Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire

by
3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  515 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Foreword by "New York Times" bestselling author R.A. Salvatore
Go beyond the Wall and across the narrow sea with this collection about George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, from "A Game of Thrones" to "A Dance with Dragons."
The epic game of thrones chronicled in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has captured the imaginations of millions of readers....more
ebook, 220 pages
Published 2012 by BenBella Books, Inc.
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond the Wall, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beyond the Wall

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,050)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Johnny
Robert A. Salvatore’s “Foreword” to Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons sets a near-perfect tone for this entire book of criticism on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. He says all of those things we’d like to say to those who demean the fantasy genre in specific (and fiction, in general) and he says it all with his particular flair. I must take slight issue with his description of Martin’s work as the...more
Petra
First of all, this book contains spoilers up untill A Dance with Dragons, so if haven´t read it yet, catch up before reading this book.
Before I get to the review, I want to share this quote from the book;

"GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S A Song of Ice and Fire has been a success, in large part, because it has recaptured fans of the fantasy genre who had grown bored and moved away from the standard fare, and because it has reached a wide audience of those who traditionally do not read or watch fantasy genre...more
Kifflie
Disclaimer: I personally know the publisher, editor, and one of the contributors to this volume -- but will strive to be as objective as I can in my comments.

Beyond the Wall is a series of essay on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire," which had managed to stay out of my consciousness until the HBO series began airing, and certain friends of mine within the gaming community were talking about it. So I started reading the series, and was caught up in it almost immediately -- finishing t...more
♥~♥Geri ~ the HEA junkie ♥~♥
I'm a huge fan of the books and the series, so this was a fantastic read for me. A fantastic exploration of the themes in the book A Song of Fire and Ice. I think this book is worth the read whether you're a fan of the books or the series.


A copy is provided by the publisher through NetGalley exchange for an honest review.
Sarah
This is welcome addition to Smart Pop's series of books collecting essays about popular novels. All the essays are well written and informative, finding a perfect balance between academic depth and accessibility, and each reader will find what appeals the most. My personal favourite was the analysis of how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is depicted (apparently it is meticulously accurate) as it gave me new insight into the characters.... however, it is very similar to one on PTSD in The Girl Who...more
Audrey-anne
I wasnt interested by all the chapters at first, but I read them all anyway and I ended really glad I did. Most of them are well written and enlightening.
L. Lawson
The main reason I didn't like this book very much (despite a few standout essays from Rosenberg, Cole, Staggs and Spector) is that the authors tried so hard to be 'academic' in their treatments of Westeros, tried so hard to sound so serious, but ended up not saying very much--and when they did have something valuable to say, took several paragraphs to make a very basic point (as though, to be taken seriously, judicious use of words goes out the window).

Several of the essays were also quite repe...more
Eustacia Tan
Beyond The Wall is one of those books that explores the world behind the books. In this case, it explores the world in the A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin. You may be surprised to see this because I haven't talked about A Song of Fire and Ice before and you're right. Before I picked up this book, I had absolutely no knowledge of this amazing world.

It seems counterintuitive, not to mention spoiler-ish, but I actually became interested in this series because of this book. I'm t...more
Liviu
FBC Rv:


INTRODUCTION: As a huge series fan and also as I own the art books inspired by the novels, I was very curious about this essay book since I heard about it some months ago.

While the recent A Feast of Ice and Fire is a bit "too out" for my interests, the upcoming map book "The Lands of Ice and Fire" is another huge asap, so this year we will have been treated with a lot of ASOIAF material, from the excellent HBO series, to three related works including the one discussed here!

Note that Beyo...more
Peter
This is a must have for ASOIAF fans, and even aspiring authors.


This book is a series of essays exploring various aspects of ASOIAF. Written by mostly authors, bloggers and dedicated fanboys. The book hits ASOIAF from pretty much every angle, and will have you looking at the world, the history, and it's characters in new or different ways

Some of the highlights

Author Daniel Abraham's essay on the transition of the series to a graphic novel was fascinating. I found his chapter to be full of informa...more
Jen*The Geeky Book Gal*
I enjoyed most of the 14 essays in this book. Some were a bit dry or overly analytical but, some were extra compelling, such as "Petyr Baelish and the Mask of Sanity" by Matt Staggs which discussed Petyr Baelish's psychopathic nature as a clinical rather than a popular definition of the often used term. Andrew Zimmerman Jones discusses the various religions of Westeros in "Of Direwolves and Gods" ;and the essay on romanticism "The Palace of Love, the Palace of Sorrow" by Elio M. Garcia Jr goes i...more
Saphana
This book is not what it claims to be.

