Manderly’s Pies Etc.

Major Game of Thrones/ASOIAF spoilers herein. Also, general ideas about the writing of really good fiction. And lots of unnecessary asides. Just sayin’. Feature image credit: Manderly’s Meat Pies by saportfolio via DeviantArt and Google Images. And well done to you. I’d wear that T-shirt, almost because no one in this particular level of hell would get the reference.

George RR Martin has become one of my favorite authors, not because I love A Song of Ice and Fire series so much (although I do – I discover new details every time I reread it, but it’s so dark that I can’t read them back-to-back without a mental break) but because he incorporates these beautiful details and references that come back chapters or books or two, three, four re-readings later that re-endear me to the series as a masterful, interwoven work of fiction. The places and some of the situations are fantastical, but the basic human aspect is visceral and driving (and potentially sexy) enough that HBO actually made it in to a series. They put naked people in silly, unnecessary situations (It’s HBO, after all) and stripped a lot of the real intrigue and intelligence of some characters, but added interest to others, so I suppose it evens out.

I’m desperately bad at politics in real life. (I pretty much am who I am and say [or don’t] what I will and try to keep myself out of the politics of any given situation. It has consistently ensured that I am a [sometimes barely] tolerated outsider in all social situations except those of real, heartfelt trust and mutual appreciation. As a sustainable and healthy way of life, I am completely okay with that.) In fiction, I read it – politics – and tend to take people and places at face value initially. When someone wholly unexpectedly turns out to be the bad guy, I’m shocked and intrigued, and reread (if it’s good enough to bother) with a new understanding and insight… For the really good ones, several times. Perhaps again after a few years with a new perspective. I don’t have that chance in real life, so I maintain my outsider standing. GRRM is one of the two authors that I can say I’ve read their entire series “a number” of times, and continue to find new details and references that entertain and intrigue me. The other consistently multifaceted author I’ve found, for reference, is Jacqueline Carey.

[There are many books in a number of genres that I have reread a relatively large number of times. Phillip Pullman is one, Anne McCaffrey is another. Piers Anthony as well. Catherine Coulter is another such, to be honest. The ones that renewed my interest repeatedly with layers I hadn’t noticed are the ones I mean in this entry. I think Sharon Shinn has the potential to be added to the epic re-readers list, but she hasn’t written enough that I’ve been exposed to, quite yet. And now that I think about it, there are certain individual novels that have very noticeably affected my real life… That is, I’m certain, another entry. Or several. Anyway! This is a complete tangent. Welcome to reading my blog…]

So, back to the subject. I’ve had this “pet” theory since my first reading of A Dance with Dragons that  Wyman Manderly, the overtly ineffectual coward, had his ultimate revenge at “Arya Stark”‘s wedding in his three immensely enjoyable pies. Three missing Freys, three huge meat pies that he thoroughly enjoyed sharing… I was convinced that our ‘coward’ lord had those Freys baked in to pies and fed to the wedding guests.

The only person I’ve ever shared my theory with thought that I was nuts for thinking of it. I never thought to ask the internet. A stupidly long time later, we were discussing how much I wanted to write GRRM a letter and postulate my ‘crazy’ theory. I asked for the series to borrow again to quote chapter and verse as it were in my theory, and he suggested I just Google ‘manderly’ and ‘pie’.

I did.

Lo and behold, my silly theory is a freaking ‘thing’. There are actually T-shirts advertising Manderly Meat Pies: the best meal in White Harbor. Made with 100% Frey. I love it because I’m not the only crazy one (and I would completely wear that T-shirt on the understanding that NO ONE but me would ever get the joke), but I’m also sort of disappointed. I didn’t think it was that obvious. I actually thought my theory was pretty clever, until I bothered to Google it.

… And how many potential great ideas, regardless of genre or circumstance, were killed by that phrase…

Now, I feel kind of stupid for thinking I had a unique insight. However, I have excellent source reference quotes to argue my case with Lance, my political intrigue-ist, who never saw the Manderly pie at all and thought I was silly, until I started reading quotes and showing him incidental pie charts of “what Jon Snow knows”…







(Image credit: random incomprehensible Tumblr link. Thank you, random internet comic. I lol’ed. Equally entertaining, the chart labeled In the Game of Thrones, you (green)Win (red)Die.)

Nevertheless, this theory has never been credited or discredited by GRRM. Although for reference, this is the same author who has confirmed that somewhere on the internet, someone has guessed the ending. “Thanks for nothing on that one, jackass.” As it were.

I have lots more to talk about regarding GRRM, Game of Thrones, the series, the books, the differences, the timelines… For now, I’ll leave it at that. Good night!

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One Response to Manderly’s Pies Etc.

  1. Pingback: Tiiiickeeeeettttssssss!!!! | Paper-Tiger

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