Tag Archive: A Song of Ice and Fire

Creative Constraints of Ice and Fire

One of the things about A Song of Ice and Fire that I was less than enthused about is the books’ fixation on constructing an intricately realized bizarro version of medieval England. Why so many Americans are fixated on a world that was largely gone by the time Columbus made it across the Atlantic, and whose influence a lot of our ancestors came here specifically to get some distance from, is kind of irritating.

But since Western fantasy fiction co-opts medieval Europe all the time, this isn’t really news. What apparently is news is that the books have a lot of violent sexism and misogyny, which led George R. R. Martin to tell Entertainment Weekly that the one choice necessitated the other. Naturally I was not enthused.