Beyond the Wall Giveaway!

By June 4, 2012Comms

I was going to do a post on Neil Gaiman’s fantastic commencement speech at the University for the Arts, but that’s getting derailed by Smart Pop giving me the green light to do a giveaway for their awesome upcoming essay collection Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons.

This collection explores Martin’s magnum opus in incredible detail, hitting it from a variety of angles. It includes luminaries like R. A. Salvatore and Daniel Abraham. It also includes my essay Art Imitates War: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in A Song of Ice and Fire.

You can read more about the book here

If you want to win a free copy of the book, leave a comment on this blog post. Let me know which character (major or minor) you think had it worst in the series. Who is the most traumatized? Why? What do you think their prospects for recovery are? How will the experience change them? Will they be stronger as a result? Weaker?

If you’d prefer not to leave a public comment, feel free to email your answer to me at myke (at) mykecole (dot) com.

I know it’s a grim question, but I’m tackling a grim topic in this essay. Please keep your answers as short as possible, and safe-for-work. I’ll pick the one I like the best over the next few weeks and then announce the winner. Smart Pop will send you your free copy of the book.

If you want me to sign it, just let me know, and I’ll send an adhesive backed, signed bookplate that you can stick in the book to make it an autographed copy.

That’s it! Looking forward to your answers!

Author Myke Cole

Myke Cole is an American writer of history and fantasy who leverages a lifetime in military, law enforcement and intelligence service to take you to battlefields, real and imagined.

More posts by Myke Cole

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Paul Weimer says:

    I am going to pick a somewhat meta choice for who has it worst.

    Ned.

    Yes, he dies in the first book.  His head is cut off, and that’s the end of *his* story.

    But its not the end of the Starks, and what his kith and kin go through after his death–well, Ned may have gotten off easy, but from a 30,000 foot perspective (or an afterlife looking back at the living world POV), Ned would be tortured each and every day at the travails of his wife and children after his death. Especially since he could and can do nothing about it.  

    To say nothing of what happened to his friend, and the kingdom he ruled.

  • Paul Weimer says:

    I am going to pick a somewhat meta choice for who has it worst.

    Ned.

    Yes, he dies in the first book.  His head is cut off, and that’s the end of *his* story.

    But its not the end of the Starks, and what his kith and kin go through after his death–well, Ned may have gotten off easy, but from a 30,000 foot perspective (or an afterlife looking back at the living world POV), Ned would be tortured each and every day at the travails of his wife and children after his death. Especially since he could and can do nothing about it.  

    To say nothing of what happened to his friend, and the kingdom he ruled.

  • Drew says:

    (spoilers for anyone who’s not up to date on the books)

    I would say Sansa is probably the most traumatized.  During her insane nightmare of a relationship with Joffrey, she taken from her home, her pet wolf is killed, her father executed before her very eyes after the rest of the Winterfell subjects are all massacred in King’s Landing, she’s shown her father’s head on a pike and scorned by the queen for the duration of her engagement.  She did get to watch the king choke to death at their wedding feast (which may have brought some sort of relief), but then she was quickly handed over to Tyrion and later learned of her brother and mother’s demise.  The thought of her finally escaping King’s Landing with the help from Sir Jonquil would have raised her spirits high… only to dash them again once she discovered she was being abducted by Littlefinger and forced into another agonizing relationship at the Eyrie.Although we don’t know the fate of Sansa yet, I think just the fact that she was imprisoned by the Lannisters for all that time would cause severe emotional and mental scarring.  I think once we come across her again, she will be so weary from it all, she’ll probably have succumbed to Littlefinger’s manipulations with very little recovery.  Who knows if she’ll ever see any of her family again?

  • Jeff Petersen says:

    I think Jon Snow is worst off so far. He’s seen death up close over and over, he’s had to kill an ally, he’s performed an execution, he has to sit by while is family is killed and captured.

    I think he’ll come out stronger, but also very damaged and much harder and colder, like the wall he guards.

  • Hodor – he only ever gets to say Hodor! Here he is, bursting at the seams with ideas, love and laughter and he gets relegated to a simpleton carrying a cripple.

    The man is an accomplished cellist, speaks 4 languages fluently (and is passable in Dothraki), has no less than 3 collections of essays published with Oldtown Press (with “Peasants and their uses as cavalry-charge fodder” being a bestseller across Westeros and Essos alike) and has an award-winning baritone that can melt the hoariest of hearts (his decimation of Tywin Lannister at his 43rd birthday is rarely mentioned, for obvious reasons).

    Not only that, but he’s endured the heartache of his home being destroyed and the indignity of having an 8 year old boy take over his body at a whim for his own nefarious purposes.

    No one is more put upon than Hodor with his tragic story being the linchpin of the tale of A Song of Ice and Fire.

    Forever in my heart, whenever I hear a plaintive “Hodoooorrrrr…” on the cold winds of the North, I will shed a tear for a great man relegated to ignominy.

  • I’ll go with an unpopular choice but writing should be hard right?  Cercei Lannister.

    Right from the get go she’s born a woman in the wonderful world of equal opportunities that is Westeros.  Not a great start.  She’s promised a marriage to a dashing prince only to have her dreams crushed and her future haunted by a doom and gloom prophecy from a crazy old woman.

    Her only friend and comfort comes from her twin brother so she has to hide her true feelings her whole life.  Instead of the dashing price, she gets married off to Robert Baratheon.  Like all fair ladies, she tries to make the best of it only to find her new husband calling her another woman’s name on their first night together.  How cruel the Gods are.  The marriage goes downhill from there are her new husband grows more fat, more drunk and more unfaithful, fathering numerous children from other women.

    Finally a bit of good news – King Robert passes on and her son becomes King!  Again, things start to go downhill.  You see a pattern right? Her son chops off a northern lords head starting a 5 side war which results in her only real companion being captured in battle and having his hand chopped off.  The brother she’s not so fond of turns up in Kings Landing to drive her crazy and send her only daughter off to marry some prince.  Remember that world of equal opportunities?

    Some more good news – Her father arrives and drives away the certain death of Stannis Baratheon’s attack on the city.  With the good news of course comes the bad; Twin announces plans to marry her off again to some old man.  The joyous event of her sons wedding is somewhat soured by the subsequent poisoning of said son.

    Finally though, a bit of good news that couldn’t possibly go wrong?  Her father is somewhat unceremoniously murdered and she gets to finally rule unfettered as Queen Regent.  Tommen gets married (without a hitch) to Margaery Tyrell and all seems well.  She stocks the council with her guys and starts to really show what she can do.

    The bad news isn’t over however.  Somehow she ends up in prison cell for treason, murder and adultery, her pricy new fleet disappears and her one true companion in the world Jamie burns her letter pleading for help.

    Traumatised indeed.  My money is definitely on a strong comeback.  Never count out Cercei Lannister.

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