Winter is Coming by Carolyne Larrington

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, then you may wish to read this book.  It’s fascinating.

Winter is Coming by Carolyne Larrington

‘In this world only winter is certain’ George R. R. Martin

Few people in my world are unaware of Game of Thrones.  While some prefer the books and others the television series, many are caught up in both.  Why does George R. R. Martin’s world appeal to so many of us?  What is it about the seven kingdoms and their inhabitants that holds our attention, and leads us to speculate about what might happen next?

Have you ever wondered about Mr Martin’s inspiration for the Game of Thrones?  I was fascinated to read that Mr Martin stated that Maurice Druon’s wonderful series ‘The Accursed Kings’ ‘is the original Game of Thrones’, but Martin’s world is much bigger than Maurice Druon’s France.

In this book, Carolyne Larrington, a scholar of medieval English literature explores a number of myths and legends.  From the direwolves, dragons, giants and sigils in medieval texts and the old gods and ravens in Norse myth, Carolyne Larrington examines the heroic stories from different cultures as we take a journey into the seven kingdoms.  While I recognise some possible sources of inspiration for Game of Thrones, there are plenty of aspects of the medieval world with which I am not familiar.  There are photographs accompanying the text (although not, unfortunately in the electronic copy I received for review purposes).

I found this book fascinating.  While the book’s focus is possible inspirations for Game of Thrones and parallels drawn from medieval lore, this will lead some of us to explore particular history and legends in more detail.  Read carefully, though, if you are new to the series and wish to avoid spoilers.  Enjoy the journey!

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and I.B. Tauris for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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