BOOK REVIEW: Children of Earth and Sky – Guy Gavriel Kay
Androgynes, Crossdressers, and Rebel Queens: Modern Representations of Medieval Women Warriors from Tolkien to Martin
This was another stellar paper given at the Tales after Tolkien session. It was an intriguing look at the women of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and how each author portrays the mother and warrior characters of Galadriel/Cersi/Daenerys and Eowyn/Arya/Brienne. The paper examined the differences and problems posed by the portrayal of women in theses fantasy novels.
This was a very enjoyable paper given on the topic of medievalism and the predominance of a European perspective in almost all fantasy literature. Young examined three authors who were moving away from the traditional telling of fantasy by subverting the typical pseudo-medieval narrative or by moving away from European cultures towards embracing Eastern, Aztec and other non-European worlds.
There was something so real in the languages that he created, and critics wanted to find the inspirations behind Tolkien‘s worlds. Elves, dwarves, men, hobbits, and various other creatures occupied the pages of his books, but the languages he created were complex and had real elements in them. Examples of his invented languages were those spoken by the Elves, Sindarin and Quenya.