situation well in hand!


So, though we are in danger, we never despair
'Cause we know that where there's danger he is there
He is there, on the land, on the sea, in the air!

We're not worryin' at all
We're just listenin' for his call
"Here I come to save the day!"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!

We're not worryin' at all
We're just listenin' for his call
"Here I come to save the day!"
That means that Mighty Mouse is on the way!

Here is Andy Kaufman's iconic rendition 

 

 

Edited by Daendrew

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In The world of ice and fire, there are two Tullys named Elmo and Kermit. They are mentioned in the history of the river lands. This is an obvious reference to Sesame Street. I find this hilarious. 

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1 hour ago, Argilac Durrandon said:

In The world of ice and fire, there are two Tullys named Elmo and Kermit. They are mentioned in the history of the river lands. This is an obvious reference to Sesame Street. I find this hilarious. 

You left out Grover.

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1 hour ago, Lykos said:

I find it hilarious that they match the the red, blue and green fork.

The dragon has three heads. House Targaryen's sigil is a three-headed dragon breathing flames, red on black, and no man can question the blood of Daenerys Stormborn. A blue flower is growing from a chink in a wall of ice and filling the air with sweetness. Aegon's greens fought against the first Targaryen queen regnant in the first. Dance of the Dragons. 

Edited by Lost Melnibonean

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On 17/01/2016 at 9:32 AM, sweetsunray said:

Yes, that is the interesting thing.

When it comes to plots, almost any story has been done so far: in mythology and literature. George seems an author who is very aware of that fact. Even if you don't intentionally write a plotline to reflect a pre-existing one, readers will make connections and see similarities anyway.

Authors can have 2 main positions about it:

  1. I write the plot I want, and whatever unintentional similarity there may be, I don't care, and I refrain from referencing it.
  2. I do care, and I will acknowledge the (unintentional) similarities with references and actually adding similarities to it.

George is an author who overall tends to do the later. He may think of a plotline out of his own, but recognize in the process that it is an echo of another work, and then makes it even more so. Example: Lyanna's plot was going to be Lyanna's plot. But an abduction + burrial in underworldy crypts with a statue does connect to Persephone: so he adds a wreath of flowers, false spring and knights surrounding her with bat and torch sigils (and other symbols), which are exactly the symbols and attributes that Persephone was associated with by the Greeks. The acknowledgement of Lyanna being an echo of the myth of the Rape of Persephone can next lead to the idea of incorporating other abduction myths in the abudction plots of other characters. Hence, Tyrion's abucdtion reflects Ishtar's captivity, and Sansa's reflects Idunn's. The acknowledgement of the unintended becomes the source of world building inspiration. For Ishtar, one needs gates to pass through and 2 sisters. For Idunn you need an eagle reference, a falcon reference, a giant reference, a Loki and a castle on top of a mountain. And with Lyanna as a Persephone you get the idea of out of whack seasons, and that the Starks somehow are a crucial piece of the puzzle, and most likely their moto "Winter is coming".

And once an author does make use of unintended similarities, it also becomes far easier to incoporate intended similarties. Brienne's aFfC journey has too many stylistic similarities to Dante's Divine Comedy. One of the biggest complaints about those chapters by many readers is that it serves little to no purpose: she's on a wild goose and ghost chase the reader knows from the beginnign to be without result, since Sansa is in the Eyrie and Arya is in Braavos. It only seems to serve to highlight the existence of the gravedigger and her getting captured by the BwB. And that story could have been told with far fewer chapters, and yet he wrote several chapters for Brienne, meeting various characters we will never see or hear from again. It is argued then that he did it for world building reasons, to show what hell the RL turned into. Which is imo correct, but what better way to portray hell on earth, than by having her go through a journey like Dante's... and such a journey cannot be written in 2 chapters. Such a journey involves meeting dozens (actually hundreds) of characters, where each character reveals his own background story and how they ended up in hell while they are completely unrelated to the protagonist, and in a certain order of crimes and sins and repentence. Hence, I'm convinced that in Brienne's case, George deliberately wanted to work in the Divine Comedy, and expanded Brienne's journey to several chapters though they have little to no plot relevance. Had it been a separate novel of a woman traveling a war torn country it probably would be called an adaptation of Dante's Divine Comedy as much as Apocalypse Now is called an adaptation of Heart of Darkness. But since it happens in larger scoped story and a genre where readers demand furthering of plot, many readers seem to have missed out on the connection and therefore the literary effort George made in her chapters.

