Blood Will Have Blood

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

Sing sorrow, sorrow: but good win out in the end.” (Ag. 139)

Game of Thrones has had its share of what could be called “wrongful” deaths, but there has only been one that struck me particularly hard. It was last year, in Season ; a death by fire so shockingly wrong, that it had me shouting (mostly profanity) at my television, feeling more than a little gutted and nauseous as it reached its agonizing conclusion.

This immolation sequence is one of those pivotal moments in the show that is not present within the original narrative by George R.R. Martin*, and while I was not emotionally prepared for it, it did set off some alarm bells in my head in its similarity to a particularly famous tragic Greek myth: the House of Atreus. And the more I looked at both the House of Atreus and the House Baratheon, the more eerie similarities appeared between the two fictional dynasties, although with some variations.

*Nota bene: I am now aware that Benioff and Weiss were told by George R.R. Martin that this event is to occur, eventually, within the novels, however I began this post before that information was made readily available.

spoiler-warning

SPOILER WARNING: The following post will contain spoilers related to plot and character arcs through season 5 of Game of Thrones, as well as The Oresteia by Aeschylus. Read on at your own risk.

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TBT 07: Evolution of Fantasy

How do you define fantasy literature? At what point was there a shift from mythology and fairy tales to what we consider to be fantasy today? Some of our more well-read Whisperers discuss these questions and more in this episode of The Book Table.

For listeners of The Book Table, Audible is offering a free audiobook and a 30-day free trial! Sign up at http://audibletrial.com/TheBookTable.

In this episode you heard from:
Akhi | akhipill
Dorothy | bwp_dorothy
Madeleine | madnbooks | youtube.com/madnbooks
Rebecca | rumy91989

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In the Shadow of ‘The Ring’

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Madeleine Cassier
Producer
Website | Twitter | GoodreadsBookTube

A Companion to TBT Episode 07

Unpopular opinion alert: I’m not the biggest fan of Tolkien — specifically, of The Lord of the Rings.

516GyHY9p6LI know this is essentially heresy to admit to the teeming hordes of guys and gals who, like me, adore the fantasy genre. But, alas, ’tis true that I am not on the side of Mr. J.R.R. Despite this general dislike, I’m relatively fair-minded and can acknowledge that The Lord of the Rings is one of the most recognizable works of the fantasy genre — even with more modern series such as George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, The Lord of the Rings is the ultimate poster-child for marketing fantasy to a mainstream audience.

That being said: I don’t think that Tolkien “inventedmodern fantasy as we know it. This, I’m sure, is also going to rankle even more people, especially given that many people would argue that The Lord of the Rings “created ‘fantasy’ as a marketing category” (Yolen, After the King: Stories in Honour of J.R.R. Tolkien), despite the fact that fantasy existed long before Tolkien published his trilogy. 

But I don’t want to talk about the myriad of works previous to Tolkien…I actually just want to talk about one: Der Ring des Nibelungen, or The Ring of the Nibelung by Richard Wagner.

41Um5nZQuXL._SY355_For those of you unfamiliar with German opera: The Ring Cycle, as it’s frequently called, is a cycle of four opera seria (dramatic operas) written about a century before Tolkien, that’s loosely based on characters from Germanic and Norse mythological sagas, specifically the Volsunga saga and the Nibelungenlied. Its got giants, dwarves, gods, forbidden romances, action, adventure — basically everything you could ever want from an epic fantasy story, and all across four operas which, when performed, are staged over the course of several days.

Even with all of those elements, at the very centre of this massive tale is a magic ring fashioned from Rhine gold that allows its bearer to rule the world.

Sound familiar?

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