A typical "companion" to a well-received and award-winning series should delve into insights in the background, the characters, maybe even enlighten us to mysteries or prophecies which permeate the series.

Not so. Instead we get a rambling opening article (I refuse to use the word "essay") that honestly tries to place Martin's writing in the era of "Romanticism", not even once analyzing or comparing Martin's prose to an author of said era. The history of art...more
Sarah Jane
Beyond the Wall is a good educational companion to George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. It's a compilation of different essays written about different subject matters relating to the books. I personally found R.A. Salvatore's foreward fascinating, as well as, Alyssa Rosenberg's essay about the sexual politics in the series. I also found the Westeros.org founders' essay about romanticism really interesting and talked about it with my husband (who has also read the books). The essay...more
Ami Kismet
This was a really fun and interesting read, but I can't help but feel that some of the essays could have gone a little deeper in their analysis. This could very well be because the series itself is not finished and Martin defies what readers expect at every turn. It was a fun quick read though that allowed me to spend some more time in Martin's world. I am sure once the series is completed, there will be more variety and deeper explorations such as this book. As it is, check it out. Gives new pe...more
Full Stop
http://www.full-stop.net/2012/06/22/r...

Review by Jake Blumgart

As another season of HBO’s Game of Thrones draws to a close, it is worth asking what makes this series so damn fascinating. Why do we want to spend so much time with a work that challenges the most beloved aspects of a genre known for its ability to transport readers away from the cares, both mundane and brutal, of the real world?

There are no dark sorcerers in Westeros (the continent that contains most of the action), no boy wizards;...more
Marjolein
READ IN ENGLISH

Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!



*Insert Game of Thrones Intro*



WARNING: This book expects you to have actually read the books, if you're following the HBO series, stay clear from this book because you will find spoilers the size of the Wall!



In preparation for the fourth season of Game of Thrones, I thought this book would be very interesting. And as it goes with coll...more
The Lit Bitch
I’ve read a lot of reviews about this anthology, and most people say that you can find better material online in the discussion groups for free.

While there is a plethora of material online, a lot of it isn’t structured or supported by research which was what I was looking for….something a little more organized.

This novel had a broad selection of essays about A Song of Ice and Fire and Westeros. Some were interesting and thought provoking while others left me wanting.


Some of the essays I could ha...more
Jonathan Roberts
Beyond The Wall is an interesting read for those who wish to delve deeper into George R.R. Martin’s fantasy masterpiece A Song of Ice and Fire . The book is a compilation of essays, composed by very different writers, addressing a multitude of topics; for that reason I believe there is something for every fan in this book.
Some fans of the Game of Thrones universe may be seasoned collectors who purchase associated merchandise, others may appreciate the brutality and realism of Martin’s unive...more
Ryan Curry
This book was absolutely incredible. Thoroughly enjoyed all of the articles. Particularly the one about collecting the song of ice and fire, touched a special place in my heart. Also loved how intense the final essayist got about the "genre war" and how fantasy is finally starting to come into its own! All in all, i loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who has finished the series up to date!
Emanuele
A collection of essays on the great A Song of Ice and Fire, a few of them very interesting, most of them totally forgettable.

There is a lot which could be discussed, but must authors end up trying to create a philosophical system around the book to prove their personal, and sometime questionable points.

Not really recommended, unless maybe for a selective skim over
Taryn
Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, From A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons is a collection of essays that critically examine different aspects and themes of George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels. While the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, came out in 1996, it has recently experienced a resurgence in popularity due to the release of the fifth book in the series, A Dance With Dragons–and of course, with...more
Wendy
Beyond the Wall is a wonderful companion read that allows the reader to view the remarkable series of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and its striking cast of characters in new ways.

