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References and Homages


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I didn't see this one, sorry if I missed it.

In the Illiad, Achilles and Patroclus are very close. It isn't too hard to read their relationship as sexual in nature. Some key incidents in the story are Patroclus wearing Achilles armor to strike fear in the enemy hosts, Patroclus's death, and Achilles violent response to his death (he kills Troy's champion, Hector).

In ASoFaI, Loras and Renly are probably lovers. Loras wears Renly's armor at the Battle of Blackwater to strike fear in Stannis's army. Loras's anger (dare I say wrath?) at Renly's death is significant in the story as well - he kills several people when he finds out, and later his anger is important to bringing the Tyrells into the Lannister fold.

Basically, in both stories we have gay lovers (probably) sharing tents on the battlefield. In each there is an incident where the less "important" one wears the other's armor to affect the course of a battle. One of the pair dies, and the other's emotional response to the loss has significant consequences.

Seems like there is at least some influence from/reference to the Illiad there.

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Very fun thread - I thought I would delurk and mention a few things I have noticed:

The saying that Arya learned from Syrio to calm herself, "Fear cuts deeper than swords..." is inspired by a similar saying used by characters in Dune that starts "Fear is the mind killer..."

In Stephen King's Dark Tower series, a "Gilly" is a general term for a young woman or girl, usually in the context of a casual girlfriend or sex partner (not a whore though). Probably inspiration for wildling character Gilly.

The nasty substance known as "wildfire" is based in part on the real substance phosphorous. Phosphorous will burst into flames when exposed to air and must be stored underwater. In the dark ages up to the age of science it was made by alchemists by distilling down urine. In the books the nickname of wildfire is "alchemist's piss". The unpleasant and dangerous process of making phosphorous is illustrated in a funny scene in the book "Quicksilver" by Neal Stephenson.

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When ever i read the scene where Randyll Tarly takes Sam into the forest and threatens to cut out his heart if he doesn´t go to the wall, i think of the scene in snow white, where the evil queen, sends a hunter out into the forest to cut out snow whites heart.

In the scene Randyl cuts out the heart of an animal, to prove what would happen to Sam if he doesn´t go to the wall. A dear i think.

In the fairy tale, the hunter cut out the heart of a dear, and bring it back to the evil queen to prove snow white is dead.

And the sigil of House Tarly is a huntsman.

The scenes are just similar. I think it could be inspiration.

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I am not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but I believe the mythical twins Ser Arryk and Ser Erryk who die on each others swords are a clear reference to the Arthurian legend of Sir Balin and Sir Balan.

These twins who are mentioned in Malory's Morte D'Arthur and Tennyson's Idylls of the King are tragic brothers who, despite their nobility, end up killing each other.

A small reference but worth mentioning.

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Thanks, jthomas - this is one of the connections that I made to Dune. It's called the Litany Against Fear, by the way.

A couple of others:

1) Eddard Stark and the situation he finds himself in remind me a lot of the beginning of Dune, in which an "old-fashioned" honorable man finds himself thrust into the deceit and politics of a treacherous, decadent court. Of course, Eddard is motivated by his old friendship for Robert, and comes from a harsh, barren environment to the court, while Leto goes reluctantly to the harsh environment under orders from a tyrannical emperor.

2) The techniques used by Syrio and some of the advice given to Arya remind me a lot of Gurney Halleck (sp?), the Atreides swordmaster, and his training of Paul. Also, the picture shown through Arya's eyes as she flees from the palace after her father's arrest is reminiscent of what Duke Leto finds before he realizes that he has been betrayed.

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We should also think of Abraham and Isaac. However, the Snow White scene is a closer parallel. If Randyll is Abraham and Dickon is the heir of his heart (Isaac), then does that make Sam into the heir who went into exile (Ishmael)?

If Sam is Ishmael, then Dickon is in for a nasty shock when Sam eventually comes home.

Edited by Adrienne
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I'm feeling a vague connection between House Bolton and the historical House of Scrope (pronounced "Scroop"), who were a famous and powerful Northern English family for a long time, often holding important positions on the English side of the Border and one of whose possessions was, as it happens, Castle Bolton. They didn't (to the best of my knowledge) indulge in any flayings-alive, but they were no strangers to feuds and general untrustworthiness. Don't think they had anything to do with the Glencoe Massacre though.

"All sore astonished stood Lord Scrope,

He stood as still as rock of stane,

He scarcely dared to trew his eyes,

Where through the water they had gane.

'Is he himself a devil frae hell?

Or else his mother a witch maun be!

I'd ne'er have ridden that wan water,

For all the gowd in Christendie.' "

-The Ballad of Kinmont Willie, trad.

(and as an aside, if anyone ever needed a castle to stand in for the Dreadfort, the notorious Hermitage would be ideal)

Edited by Ambivalence
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i don't think this was mentioned anywhere else in this thread, but sorry if it was:

Darkstar was a Marvel comic book character who was a member of the Champions and the Soviet Super-Soldiers (among other teams). She was never a high-profile character, but a fairly popular one for a time. We know that GRRM is a comic fan so it's possible for Gerold Dayne the Darkstar to be an allusion to the comic character. (Not likely, but I thought I'd mention it.)

Also, DC Comics featured a short-lived comic called Darkstars in the early '90s.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesh, my first post...

I have found some name references. One of the Targaryens was named Daeron, wasn't he? One of Tolkien's characters was a minstrel called Daeron, who was in love with the elf Lúthien. When he found out about Lúthien's love for the mortal Beren, he betrayed them to Thingol, Lúthiens father. Twice.

Also, I had this weird image pop into my head when I first read Aegon's name. The -gon obviously comes from 'dragon', and I thought the Ae- comes from Aeacus, one of the three Judges of Hades. Thus Rhaegar could be named after Rhadamanthys, the second Judge. Then the only Judge missing would be Minos.

The name "Davos" reminds me of "Davy Jones". :stunned:

The spirit or personification of the sea in sailors' lingo. Davy Jones's locker is the bottom of the sea. To go to Davy Jones's Locker is a common phrase meaning to be drowned at sea, or to die and be buried at sea.
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Hello all. First time poster here, and I'm a huge fan of these books and this site.

I would have to agree about the Dune references as well. I think the Tleilaxu face dancers influenced the Guild of Faceless Men and at the least the name for the Water Dancers. This book also reminds me of the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, just in terms of its scope and pagaentry of characters.

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There are a lot of possible references to Scotland in the geography of Westeros, though it's hard to tell if any of them are deliberate or not:

- Wester Ross is an area in the north west

- Cape Wrath is the northwestern tip of the country

- The Three Sisters are hills in Glencoe

- The Paps are hills on the island of Jura

The latter two are possibly rather tenuous, since they're pretty generic names, but given Martin's fondness for Scotland it seems possible.

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Valeria is ofcourse the Roman Empire and their old rival Ghis is Carthago

About the Red Wedding, I think Martin somewhere said that he was als inspired by the Black Dinner where a vasal of the king of Scotland killed two young nobles afther a dinner

A few others, most of them obvious

Ironborn = Vikings

Dorne = Wales (was not immediately conquered by the Normans and they had no king but a Prince)

Bravos = Rhodos

Wildlings = Picts

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