“Winter is coming” may be a phrase Chicagoans are far too familiar with, but it appears the city’s cold and snowy winters inspired a major part of the “Game of Thrones” series – the Wall.
For those who have read the books or watched the hit HBO series the Wall was built thousands of years ago in an effort to keep White Walkers from entering the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, but author George R.R. Martin revealed last week the Wall actually has roots in Chicago.
Martin, author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, told John Kass with the Chicago Tribune the Wall’s origins come from the Chicago Blizzard of 1967.
With roughly 23 inches of snow falling within 48 hours and temperatures well-below freezing, it would seem stories of the infamous blizzard jumped right off the pages of the epic fantasy novels – and apparently they did.
Martin, a Northwestern University alum, was in the Chicago area last week to receive Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement alumni award and speak with students, faculty and staff.
It was there he talked about “trenches and tunnels of ice” and “the wind blowing so you couldn’t even see.”
[Insert scene of Jon Snow’s hair blowing in the bitter breeze, his eyes squinting to see through the heavy snow]
Martin reportedly said his memories of that cold and snowy time were where the Wall was first formed when he started writing “Ice and Fire.”
He also talked about characters from the books he would have liked to see in the television series -- naming Lady Stoneheart, the corpse of Lady Catelyn Stark, and Arianne Martell, a royal princess -- but added that his books allow him hundreds of pages to write the story while the TV scripts offer about 60 pages.
When asked if Jon Snow will be reborn on the show Martin declined to comment, advising the student who asked the question to “read the books.”