It delves into our concept of good and evil and discusses how no clear line is drawn between the two in the world of Westeros and beyond. Most of the characters aren't clearly good or purely evil. The essays discuss how we're able to look past some of the character's misgivings and not others. It offers...more
Patricia
I'm a fantasy lover but my biggest sin is to not yet have read any of George R.R. Martins works. Unbelievable, I know, unforgivable, I also know that.
But through NetGalley I found the chance to be introduced to this author's books from the eyes of people that know what to say when it comes to writing fantasy and perhaps give some light into my unforgiving "ignorance" on this great author's books.

"Beyond the Wall" was elaborated by James Lowder and had the participation of people that are master...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Very interesting collection of critical essays on the world of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. My favorite essays within the collection: "Men and Monsters: Rape, Myth-Making, and the Rise and Fall of Nations in A Song of Ice and Fire" by Alyssa Rosenberg, "An Unreliable World: History and Timekeeping in Westeros" by Adam Whitehead, "Of Direwolves and Gods" by Andrew Zimmerman Jones, "A Sword Without a Hilt: The Dangers of Magic in (and to) Westeros" by Jesse Scoble, "A Different Kin...more
Amanda (Pearl the Book Girl)
I am a huge fan of the Song of Ice and Fire series. I think it's absolutely brilliant and by far the best epic fantasy I have ever read. The characters are complex and they live in a rich world with long running history, religions, and cultures (not to mention some fantastic geography, the backbone of any good fantasy in my opinion). I love discussing the different themes and events that occur in the series so I was very interested in this collection of essays about the popular series. However,...more
Brian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becca
*WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD*
I just couldn’t write this review without some spoilers (so if you haven’t finished the series so far please stop reading right here, right now!).

What a treat this book is for any George R. R. Martin fan who loves to delve deep into the story and engage in discussions regarding the series, explore deep into the characters’ minds, analyses the plot closely and read interesting theories. This rich collection was an absolute pleasure to read, a collection brimming with the m...more
Ken
Thanks BenBella Books and Smart Pop Books for providing me a review copy of Beyond the Wall. If you are a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire then you will definitely love the essays in Beyond the Wall. Each essay explores a different facet in A Song of Ice and Fire with contributors ranging from some of the biggest names in modern Fantasy to experts on the series.

My favourite essays were the ones that looked at things in the series that a casual reader would miss. Such as in "An unreliable World", Ad...more
Steph
This was a really interesting compendium of essays on Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. As with any collection of essays, some were better than others, and some appealed more to me than others. My favourite chapters included Alyssa Rosenburg's examination of the use of rape as a war weapon in the series; the character study of Littlefinger through the lens of psychopathy; and Whitehead's chapter on the uncertain history of Westeros. The chapters on religion, magic, the Dunk and Egg prequel...more
Joana

"We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La."


This book is an insightful look in the world created by George R.R. Martin in the A Song of Ice and Fire seri...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 68 69 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2
  • Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords
  • The Lands of Ice and Fire: Maps from King's Landing to Across the Narrow Sea
  • Worldsoul (Worldsoul Trilogy, #1)
  • Trolldom (Häxmästaren, #1)
  • The Dragon's Boy
  • A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook
  • The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Dine like Draper and Drink like Sterling: Recipes to Satisfy a Mad Men Appetite
  • Coup d'Etat (The War That Came Early, #4)
  • The Ruined City (The Veiled Isles Trilogy, #2)
  • The Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun: Cool Hacks, Cutting-Edge Games, and More Awesome Projects for the Whole Family
  • A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 3
  • Once Upon a Curse: Stories and Fairy Tales for Adult Readers
  • Uncle John's Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader
  • Brave New Knits: 26 Projects and Personalities from the Knitting Blogosphere
  • TV Goes to Hell: An Unofficial Road Map of Supernatural
  • The Psychology of Dexter
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth
aka Richard Awlinson, J D Lowder

James Lowder has worked extensively in fantasy and horror fiction on both sides of the editorial blotter. He's authored several best-selling dark fantasy novels and has had short fiction appear in such anthologies as Shadows Over Baker Street and The Repentant. He's penned comic book scripts for several companies and the city of Boston. His book and film reviews, fe...more
More about James Lowder...
Prince of Lies (Forgotten Realms: Avatar, #4) Knight of the Black Rose (Ravenloft, #2) Realms of Valor (Forgotten Realms: Anthologies, #1) The Ring of Winter (Forgotten Realms: The Harpers, #5) Realms of Infamy (Forgotten Realms: Anthologies, #2)

Share This Book