Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Martin made me do it

Well, all right. It's been a strange week. I finished Rogues, which is strange all by itself considering how fast I usually don't read. There was the tragedy in Ukraine, the day after I landed in Amsterdam, where I've spent the last week. Well, not in Amsterdam, but in the vicinity.

And now I'm home, and can check my blog properly. It's all a bit of a hassle writing on a smartphone, I think. So I logged on to write this post, only to note that the splendid author Mark Lawrence himself has visited my tiny corner. That is almost as awesome as his trilogy about Prince Jorg of Ancrath. Well, he was just pointing out I had my titles wrong, but still. An occasion I shall celebrate with a cold beer.

So, what did Martin made me do?
That's what I was really going to post about, before I was taken aback by said Lawrence's visit.

Well, as I've stated before, through A Song of Ice and Fire I ended up becoming enamored with the high medieval ages, finding a sudden interest in tournaments of chivalry, the politics and intrigues of the courts of medieval Europe etc etc. This has also led me to try and visit at least one medieval castle every time I'm abroad just to suck in the atmosphere.

This week I visited the castle Gravensteen (literally "dukestone"), a castle in the middle of the old city of Gent, in Belgium. Walking the towers, studying the armor and weapons on display and imagining being the victim of some of the instruments of torture not only is interesting on its own, it also feeds into that love for A Song of Ice and Fire and it inspires as well. For a moment there I wished I had a sword strapped to my belt and a flapping cloak. And for a moment I imagined scenes from the series playing out within the castle, and realized (once again) that I wished the TV series' King's Landing looked more like this. But I can deal with it, surely!

Without further ado, a few pictures from said keep.

Sigh, it's lovely, isn't it. Castles and armor and stuff and stuff. Makes me feel ready to get back to my A Storm of Swords re-read - but I've got a couple of things that I need to get done first, primarily I'm finally getting together with my buddies for a real around-the-table role playing weekend which we haven't had since...February or some such. Love those weekends of careless gaming, with dice clattering and our sordid imaginations trying to outdo Martin. Always.

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