Friday, May 8, 2015

"A Hymn for Spring" officially on sale

Rejoice, readers all over the world! The second official "Tower of the Hand" ebook is now on sale on, and whereever else you might want to shop it! I con tributed not one not two but three essays for the book, covering such topics as a cultural interpretation of the Battle of the Redgrass Field, the nature of patriarchy and a character study of Barristan Selmy, including a prognosis on what will happen to him in the books, now that he met his demise on the show. 

Read more in the official description:
Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows was a book jam-packed with insightful analysis of the Song of Ice and Fire series, but it only barely scratched the surface of the huge and complex world that author George R.R. Martin has created.
A second anthology, then, is not only desirable, it’s absolutely critical to unearth all that Martin has tucked away into the many dense folds of his narrative.

Here’s how we’ve expanded A Hymn for Spring in order to make it the most comprehensive exploration of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros yet:

  • Updated to cover the newly published Song of Ice and Fire material, including The Princess and the Queen, The Rogue Prince, and The World of Ice and Fire.

  • Four brand-new authors, who hail from some of the most authoritative Ice and Fire websites and podcasts, in order to provide fresh perspectives on the main series.

  • More than twice the size of A Flight of Sorrows, allowing not only for more essays on a wider range of subjects, but also for longer, more comprehensive analysis.

  • A huge swath of bonus material, including additional essays from the Hymn for Spring authors – and their special guests – and sneak previews at the next big projects from the Tower of the Hand editors.


Steven Attewell, the mastermind behind Race for the Iron Throne, brings his political and historical expertise to bear on the effectiveness of Machiavellianism in the game of thrones and the economic gamesmanship of Lord Petyr Baelish. The founder of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire, Jeff Hartline, makes readers fundamentally question their understanding of King Stannis Baratheon. And History of Westeros co-hosts Aziz and Ashaya offer the single most authoritative account of the history – and mythology – of Harrenhal, while Tower of the Hand/Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire contributor Jim McGeehin does the same for Robert’s Rebellion.


Stefan Sasse, from the Boiled Leather Audio Hour and The Nerdstream Era, determines the effects that patriarchy and civil war have had on the Westerosi psychological makeup. A Podcast of Ice and Fire co-host Amin Javadi investigates the nature that songs and singers play in the various cultures of the Seven Kingdoms, and, even, in the nature of the narrative itself. And Tower of the Hand co-founders John Jasmin and Alexander Smith expand the focus to include both an exploration of how HBO’s Game of Thrones simultaneously improves and degrades Martin’s original story and a look at traditional games to help predict the success of all those who play the game of thrones.


  1. Hello, I have read your three essays in A Hymn for Spring, and I have the following remarks:
    1. The essay about patriarchy was very good. However, I do not think that the Tyrells are that dominated by their women: for example, it seems that it was Mace who was most excited in making his daughter a queen, while Olenna, in her talk with Sansa, does not seem enthused by the idea. Also, the reason for Willas to write to Margaery after the Ironborn attack is because he needs the Redwyne fleet, which is kept for the Siege of Dragonstone at that time - only a decision at King's Landing could reallocate it (and Mace was, if I remember correctly, besieging Storm's End at that time). What I mean is that Mace, as bumbling and easily manipulated as he is, still has a considerable amount of decision power, as the patriarch of the family.
    2. About the essay about the Redgrass field: I globally loved it. However, I have a few comments:
    * first and foremost, the colours of the dragons were inverted (Blackfyre was a black dragon on a red field);
    * second, the way you wrote seems to suggest that Meraxes' death was part of the same campaign that Daeron the Young led - however, Daeron's campaign took place after the Dance of the Dragons, while Meraxes died in one of the first campaigns with its rider, Rhaenys, sister-wife of Aegon I;
    * third, you write that Aegon IV bestowed Blackfyre to Daemon Waters "in blank disregard for the power of symbolism" - however, I believe that, when Aegon IV did that, he was fully conscious that he was undermining his son, and did it on purpose - that is, he was fully aware of the power of symbolism, and chose to use it to stir s**t up for Daeron II;
    3. As for "the Word is Groleo" I guess that there was not much new in it for me (having read the Meereenese Blot blog and having heard your fears for Barristan in TWOW on your BLAH podcast). I wonder why you did not include Varys' statement about Barristan, that "Ser Barristan loves his honor", as it supports what you write in it. However, I liked it, as I like Barristan as a character, with his faults.

    In short, I loved the subject of your essays, they were great to read, but I had to intervert "red" and "black" mentally while reading the one about the Redfyre Rebellion and the battle of Blackgrass Field. ;)

    1. I have to apologize; as the editor, the inverting of the red and black dragon was completely my fault. An updated draft of the manuscript was sent to Amazon immediately after the book published (since Amazon wouldn't accept it beforehand), correcting mistakes in that essay and several others -- we're just waiting on the company to make it available to all our first-day buyers (it's the version that all new customers get automatically).

      With that said, I would sincerely like to thank you for buying the book right away -- it means a lot to all of us. =)



    2. Thanks for buying the book! Concerning your points:
      1) You are right of course in that the decision rests ultimately with Mace, but aside from sticking with Renly, it does seem like many decisions are made by the women of the family at least in the background. Even the best councellors don't always get through, especially with idiots. Look at Jon Arryn or Eddard Stark with Robert. They rule the realm most of the time, but when Robert decides he's going to have that tourney or assassinate that girl, no chance in changing his mind.
      2) Sorry for the dragon mixup! At least it's consistent :P Also sorry about the poor wording. The theory of Aegon V stirring shit up for Daeron is a good one, but it was only brought to my knowledge after the essay was finalized already. I think it makes a great deal of sense, at least more than I gave credit for.
      3) I simply didn't think of the quote. Good call.

  2. Very interesting blog. Alot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definately interested in this one.
    facebook entrar l entrar facebook l entrar no facebook l entrar facebook direto l entrar facebook agora