Tuesday, July 31, 2012

George R.R. Martin homage to Tad Williams

Some time ago I did a blog post about how George R.R. Martin seemed to have gained some of his inspiration for his A Song of Ice and Fire novels from Tad Williams's series Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Today while rereading A Clash of Kings, the second book of Martin's series, I came across a single line buried in the text that, in my opinion, was a direct homage to Tad Williams's books. It is on page 349 of the Bantam/Spectra paperback:

"Lord Willum's sons Josua and Elyas disputed heatedly about who would be first over the walls of King's Landing."

To me it doesn't get plainer than that, as the two main royal characters in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn are King Elias and his brother Josua. Taken with all the other similarities given in my old post, I don't think it can be disputed how much influence Williams had on Martin. I don't think it says anything wrong about Martin's story, as I actually enjoy A Song of Ice and Fire far more than I liked Williams's books, so Martin is certainly doing a great service to all of us who love terrific fantasy.


  1. Cool to find the little Easter eggs like that, isn't it?
    Hope you're doing well Ted.

    1. He's a movie star rubbing elbows with Bruce Willis. Of course he's doing well.

  2. I hope you are doing well also, Alex. Selling tons of books, I hope!

  3. Nice. I don't much care for Tad Williams, but I know Martin read him.

    An even bigger homage is to Absalom! Absalom! by William Faulkner. The whole multiple narrator thing that Martin does is taken directly from that book. He admitted it in an interview I saw but I suspected that's where he got the idea from.

  4. My sister and I debate Williams all the time. She loves everything he writes and I have trouble getting through. We do both love Martin even if he is the slowest writer ever.

  5. As it happens, I'm reading BOTH books this summer. Stone of Farewell in print, and Game of Thrones on Audible. At the moment I've favoring Tad Williams.

  6. That's quite an Easter egg! I love that you catch stuff like this, Ted.