Long before HBO’s Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin introduced The Wall in the very first novel of his A Song of Ice and Fire series. With Kit Harington’s Jon Snow as the POV character, The Wall has been the site of some of Game of Thrones’ most memorable scenes, including the fifth season finale, which still has fans speculating.
While visiting his alma mater, Northwestern University, this week, Martin recalled his time living in Chicago. He also indicated that the intensity of winter in the Windy City served as a major inspiration for The Wall.
“The coldest winter was in Chicago,” recalled Martin. “There was so much snow that winter, you couldn’t see, all snow, all ice, and it was so very cold.” Martin also compared the frozen Chicago streets to World War I trenches, “but they were trenches of ice…I remember walking through the trenches and the tunnels of ice, the wind blowing so you couldn’t even see. It’s an experience that never left me.”
Previously, Martin has said that The Wall was partially inspired by Hadrian’s Wall, a landmark which dates back to the Roman Empire. Much like The Wall in Game of Thrones, Hadrian’s Wall was constructed to keep the Romans safe from “barbarians.” A large part of Hadrian’s Wall is still standing almost two thousand years after it was first constructed.
Given the events of the fifth season finale, it’s not clear if The Wall will still be one of the most commonly used locations in the series, but it will undoubtedly remain on Game of Thrones in some capacity.
Game of Thrones fans, share your thoughts on The Wall’s origins in the comments section below!
HT: Chicago Tribune
Image Credit: HBO