Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Location, Location, Location: Winterfell

Before delving too deeply into the tasty treats, it's important to figure out just "where" everything is, and accordingly, what ingredients are available.  Exceptions will be made when a particular food is explicitly mentioned in the text.

So let's start with our very first two locations: The North and Winterfell.

GRRM has acknowledged that the inspiration for the Wall is indeed Hadrian's Wall.  Of course.  What else could it be? A giant wall built by the civilized empire to keep out the barbarians to the North.

However, as you can see, Hadrian's Wall, though heavily fortified in its day, is hardly the imposing Wall of the Night's Watch.  More likely, Hadrian's Wall was focused on a. preventing simple cattle thievery (it's hard to drive cattle over a wall...even a short 10 footer) b. Customs and Taxation; and c. sheer Roman "look at what we can do, because we're ROME!"

Obviously that's not the stuff of fantasy epics, so with some imagineering, we get this:

The real Hadrian's Wall would not have been nearly as impressive to pee off of.

So, having settled that the Wall is Hadrian's Wall, applying historical parallels, that makes the North Scotland.  A fairly easy leap.  Hadrian's wall divided the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands, and the Highland Scots retained the Gaelic language (perhaps the "Old Tongue") and many of the more "barbarian" attributes of the Gaelic Celts.

Plus: Exhibit A

I understand there are some who argue, quite literally, that the Seven Kingdoms are the Heptarchy, or the Biblical Seven Kingdoms.  But that's just silly.

The North = Scotland.  Stand by for hearty stews and trenchers!

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