Nathan over at Fantasy Review Barn is the mastermind of Tough Traveling. What’s Tough Traveling? Pretty much, it’s a weekly feature on Thursdays where we dig around to come up with examples of common tropes in fantasy, using Diana Wynne Jones’ The Tough Guide to Fantasyland as our inspiration and guide. Nathan has invited one and all to join in the fun, so feel free to come up with your own lists and add the link on Nathan’s weekly post, which will also contain (unleash) the next weeks theme. So let the fun begin …
This weeks theme? TOWERS
TOWERS stand along in waster areas and almost always belong to Wizards. All are several storeys high, round, doorless, virtually windowless, and composed of smooth blocks of masonry that make them very hard to climb.
Well, since this week’s theme can be found in so many books, I decided to do something different and instead of limiting myself to one tower per author/book/series. I am going to limit my selections to just one series. Why? We’ll, why not? So here it is. My Tower list from A Song of Ice and Fire By George R. R. Martin. I’ll put a disclosure here, I don’t think any of this is major spoilers, but I’m not withholding any information either. And, there are so many towers, I know there are tons more that I have not include. The Tower of the Hand, the other towers at Harrenhal, the other towers at Castle Black, and many more. I just picked 5.
- Location: Dorne, inside the Prince’s Pass.
- Fun Fact: Rhaegar Targaryen kept Lyanna Stark . The tower was torn down after a showdown with only two survivors. The stones from the tower were used to create cairns for the deceased.
Lord Commander’s Tower (or Commander’s Keep)
- Location: Castle Black
- Fun Fact: Site of Wight attack and was burned to the ground by the ever proper and heroic ‘Lord’ Snow. For those that don’t know what a wight is, it’s kind of a lumbering frozen zombie.
- Location: Harrenhal
- Fun Fact: The cracks in this tower (caused by the heat of dragon fire when the castle was attacked/practically destroyed) caused the wind to whistle. People claim it is the wailing of ghosts from those who died.
- Location: the Neck (swamp in the North). It is one of the remaining towers from Moat Caitlin, an ancient stronghold of the First Men
- Fun Fact: Moat Caitlin used to boast 20 towers and was built about 10,000 years ago. It’s in a key position separating the North from it’s Southern neighbors. But now it’s mainly ruins, and hence the Drunkard’s Tower get’s it’s name from the way it leans precariously.
- Location: The Eyrie
- Fun Fact: Despite it’s lack of bars, and open air access, this tower is used a prison. Give the height of the cells, they could save money on stones and allow their prisoners a peaceful place to meditate. OK, maybe I made that part up. But a real Tyrion got to enjoy a visit here. The show actually made the cells look much, much roomier than I remember from the book.