Raunch Reviews: A Song of Ice and Fire

Raunch Review: A Song of Ice and Fire

Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.

Raunch Reviews: A Song of Ice and FireThe Author: George R. R. Martin
Work in Question: A Song of Ice & Fire/Game of Thrones
The Profanity: “Seven Hells”

It’s easy to dismiss George R. R. Martin’s epic as just another fantasy. After all, it has all the trappings. But Martin likes to ground these in a grim reality that make the struggles and conflict on the page feel real—almost historical. This is especially incorporated through his in-world religions as well. From the strange faces of the old gods carved into the sides of weirwood trees, to the Drowned God of the men of the Iron Isles, and to the Andal’s Faith of the Seven—with any faith, oaths generally follow. So it’s no surprise Martin went with “seven hells” as his inworld mild-profanity replacement.

As a mild oath, it’s fine. Seven kingdoms, seven gods, seven heavens, seven hells—it makes sense. Likewise, it doesn’t stray too far from English’s own oaths, so there is a recognition factor that comes into play. The familiarity of this profanity is understandable, as in his writing Martin tends to stick reasonably close to actual real-world history and mythology in his work. That makes his bleak world feel more adjacent to our own which works in its favor. All that said, while this is recognizable, it’s not especially original. But it’s not a word to pull you out of the story. Instead, it allows you to glide right past one grim tragedy and onto the next.

Score:  (3.0)

🤬 Previous Raunch Reviews

Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.

Friday Link Pack 08/01/2014

Game of Thrones Transit Maps
Hooray Friday! It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!


Pulse On Pacing: How Smooth Transitions Keep Your Story Moving
Handy tips from the folks over at Writers Helping Writers on keeping readers moving through your prose.

Publishing Industry Reels After 9M Fewer Books Are Given As Gifts In 2013
An interesting look at the number of physical books bought and the number of books given as gifts. I think this is a trend we’ll only see increase as time progresses.

Accidentally Going Digital
Peter Damien observes his slow evolution from book reader to ebook reader. Having once be adamantly opposed to reading digital books, I can relate. Just wait until it becomes your go-to platform.

Is Selling Direct Worth It?
A few weeks ago I shared an article about HarperCollins pivoting to sell ebooks directly. Publishers Weekly asks a real good question: does it worth?

Be Ruthless…
In case you missed it, last weekend I highlighted this fantastic quote from Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.


Game of Thrones Transit Maps
I love these fantasy subway maps from my friend and fellow designer Michael Tyznik. His attention to detail is superb. If there’s one this Westeros could use it’s decent public transportation, might actually keep everyone from fighting. Buy posters of these maps over on InPrnt.

I Love Summer
A great series of high-speed photos by photographer Krista Long showing folks emerging from water slides. They make me want to visit a water park this weekend.

70’s Sci-Fi Art
I love the 70s, I love art, and I love science fiction. So I was excited when I discovered this blog highlighting the strange and surreal sci-fi art from the 1970s.


The Southern Pole Of Mars Is More Beautiful Than We Ever Imagined
io9 ain’t lyin’. Is it odd that this makes me want icecream?

A Victorian Coast Defense Fort Is Transformed Into A Luxury Hotel
Welcome to Spitbank Fort, once built for coastal defense, not a place to kickback and relax. Future supervillains take note, this is an incredible lair.

The Akodessewa Fetish Market
Atlas Obscura takes us deep into the heart of West Africa where the practice of vodoun—known to us as voodoo—is still thriving. Here you’ll find a market that caters to the practitioners. Here you can find anything from leopard heads to human skulls, and more. [NOTE: There’s nothing super gross here, but if you’re easily disturbed best to avoid this link.]

What If All The Ice On Earth Melted?
What would happen to some of earth’s most iconic landmarks if all the ice on the planet melted tomorrow?

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Green Meadow
Written by H. P. Lovecraft and Winifred V. Jackson this short story tells the tale of a mysterious meteorite that crash lands in the ocean off the coast of Maine, and the strange discoveries therein.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

Pacific Rim 2: Royal Rumble

Friday Link Pack 4/11/14

The Most Grotesque Humanoid Monsters of the Early Modern Age

It’s time to share a few interesting links I have found throughout the week. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Let me know!


The Stars Were $2.99
I’m having a sale! For a limited time ebook editions of The Stars Were Right can be purchased for only $2.99! Grab a copy today.

Writing Fiction: 5 Lessons From Game Of Thrones
Nice article from The Creative Pen examining the strategies the creators of HBO’s Game of Thrones use to keep viewers engaged.

The Grimly Grim Hallmark Of Awfully Bad Writing
Thanks to Josh for grimly sharing this grim article about the overuse of grim in modern sci-fi and fantasy. It’s an easy enough fix, but something to be grimly mindful of, even I have grimly observed my own grim use of the word.


The Firefly Time-Lapse
(The bug, not the series.) Awesome little video of fireflies lighting up the night.

France just made it illegal to answer work emails after 6pm
…and now I want to move to France.

Travel to the alien jungle with the sci-fi short ‘Prospect’
Nice product value. Great atmosphere. A solid 13 minute short that was filmed in my own backyard. Recommended.

The Most Grotesque Humanoid Monsters of the Early Modern Age
io9 collects images from the 15th century depicting disturbing and ultimately sorta silly monsters.

Overlook Hotel Carpet Socks

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

A man and a city and a dream.

Farewell Gif of the Week:

This is what I am like when my wife is out of town.

Arya & The Hound

Arya & The HoundLove this piece draw by illustrator Willie Real of Arya Stark and The Hound from George R. R. Martin‘s “Song of Ice and Fire” series. It was to adorable not to share. I figure if you read my blog you’re probably a reader of GRRMs work as well, and if you’re not you should be.