Category Archives: Literary Analysis

Influences: Sandkings

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods.
They kill us for their sport.

— Shakespeare’s King Lear

Sandkings is chock full of potent symbolism that has been reappropriated for A Song of Ice and Fire. First published in Omni in 1979, it tells a rather morbid tale that one would expect to find in a volume of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories: a tale of a man with a strange creature that grows beyond his control whilst driving him to inhuman behaviors.

There are a tremendous number of important elements that Sandkings and ASOIAF share, which provides us great insights into what they might mean for readers. Continue reading

Influences: With Morning Comes Mistfall

“…Man needs to know.”

“Maybe,” Sanders said. “But is that the only thing man needs? I don’t think so. I think he also needs mystery, and poetry, and romance. I think he needs a few unanswered questions, to make him brood and wonder.”
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One of GRRM’s earliest works, With Morning Comes Mistfall was first published in May 1973. It gives us a lot of early insight into the themes and issues that attracted his interest the most.

He seems to be especially concerned with the value of mystery in Mistfall. In particular, he presents a single, thematic conundrum that the reader is left to ponder: Is a mystery sometimes more useful than the truth?

Additionally, the novella introduces a few motifs, symbols and other ideas that can be readily shown to have been transplanted into A Song of Ice and Fire. Continue reading