1. How to name nonplayer charters or, names for the average Joes of medieval fantasy:
Alyn of Winterfell, Josh Quick-Bow, Little Matt, Anvil Ryn, Ser Ormomd, Ser Dudley, Pate of Mory, Pate of Lancewood, Old Pate, Pate of Shermer's Grove, Blind Wyl the Whittler, Goodwife Maerie, Maerie the Whore, Becca the Backer, Ser Raymond Darry, Lord Darry, Young Lord Darry, the Bastard of Bracken, Fletcher Will, Harsley, Goodwife Nolla....
This list is from page 465. Those who have read he book may recall it as a list of folks murdered by Sador Clegane, "The Dog."
2. How many plot seeds can one location contain?
"The Nightfort had figured in some of Old Nan's scariest stories. It was here that Night's King had reigned, before his name was wiped from the memory of man. This was where the Rat King had served the Andal king his prince-and-bacon pie, where brave young Danny Flint had been raped and murdered. This was the castle where King Sherrit had called down his curse on the Andals of old, where the 'prentice boys had faced the thing that came in the night, where Blind Symeon Star-Eyes had seen the hellhounds fighting. Mad Axe had once walked these yards and climbed these towers, butchering his brothers in the dark." (p. 756)
3. No surprise, G. R. R. Martin fashions a very authentic medieval folk song.
"My featherbed is deep and soft,
and there I'll lay you down.
I'll dress you in yellow silk,
and on your head a crown.
For you shall be my lady love,
and I shall be your lord.
I'll always keep you warm and safe,
and guard you with my sword."
"And she smiled and how she laughed,
the maiden of the tree.
She spun away and said to him,
no featherbed for me.
I'll wear a gown of golden leaves,
and bind my hear with grass.
But you can be my forest love,
and I your forest lass." (p. 309)
I read this book over a year ago and it has been lying around while I've intended to post these comments. Now off to Paperback Swap with you.