All men must have birthdays: a guide to properly celebrating GRRM’s birthday
  Lists    September 19, 2016     Mackenzie Kiera

 

(Alert) Spoilers ahead.

 

Do:

Read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Don’t:

Do it all in one sitting. A) It’s not possible and b) I don’t think the human body is emotionally prepared to handle the entire series in a single gulp.

 

Do:

Take this day to celebrate Martin because he is a wonderful writer. His work is beautiful and speaks directly to the human experience. Martin has a way of delivering the reader into the character’s mind and allowing us to see the world through their perspective. This goes for all of the characters, whether they are favorites (my personal favorites are Sansa, Tyrion and of course, Jon Snow) or the ones who are interesting but a slow burn like Bran or Sir Davos. Martin has the reader’s empathy on a short leash, one he likes to tug on frequently. Most, if not all, of the characters are relatable, even the ones you want to hate, like the infamous Lannister twins. You understand the love Cersei has for her children and how conflicted and good Jamie, the Kingslayer, really is.

So, first and foremost, read the books. Because sure, it’s easier to watch it on HBO, but, in honor of Martin’s birthday, read the books. That’s what he bled for, after all.

Don’t:

Have a wedding on this day. Or attend one. Trust me.

 

Do:

Take notes as you read. Anything that seems strange or peculiar, jot it down. They are breadcrumbs. Martin likes to leave those. There are layers upon layers of information and backstory and secrets, but there are whispers about all of these intricacies inside the pages. Keep notes in your kindles or on paper or even in the folds of the book itself. There will be a payout.

Don’t:

Leave your house. Who knows when you’ll see your family again? There could be an uprising, from the living or the dead, and in these books it’s difficult to tell which is worse.

 

Do:

Adopt a dog. Or, more specifically, a dire wolf. They will be your constant companion, and a wolf comes in handy whenever there are white walkers around. But, these wolves do get murdered an awful lot, so… actually it might be better to adopt some eggs and place them by the fire. See what happens.

Don’t:

Walk into the fire with your eggs. It only works with Daenerys. You’ll just get a bad burn, and if you die, who will raise your newly hatched dragons?

 

Do:

Make new friends. Something that Martin doesn’t get enough credit for in his books has to do with the characters and the bonds they make. They are unlikely at times, like Brienne of Tarth and Jamie Lannister. Sure, he kills characters left and right, but you feel that because you loved the characters dearly. So, yes. Make a new friend. See an old one. Martin’s characters form alliances through death and love, and if you make a new friend, all the more power to you.

Don’t:

Get too attached because they’ll die soon, or it will be 4,000 pages before you see them again.

 

Do:

Decorate your house with fake (or real) snow because winter is coming. I realize it’s only September but still…

Don’t:

Forget that the North Remembers, Lannisters always pay their debts and the Tyrells are growing strong.

 

 

Happy Birthday, George R. R. Martin. And thank you, for giving us this world.

 

must-have-birthdays

 

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