NEW FANTASY VILLAINS

In the third volume of the Magnus Dynasty Saga, I have decided on who the villains would be. One of the villains would be the main character’s own sainted mother, who will be a combination between Isabella the She-Wolf of France and Margaret of Anjou. Isabella was the wife and queen of Edward II and she started a rebellion to overthrow her husband in favor of her son Edward III. Margaret of Anjou was the wife and queen of Henry VI and supported the Lancastrians in the War of the Roses until the deaths of her son and husband. The other villain will be a mix between Roger Mortimer and Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and the Kingmaker. Roger Mortimer was the lover of Isabella the She-Wolf of France and helped her overthrow Edward II. Richard the Kingmaker made Edward IV king and served as his chief advisor until the Kingmaker betrayed Edward three times before being slain in his final rebellion. Overall, the villains of my new fantasy book will be the main character’s mother and one of his chief advisors. One of the chief themes in medieval times was family dysfunction and that dysfunction often gets bloody.

THE SILENT DEAD

We often see zombies make some kind of snarling or growling noise as they attack their victims. However, I do not see this happening if zombies were real. In order to make noise, you have to be breathing, which is not possible since zombies are dead. Therefore, it would make sense for zombies to not make noise of any kind. The one exception would be the snapping and cracking their joints would make due to the effects of rigor mortis.

ZOMBIES: FAST OR SLOW

In terms of movement, there are two types of zombies: ones that move slow and those that move fast. For the longest time, I wondered which type would be more scientifically plausible if zombies existed. Because zombies are dead, they cannot produce fatigue toxins that would tire them, which gives them limitless stamina. If zombies moved fast, they could literally run forever and tire their prey out, which adds to the suspense to the story. On the other hand, the slow zombies seem more likely because since they are dead, their bodies are rotting as they move and rigor mortis would make their joints and muscles extremely stiff, which would hinder their movements. What do you think? What is more frightening? A fast zombie or a slow zombie? I will be tinkering with this question as I brainstorm my zombie apocalypse story.

BATTLE OF THERMOPYLAE

Easily one of the most famous last stands in history would be the Battle of Thermopylae, which pitted 300 Spartans against 250,000 Persians. In the modern world, most people believe that the Spartans’ numbers were 300, but historians believe their numbers were closer to 7,000 while the Persians were between 100,000 to 300,000. Either way, this battle showed how a few men can wipe out half their enemies before being overrun. In the end of the first volume of my spin-off fantasy series, I will be depicting a similar battle where over 600 men battle an enemy force that outnumbers them ten to one. Also, like Thermopylae, my battle will make use of a bottleneck to make it a more even and intense fight.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON 8: BATTLE OF WINTERFELL

I am looking forward to the upcoming final battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones Season 8. If the rumors can be believed, then this one battle is going to be the longest battle ever filmed in either movie or television. Like many battles we saw in the series, we will be seeing that battle unfold from the point of view of several characters. The filmmakers said they drew inspiration from the Battle of Helms Deep in The Lord of the Rings.

Now let us take a look at the numbers and advantages of both sides are. For the White Walkers, Daenerys claimed that their army consisted of at least 100,000 wights, at least three giants, at least 99 White Walkers, and one undead dragon that is powerful enough to breach the Wall. Now that the Wall is breached, the Army of the Dead will continue to grow in number with each castle, town, and village that crosses their path. By the time they reach Winterfell, the Army of the Dead may number to about 120,000 or 130,000 strong.

For the living, the White Walkers will be up against the combined armies of the North, Vale, Unsullied, and Dothraki. Due to the casualties they sustained throughout the War of the Five Kings, the North’s current military strength has been stated to be less than 10,000. Due to remaining neutral throughout the War of the Five Kings and participating in only a single battle, the Knights of the Vale are still at full strength at 20,000 strong. Due to the casualties they sustained while occupying Meereen and taking Casterly Rock, the Unsullied’s numbers have shrunk from 8,000 to between 7,500 and 7,000. The Dothraki participated in a single battle when they numbered 100,000, but they still have a respectably big army between 90,000 to 80,000 strong. There are rumors that Jaime Lannister will try to rally of the remaining Riverland armies on his way to the North. Since the Riverlands was where the bulk of the fighting took place in the War of the Five Kings, it is likely they can only muster between a few hundred or a few thousand at best. In total, Winterfell will be garrisoned by an army that was between 120,000 to 130,000 strong. Also, this alliance will be armed with dragonglass, two dragons, and a few Valyrian steel blades. In addition, there have been reports that Wintefell’s defenses will be greatly increased as well.

Due to these numbers and advantages, it looks like the armies of the living and the dead are evenly matched and it could be anyone’s fight. One way for another, the fate of the Seven Kingdoms and probably the Known World will be decided at Winterfell. And the heroes still have Cersei Lannister to deal with afterwards. It is going to be an epic final season!

REAL LIFE ZOMBIES

While brainstorming for a future zombie apocalypse story, I searched for ways to make my zombies seem scientifically plausible. The zombie condition is often depicted as being the product of a virus, a curse, or something else that cannot be explained by science. However, what if it does not require a virus to become a zombie? As it turns out, there are many forms of parasites and fungus that take over the bodies of insects and turns them into zombie-like creatures. Also, what if there were versions of these parasites/fungus that can infect humans? I will be tinkering with this idea as I continue to brainstorm. I will keep you updated on any further developments.

THE BLADE THAT WAS BROKEN

I like to think of the Stark’s ancestral sword, Ice, to be the Game of Thrones version of Narsil from The Lord of the Rings. Narsil was broken when cutting the One Ring from Sauron’s hand before being reforged into Anduril the Flame of the West. With Ice, it was destroyed and reforged into the twin swords Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail in an attempt to make the Lannister’s short lived victory over the Starks complete and absolute. Now, both halves of Ice are going to be in Winterfell next season and it was rumored that they will be remade back into one sword at the end of the series. Due to the fact that only a handful of people know how to reforge Valyrian steel, some people may be skeptical about this rumor. However, Gendry’s blacksmithing mentor was the one who remade Ice and knew how to reforge Valyrian steel. It is possible that he may have taught Gendry some of his tricks in working Valyrian steel. If this is the case, then Gendry might reforge Oathkeeper and Widow’s Wail back into Ice just as the shards of Narsil were reforged into Anduril. George R. R. Martin did say that he was a fan of The Lord of the Rings so he may go this route by having Ice become the Game of Thrones version of Anduril.