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The Tower of the Hand: Making the wait for The Winds of Winter more bearable
on October 18, 2012
Recently, Vulture Magazine wrote an article rating the top 25 most devoted fandoms. At the top of the list were, to no surprise, the fans of George R.R. Martin's glorious and epic saga: "A Song of Ice and Fire". Us fans, knowing that the next novel, "The Winds of Winter", could be coming out in years, salivate at any new development in the community. "Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows" is a sure way to satisfy the hunger of ASOIAF fans.
The Tower of the Hand, along with westeros.org, The Podcast of Ice and Fire, Not a Blog, and the Boiled Leather Audio Hour, is an amazing spot for ASOIAF fans. For years, the contributors have been writing family trees, chapter summaries, theories, and essays for us dedicated fans. Now, with the release of their first essay collection, "Tower of the Hand: A flight of Sorrows", they once again ignite the passion and imagination for the thousands of fans.
The collection contains 8 essays from prolific figureheads of the ASOIAF community, including Podcast of Ice and Fire hosts Amim Javadi and Mimi Hoshut, Stefan Sasse from Boiled Leather, and Alex and Johnny from the Tower of the Hand itself. Essay topics range from the implications of Aegon VI Targaryen to top players in the game of thrones to the parallels between the Dunk and Egg novellas and the series proper. And unlike many other essay collections, which discuss topics associated with the series (like the concepts of truth and honor), this one looks at the actual events in the books and tries to make sense of it all.
It is a highly engaging read for someone like me and other truly devoted fans, however, I could imagine more casual fans having some trouble understanding some of the things discussed. For example, the details of the Blackfyre Rebellion or the Azor Ahai prophecy often go missed by a casual reader; they could have a hard time grasping some of the theories mentioned in this book without the more advanced understanding. That in mind, this is a book for the most intense fans.
With no end in sight for the completion of "The Winds of Winter", "Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows" is a great way to make the wait bearable. During my read, I began to re-evaluate my previous assumptions and theories, as well as looking at things I had not considered. It was interesting, exciting, and fun, for it brings us one step closer to finally solving the gargantuan jigsaw puzzle that is "A Song of Ice and Fire."