Tag Archives: George R.R. Martin

What Is Fantasy? George R. R. Martin Knows

18 Sep

Fantasy is imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained; and its mental images are especially wondrous, unreal, and fantastic. The author of the Song of Ice and Fire series of books known as A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin is a master of such writing and has something to say about the differences between fantasy and reality.

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old … and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”

Soundtrack to this post is, yeah, you guessed it, has to be Traffic’s Dear Mr. Fantasy. Enjoy!



Definition of fantasy: dictionary.com
GRRM quote: GRRM Official Website

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