Can you co-host also be your special guest? We’re about to find out, as I interview my podcast partner Stefan Sasse about his marvelous essay “Under the Bleeding Star: On the Role of Prophecy in Songs of Ice and Fire.” Before you do anything else, click the link to read it in its entirety at Tower of the Hand, where it’s been posted as a preview of the forthcoming essay-collection ebook Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows, featuring contributions from a whole bunch of snazzy TotH and A Podcast of Ice and Fire regulars.
Stefan’s essay attacks the issue of prophecy in the books from a novel and rewarding angle. Rather than another attempt at interpretation or an examination of prophecy’s literary or philosophical import, the essay traces prophecy’s direct impact on the story and on the world therein, through the observable deeds of the books’ major players. As Stefan methodically lays out how belief in prophecy has influenced such prominent political leaders as Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, Aeron Greyjoy, Stannis Baratheon, and Rhaegar Targaryen, it becomes strikingly clear that without prophecy’s influence, the world would be a very different place. Reading the essay was a “eureka” moment for me, and I was excited to explore Stefan’s insights with the man himself.
So go, read Stefan’s essay, listen to our discussion of it, and buy A Flight of Sorrows when it hits Amazon this Saturday!