I certainly do not think that a possible Heart of Darkness connection in Tyrion's arc goes that deep as Divine Comedy in Brienne's. George calls his series an Epic. Epics are journey stories. Divine Comedy is an epic story (of poems) too, but of a journey into hell, purgatory and heaven. One of the oldest epics around is Homerus' Odyssey: long, hazardous sea voyage into exotic regions, shiprwrecks, taken prisoner by a cyclopse and fearing to be eaten, held captive by an alluring, beautiful sorceress, a wife with many suitors to go back to after being gone for decades. Heart of Darkness is another epic, but here it's a river and to a doomed place. Tyrion's overall arc can be made out to be similar to Odysseus: captive of two women, and of barbaric men who want to feed his manhood to the goats and one of the barbaric men is one-eyed. He's a smart man who wins the war with wit, but fighting for the side you don't actually want to win. He has one wife where the number of suitors are expected to pile up soon (Sansa), while he's also searching for a long lost wife (Tysha). Most of the places he ends up at in Essos were unplanned, forced against his will (though it still takes him where he wants to go). He makes a large sea voyage, including a wrecking storm. It's been argued that Arya makes an Odyssey, but her tale fits the epic journey of Anderson's Ugly Duckling more than it does the Odyssey... while Tyrion has the most Odyssey like connections imo. And either, George expanded it to the Heart of Darkness for the river part, or he's trying to dissuade the reader from making too many Odyssey connections. Personally, I think he's throwing several epic exotic sea/river journeys onto one heap for Tyrion. I wouldn't be surprised if Shakespeare's Tempest would echo through Tyrion's adventures at some point.

Just found this - outstanding literary analysis.

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I didn't know if anyone mentioned this but Bran and Bronn are related to the Fisher King legend. Bran for Bran the Blessed in Celtic Mythology. Bronn is the Fisher King from Robert de Boron's,  Joseph d'Arimathie. It was the first story to connect the story of the grail that the Fisher King guards with Jesus. Ser Bronn of the Blackwater is now Lord Stokeworth whose arms are a lamb with a golden cup. 

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Probably somewhere in the 86 pages someone has already pointed out Cleon the butcher's name has reference to the Athenian Cleon, populist demagogue, warmonger, advocate of mass slaughter of enemies.

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God's Eye is a lake acting as a moat and I think it is an homage to Larry Niven author of the 1975 book The Mote in God's Eye.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mote_in_God's_Eye

It was listed as one of the 100 best sci-fi books of all time. http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085843/your-picks-top-100-science-fiction-fantasy-books 

I also think Tywin's sidewhiskers plays homage to Issac Asimov, who through like 4 marriages is a half stepcousin six times removed. :)

Edited by Daendrew

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I don't know if it has been mentioned but I noticed that House Wylde's sigil share some similarities with Zakk Wylde's guitar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zakk_Wylde#/media/File:Zakk_Wylde_1.jpg. Except from the name and the sigils both Zakk Wylde and GRRM were born in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Edited by Jon's Queen Consort

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From a wikipedia page

Croagh Patrick (Irish: Cruach Phádraig, meaning "(Saint) Patrick's Stack"), nicknamed the Reek, is a 764 metres (2,507 ft) mountain in Ireland

Patrick/Reek, Patrickkkkk/Reekkkkk, Yeah I see now from where the name Reek came from :idea:

 

Edited by Future Null Infinity

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The Thing in the Night is a pretty accurate allusion to the Pied Piper of Hamlin story. 

