Tough Traveling – Towers

August 28, 2014


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.

300px-The_tower_of_joy_by_henningTower of Joy

  • 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.

Wailing Tower

  • 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.

400px-Dimitri_bleak_The_Drunkard's_towerDrunkard’s Tower

  • 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.



Sky Tower

  • 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.


  • Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum August 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Great list and I love the twist. Reading this actually felt like a real tour of Westeros (for tower enthusiasts 😛 ) I was just telling someone that until I really thought about it, I didn’t realize Westeros was so littered with towers!
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Tough Traveling: TowersMy Profile

  • Wendell(@Bookwraiths) August 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    That is one creative list. Having just started watching the Game of Thrones tv series (I was scared it would ruin the books for me), I have to say this was just a great tour. It made me want to go pull out all Martin’s books and dive in again. 🙂
    Wendell(@Bookwraiths) recently posted…TOUGH TRAVELING — TOWERSMy Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) August 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      I listened to most of Game of Thrones on audiobook recently. I was going to write some type of review when I was done, but well…. didn’t happen. My library copy expired (and the wait list is months long). But I really enjoyed it. Despite know the story so well, I still find myself sucked in.
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – TowersMy Profile

  • Lynn August 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Brilliant – I completely forgot the tower where Tyrion was kept. This is a great idea – my idea this week was to look at books with Tower in the title – and try and come up with five that I hadn’t read – then I abandoned the plan at the last minute!
    I actually found it more difficult that I imagined to come up with towers. It seems that George Martin has a bit of a thing for them – what was the name of the tower that the young boy fell from? It was in book 1??
    Lynn 😀
    Lynn recently posted…They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard..My Profile

    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) August 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure if they gave it a name, it was just a tower that was no longer used in Winterfell. Well, maybe they did give it a name, but I can’t remember one. 🙂
      Lisa (@TenaciousReader) recently posted…Tough Traveling – TowersMy Profile

  • Maija Reads August 28, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Wow, what a great list of the towers of Westeros! The Lord Commander’s Tower was a great pick – it’s such an important tower in the series.
    Maija Reads recently posted…Towers in Fantasy BooksMy Profile

  • Danya @ Fine Print August 28, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    You are a Song of Ice and Fire expert, girl! I was racking my brains and could only come up with two towers in all of the three books I’ve read (towers at Harrenhal and the Sky Tower). Gonna go ahead and agree with everyone else, this is a great list!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Tough Traveling: TowersMy Profile

  • Nathan (@reviewbarn) August 28, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Nice, a theme within a theme. And from the most kick ass series around.

    Wanna make him fly!
    Nathan (@reviewbarn) recently posted…Tough Travels – TowersMy Profile

  • Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens August 28, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Bwahahaha. I have a serious case of book amnesia. As I was contemplating about Towers yesterday and today, ASOIF never entered my mind. Thanks for pulling that out. I’ll be more observant when I get to the Clash of Kings.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Tropes That I HateMy Profile

  • Anne @ Lovely Literature August 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I love this! The sky tower is pretty sweet torture. I mean, the visuals from the show was terrifying. I can’t imagine trying to fall asleep in that cell. You’d want to belt yourself to the wall.
    Anne @ Lovely Literature recently posted…Bring on the spoilers!My Profile

  • Anya August 30, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Gah, the Sky Tower scares the beejesus out of me! I’m afraid of heights so I would totally be hyperventilating at the farthest corner of that cell D:
    Anya recently posted…Spoils, Tribute, and Planning to PillageMy Profile