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George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is a worldwide phenomenon, and the world of Westeros has seen multiple adaptations, from HBO's acclaimed television series to graphic novels, console games and orchestral soundtracks. This collection of new essays investigates what makes this world so popular, and why the novels and television series are being taught in university classrooms as genre-defining works within the American fantasy tradition. This volume represents the first sustained scholarly treatment of George R.R. Martin's groundbreaking work, and includes writing by experts involved in the production of the HBO show. The contributors investigate a number of compelling areas, including the mystery of the shape-shifting wargs, the conflict between religions, the origins of the Dothraki language and the sex lives of knights. The significance of fan cultures and their adaptations is also discussed.
Is the world of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones really medieval? How accurately does it reflect the real Middle Ages? Historians have been addressing these questions since the book and television series exploded into a cultural phenomenon. For scholars of medieval and early modern women, they offer a unique vantage point from which to study the intersections of elite women and popular understandings of the premodern world. This volume is a wide-ranging study of those intersections. Focusing on female agency and the role of advice, it finds a wealth of continuities and contrasts between the many powerful female characters of Martin’s fantasy world and the strategies that historical women used to exert influence. Reading characters such as Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, and Brienne of Tarth with a creative, deeply scholarly eye, Queenship and the Women of Westeros makes cutting-edge developments in queenship studies accessible to everyday readers and fans.
Using the frameworks of literary theory relevant to modern fantasy, Dr. Joseph Young undertakes a compelling examination of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and his employment of the structural demands and thematic aptitudes of his chosen genre. Examining Martin’s approaches to his obligations and licenses as a fantasist, Young persuasively argues that the power of A Song of Ice and Fire derives not from Martin’s abandonment of genre convention, as is sometimes asserted, but from his ability to employ those conventions in ways that further, rather than constrain, his authorial program. Written in clear and accessible prose, George R. R. Martin and the Fantasy Form is a timely work which encourages a reassessment of Martin and his approach to his most famous novels. This is an important work for both students and critics of Martin’s work and argues for a reading of A Song of Ice and Fire as a wide-ranging example of what modern fantasy can accomplish when employed with an eye to its capabilities and purpose.
Game of Thrones has changed the landscape of television during an era hailed as the Golden Age of TV. An adaptation of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the HBO series has taken on a life of its own with original plotlines that advance past those of Martin's books. The death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One launched a killing spree in television--major characters now die on popular shows weekly. While many shows kill off characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics--and resurrected bodies that continue to fight. This collection of new essays explores how power, death, gender, and performance intertwine in the series.
George R.R. Martin's acclaimed seven-book fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is unique for its strong and multi-faceted female protagonists, from teen queen Daenerys, scheming Queen Cersei, child avenger Arya, knight Brienne, Red Witch Melisandre, and many more. The Game of Thrones universe challenges, exploits, yet also changes how we think of women and gender, not only in fantasy, but in Western culture in general. Divided into three sections addressing questions of adaptation from novel to television, female characters, and politics and female audience engagement within the GoT universe, the interdisciplinary and international lineup of contributors analyze gender in relation to female characters and topics such as genre, sex, violence, adaptation, as well as fan reviews. The genre of fantasy was once considered a primarily male territory with male heroes. Women of Ice and Fire shows how the GoT universe challenges, exploits, and reimagines gender and why it holds strong appeal to female readers, audiences, and online participants.

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