Friday, July 6, 2012

Dragons' eggs.

My friend and fellow metalsmith Naomi Landig and I found out a few months ago that George R. R. Martin was coming to Seattle for a reading at Town Hall. We are huge fans of his series A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO television adaptation Game of Thrones.

We decided to collaborate on a set of three brooches in the form of dragons' eggs as a way to show our appreciation to George! We presented them on a handmade velvet pillow, in a cigar box that we covered and decorated, during the Q & A session of his talk. He seemed quite pleased with our gift and made a joke about how hard we must have worked, smoking up all those cigars for the box! I hope he'll wear them!

I first came upon the series as a sixteen year old at the tail end of my Harry Potter obsession. I was starting to get antsy for a little more moral complexity in my fantasy reading and A Song of Ice and Fire was exactly what I needed at just the right time. I fell in love with the Stark sisters (Sansa, especially) and was thrilled by the treacherous political landscape of Westeros. I booed and hissed at Cersei Lannister, laughed at Tyrion's witty quips, pretended I was Ygritte and fantasized about Jon Snow...

I read all the books again in college and found that my diehard opinions about many of the characters had changed. Cersei surprisingly seemed fascinating- her struggles as an ambitious and flawed woman in a patriarchal society resonated with an older me. Arya's journey of vengeance took on a more tragic cast, Tyrion's relationships with women became more disturbing to me and Jon Snow didn't seem nearly as sexy. And Sansa, the romantic dreamer whose disillusionment with reality doesn't totally destroy her idealism. Sansa, whose only weapon in a dangerous world is carving out as much power as possible out of the limitations inherent in traditional female roles. She stays quiet and observes. She says little but sees much. She waits and plans.

While I was waiting for the HBO TV show to premiere, I decided to read the books again. And once more, I found myself reacting differently to the story that was so familiar. I could finally appreciate the subtleties of Brienne, Catelyn Stark and Daenerys (whose story never caught my attention the first few reads). And of course, I still loved Sansa.

These books have grown with me and I so look forward to many more years of revisiting these characters!