George R. R. Martin is a known realist, which seems like an oxymoron given that he’s currently one of the most-celebrated fantasy writers on the planet. But part of why his fantasy worlds feel so fully-realized is his commitment to authenticity even in the most improbable situations.
You’d think it would be a challenge to make horses seem unrealistic, given that they’re, you know, real. Martin disagrees. “A lot of fantasy writers get horses all wrong,” he explained in an interview with Neil Degrasse Tyson, “they make them these tireless beasts that can go anywhere and gallop for seven days straight.” Essentially, horses aren’t cars—they definitely sh*t more often.
When Tyson remarked that Martin doesn’t give his horses any magical traits, such as wings or an innate ability to form cutesy bonds with their riders, Martin offered a coy reply: “I have an interesting take on unicorns coming up in the new books. Oops.”
Image Via Inprnt.com
(The above image is an example of what Martin’s unicorns will NOT look like.)
‘Interesting’ with Martin often means ‘relatively horrific,’ so it’s safe to say that glitter doesn’t factor into his interpretation. A brief passage from A Dance With Dragons reveals that Westeros’ unicorns are probably more like goats than horses: when Jon Snow inhabits the body of Shaggydog, Rickon Stark’s dire wolf, he rips into an “enormous goat” and washes the blood from the place “where the goat’s long horn had raked him.” No mention of a billowing rainbow mane.
This may not be the sort of scandalous teaser we were looking for, but when it comes to this highly-anticipated (possibly long-overdue) instalment, any news is good news—that is, unless the news is that Martin has had to lock himself in another cabin in order to give the manuscript another go. Some of us may no longer care WHAT appears The Winds of Winter, just so long as the book appears on shelves sooner rather than later. Oops.
Images Via @Ideasoficeandfire Youtube
Of course, most fans respect Martin’s time and understand that his masterful novels require serious effort, particularly with the burden of overwhelming fan expectations. A Dance With Dragons was released in 2011, the same year that the first season of the internationally-acclaimed show aired on HBO. Since then, the author’s popularity has grown—along with, we assume, THE PRESSURE.
Fortunately, this teaser about the unicorns is hopefully a lighthearted distraction from what’s sure to be a depressing episode this Sunday…
Featured Image Via Daily Express.