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Cregan Stark = Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix

Tywin = Pope Alexander VI

Jaime = Cesare Borgia

Cersei = Lucrezia Borgia

Preconquest Westeros = the Papal States

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Not saying this is a reference or anything but it is a bit of a fun overlap. In this interview Tolkien uses the now somewhat famous Ice and Fire phrase "All Men Must Die". 

Not saying it's deliberate reference from GRRM or anything, but it is pretty fun and quirky - at least for me. 

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The whole "what's the dog's name, and who owns him?" with Meribald explaining he calls him Dog and he's his own dog, and later on Brienne asking what the BwB did to Dog, and Gendry answering she killed him (meaning Rorge with the Hound helm), has allusions to the skit of Abbott and Costello, "Who's on first?"

 

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Does the thread work both ways? As the series gains more and more prominence in pop-culture, there are more and more homages to it in other media. Being a long time player of the World of Warcraft I was struck by the number and, erm, directness of ASOIAF references in the newest expansion pack, Legion.

  1. One of the classes, the Death Knight, got some serious GRRM treatment. Of particular note are two of his Talents, available in Frost specialization: "Winter is Coming" - complete with wolf head icon - and "White Walker". Really.
  2. One of important figures in Legion story is a ruthless sorceress named Elisande. Defeating her can result in the player claiming such items of power as Farsight Spiritjewel, Convergence of Fates, Eternally Recurring Bracers, Hood of Everburning Knowledge and the fire relic Exothermic Core. Some of the named harpies around a primal forest area are named Maelisandre, Malisandra and Seersei. The last one is surrounded by petrified animals including a stag and a wolf.
  3. Odin's giant ravens have a disturbing tendency to call you by name repeatedly. I'll need to look again and see if they also ask for corn.
  4. In the same storyline you trade favours with a tree who converses with you by means of a face carved into its trunk.

Of course, WoW is literally a huge mashup of other franchises, but the barrage of ASOIAF stuff in Legion does stand out.

---

Back to the topic, it was already addressed on this page much more sharply, but I think it's worth bringing back up in this thread:

Valyria truly is a total expy of Michael Moorcock's Melnibone. I can go on and on on this. The stories, the culture, the looks, the magic - all very closely matching the original. What I do admit however, is that Martin's cunning theft of Moorcock's work is done incomparably better than, say, Jordan's aping of LOTR. His Melnibone doesn't grate and repeated returns of the Eternal Warrior don't tire. It's a lot more a huge, elaborate, EPIC fanfic on Melibone than just repeating the story in a cut-and-rehash way.

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More Dune stuff:

During the downfall of House Atreides, lady Jessica flies from the house seat with her young son and ends up in a monstrous storm. She's believed dead. This is when she realizes she is with a child, a girl. Now we have a gender swap: after the escape, the son is accepted by a harsh, nomadic people and acquires a unique weapon - giant worms, who are also the key to understanding the deep nature of the world.

Paul Atreides is a hidden heir to a vanquished House. While officially the blow has been dealt by Atreides' long-time enemies, the Harkonnens, real mover of events was the Emperor (inversion/subversion in ASOIAF). Paul has a little sister named Alia, Alia of the Knife, who is very much not a child and becomes a proficient fighter/killer very early. He joined a harsh, nomadic, warlike people - the Fremen and subconsciously fits in extremely well, up to the point of tying his sand shoes the exact correct way without ever having seen them before. One important interface between him and the Savages is tribal and (partially) spiritual leader, Stilgar. Another, possibly even more impactful on his future is his Fremen lover, Chani. One of Chani's iconic characteristics are her unnaturally blue eyes (although in Dune case, all people heavily using the Spice Melange have Eyes of Ibad, with blue irises and whites). A pivotal moment in Paul's career among the Fremen is his ritual death and subsequent resurrection. In time, Paul makes the Fremen integral part of the feudal Empire.

Melisandre: "sleep is a little death".

Magical importance of bloodlines. 

Power of prophecy vs. Missionaria Protectiva,

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