I’ve been sucked into HBO’s Game of Thrones medieval fantasy drama like so many millions of others. It started with an audio book over a long cross-country trip with my son, who helped me learn about the many layers of intrigue, from character development to overarching themes and messages (climate change, feminism, etc).
I give author, George R. R. Martin, proper due for getting horses and horsemanship right. Check out the following Game of Thrones mentions and corresponding articles and posts on NickerNews and BestHorsePractices.
To note in Book 1, A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Martin writes that tight reins held by frightened riders will result in edgy horses. Read about contact.
- Mules do better than horses in mountain terrain, notes one of his characters. Read about mules.
- When contemplating training a horse for an atypical task, his character says, “Better to get a young one, so you don’t have to unlearn it from what it already knows.” Read about unlearning.
- After Daenerys has been riding her first horse, Silver, for days on days, Martin writes that the horse knew what she wanted without hearing any cues. Read about softness.
- The author even weighs in on rider weight, noting that big, heavy-set men need bigger horses. (It should be noted, however, that in the real Middle Ages, all horses were smaller than they are nowadays. The Hound and Brienne of Tarth likely would have struggled to find a suitable horse to ride. Read about rider weight.