A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) A Game of Thrones discussion


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Prehistoric Megafauna in the World of Ice and Fire

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message 1: by Adam (last edited Nov 09, 2014 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Adam Meek One of the more fascinating aspects of ASOIAF for me is the existence of ancient animals that went extinct thousands or millions of years ago in our world.

Mammoths and Dire wolves roam the Land beyond the Wall and Ibben while the Aurochs, though rare, is found across Westeros. The Giants physical description resembles the Gigantopithecus which roamed ancient Asia during the Pleistocene. The dwarf elephant of Volantis recalls extinct dwarf elephants and mammoths that evolved on various islands from the Mediterranean to the Bering Sea.

We see evidence for other prehistoric survivals in Syrio Forel's speech to Arya on p. 531 of aGoT. According to Syrio the menagerie of the Sea-Lord of Braavos includes:

hairy mouse pigs as big as cows- diprotodont (?)
tigers that carry their cubs in a pouch- thylacine or thylacaleo
terrible walking lizards with scythes for claws- velociraptors or similar dinosaur

How have these creatures survived? Do the extremes of climate hamper human encroachment and allow these creatures to persist well into a medieval age? Do the continents of Ulthos and Sothoryos team with yet more fascinating creatures? Will we see them in the future?

ETA:I previously posted this on another site, and some of the commenters there caught another possible PHMF in the WOIAF:

The unicorns of Skagos are described as "great" and "shaggy"- possibly the ancient wooly rhino Elasmotherium.


Matthew Williams thecryptile wrote: "One of the more fascinating aspects of ASOIAF for me is the existence of ancient animals that went extinct thousands or millions of years ago in our world.

Mammoths and Dire wolves roam the Land ..."


Interesting... Well, Martin's work is built on historical allegories, and he loves to play around with time in his novels. I imagine this is his way of playing with it more, by showing animals that went extinct before and during humanity's emergence as still being in existence.


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