History of Westeros: The Battle of Ice


Hey folks,

Hope everyone is well! A number of folks here and on reddit have asked when the next essay or essay series will come out. Well, I have some individual essays and essay series that I’m working on (more on that in a little bit), but in reality, I haven’t been able to do too much writing of late. Why?

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The Men Who Would Be Kings: Perspectives on the Would Be Kings of Westeros: Stannis Baratheon

Pure Iron or True Steel

Stannis Baratheon is a controversial character to both fans of the series and characters within the series themselves. While never having his own POV we do gain many different perspectives and opinions on Stannis from various POV and non POV characters within the series. This essay will incorporate many of these opinions and perspectives in order to build up a more complete picture of the man.

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis

The Men Who Would Be Kings: Perspectives on the Would Be Kings of Westeros: Rhaegar Targaryen

Administrative Note: This is the first in a series of posts that will be discussing the various character perspectives of the many would be kings of Westeros. These posts will comprise several character’s opinions, my analysis of said opinions, and a few of my final thoughts regarding the character being discussed. The analysis parts of these essays are informed my own interpretation of the opinions expressed by various characters. The intention of this series is to build up a more complete picture of these would be kings by using these opinions.

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Filed under ASOIAF Analysis, ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Political Analysis

The Genius of the Old King: An Examination of Jaehaerys I


Artwork by Amok


“…madness and greatness were two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air…” Barristan Selmy, attributing a quote to King Jaehaerys II, ADWD, Daenerys VI

Aegon I, Aegon the Dragon, through a combination of conquest and diplomacy, conquered all of Westeros, save Dorne. With those accomplishments behind him, many claimed that Aegon I was the greatest Targaryen king that ever existed, but they neglect one critical contender to this honor — one that was able to accomplish something that has eluded conquerors and heads of state to this day: lasting peace. Only one candidate was able to take a disjointed country and bring a long-lasting peace, an accomplishment that neither Aegon I, nor Robert Baratheon, nor any other conqueror has since equaled. That singular ruler was the Old King: Jaehaerys Targaryen, the First of His Name.

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A Dragon Dawn: A Complete Analysis of the Upcoming Battle of Fire, Conclusion: Fire and Blood

Fair warning: my final essay contains significant Winds of Winter Spoilers. Beware!



“Light your fire, and tell me what you see.”

Moqorro’s dark eyes seemed to shine. “I see dragons.” (TWOW, Victarion I)

The Winds of Winter will be George RR Martin’s bloodiest book. I make that prediction despite some incredibly violent books. I believe that there will be events in The Winds of Winter that will cost more human lives than all of the seminal events combined. George RR Martin, himself, stated that he will open The Winds of Winter with two huge battles. The first will be the Battle in the Ice, that is the great Battle of Winterfell between Stannis Baratheon and Roose Bolton. The second and focus of this essay series is the Battle of Meereen, the battle of fire. All of the events from the Meereenese Knot from A Dance with Dragons led up to it. More than half of the chapters that George RR Martin has read or released from The Winds of Winter have centered on the planning and opening acts of the battle itself. I predict that it will be the largest, most violent battle that GRRM has ever written. But who will lay dead in the field? What will the outcome be? What impact will this have on the story large?

As stated above, George has released a number of sample chapters from TWOW on this battle. In this section, I’ll be using the following sample chapters on what we know about how the battle starts:

  • Barristan I & II
  • Tyrion I & II
  • Victarion I

However, as GRRM has indicated that he won’t be releasing any more sample chapters before the publication of The Winds of Winter, I’ll be doing a lot of speculation on the outcome of the battle. By necessity, I’ll broaden the scope from The Winds of Winter and talk about what I think is some foreshadowing found in other volumes of the series. There will be points where you might think that I’ve gone into crackpot territory with my ideas, but I hope you’ll at least consider them. But, of course, that part of the essay will be my SWAG, that is a “Scientific, Wild-Ass Guess.”

All said, this will be a pretty deep-dive, and it’s the longest essay I’ve written on ASOIAF. I considered splitting this into two parts, but I wanted to deliver the essay in its integrity. So strap in!

As stated above, there are significant The Winds of Winter spoilers in this essay. If you’re attempting to read The Winds of Winter unsullied by any of the pre-released or read chapters, read no further!

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Filed under ASOIAF Military Analysis, ASOIAF Speculation

Featured in the Next Tower of the Hand ebook!



I sincerely apologize for the lack of the final part for the Battle of Fire series. It’s been delayed for 2 very important reasons. The first is that a number of months ago, Marc from Tower of the Hand asked me if I’d be interested in writing an essay for the upcoming Tower of the Hand anthology entitled A Hymn for Spring to be released on September 29, 2014. I agreed, and it’s been quite the ride since. I wrote an essay entitled “Iron Bends: Re-examining Stannis Baratheon” in which I analyze whether Stannis Baratheon was truly as inflexible as he’s portrayed both by in-universe characters and by the fan community. (Spoiler: he’s not.)

Presently, I’m working on a re-write of the essay I submitted for the book — hence why the next part of the Battle of Fire series has taken a backseat for the moment. I’m very nearly done with re-writing my essay, so I’ll be able to focus on writing the final part of the Battle of Fire series. If you’re interested in checking out the full list of contributors and their topics for the upcoming Tower of the Hand anthology, check out Steven Attewell’s e-book, entitled: “Race for the Iron Throne: Political and Historical Analysis of “A Game of Thrones.”  which contains a sample essay from Ashaya and Aziz, the people behind History of Westeros, one of the best ASOIAF podcasts out there!

But more importantly than all the writing out there, I’ll be getting married very soon. So, nuptial planning has taken a bit of time away from writing. I hope you’ll all understand!

Thanks again for reading, subscribing and being a part of the blog here! SomethingLikeaLawyer and I are absolutely thrilled that so many of you have subscribed and provided detailed feedback for the essays and analysis we’ve written. And don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the thrilling conclusion to the Battle of Fire. Be on the lookout for it soon!


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Deconstructing the Deconstruction: The True Scope of Northern Honor and Culture

“You are an honest and honourable man, Lord Eddard. Ofttimes I forget that. I have met so few of them in my life…When I see what honesty and honor have won you, I understand why.” Varys to Eddard Stark (A Game of Thrones, Eddard XV)

Many fans of the book series are quick to identify Eddard Stark as a man of singular honor. In the same breath, however, they are quick to identify that the commonly-held notion of “Northern honor,” espoused very often in the show, is not a result of Ned being raised as a northerner, but as a result of Eddard’s fosterage under Jon Arryn, of the Vale. This notion of northern honor, they argue, is a myth. Furthering this notion, they point to the underhanded dealings of House Bolton, Manderly, and even House Umber as further proof that the North are no strangers to deception.

However, Northern honor is a very real concept. Northern honor is not in the chivalry of the Reach, the martial might of the Stormlands, or in the lofty perches of the Vale, and neither is it found in tournaments or jousts. No, Northern honor is the sum of a lord’s personal bravery in all things, the ability to not turn away from matters of grave importance, or defer tasks of difficulty to someone else.

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