When I started to plan my first fantasy book, I wondered what kind of setting my fantasy world would be. Initially, I thought of making my fantasy world a kingdom, but that kind of setting has been used far too often. With this in mind, I thought who has more power, wealth, and influence than a king? The answer is an emperor, which is a rank and title that is at the top of the feudal system and outranks even a king. I therefore made my fantasy world an empire that consists of multiple kingdoms instead of just one.
Throughout medieval history, noble families would record and sometimes invent their family histories with genealogical charts. The picture above depicts the genealogical chart of the most powerful and longest reigning dynasty ever to rule England: The Plantagenets. It is depicts over three hundred years of Plantagenet family history. I am in the process of creating a genealogical chart for the Magnus Dynasty leading up to the upcoming third volume. I may even add it into the Magnus Dynasty Saga as an illustration.
When I wrote Numen the Slayer, I added an interesting feature to the ashes dragons leave in their wake. Dragon fire is well known for incinerating anything and everything it touches. However, from all that death and destruction comes the promise of new life. Like ashes created by forest fires and volcanoes, the ashes left by dragon fire is great fertilizer. In fact, due to the magical properties of these ashes, Dragon Ashes is the best and most coveted fertilizer in the Gradaian Empire. Wherever a dragon unleashes its fire, farmers and traders are not far behind, waiting to claim their share of the ashes. One kilogram of Dragon Ashes is enough to fertilize ten acres of land for a decade. Because Dragon Ashes is such a coveted fertilizer, farmers usually make pacts with dragons. In exchange for a percentage of their livestock, dragons would burn wood to provide the ashes.
At the start of Numen the Slayer, dragons were all but extinct and most of the Dragon Ashes were used up. After Numen the Slayer, Dragon Ashes become mass produced by newly revived dragons. As the years go by and Dragon Ashes becomes more common, the various lands of the Empire become increasingly more fertile, which promises more plentiful harvests than in previous years.
I have great news! Starting midnight tonight, both of my fantasy books, Numen the Slayer and The War of the Gilded Beasts will be FREE for five days. In addition, after those five days are up, both books will be discounted to $0.99 each for one month. I am conducting this giveaway and subsequent discount to celebrate the second anniversary of my first fantasy publication.
It has come to my attention that some of the hardcore fantasy authors such as J. R. R. Tolkein and George R. R. Martin created anthology stories that expand the history and lore of their respective fantasy worlds. Tolkein wrote the Silmarillion and Martin wrote The World of Ice and Fire as well as Fire and Blood. I am thinking of doing the same with my own fantasy world. When I wrote Numen the Slayer, I created a number of ways I could expand the history and lore of Gradaia. What I am planning to create is my own personal Silmarillion with several books revealing the history and lore of my ever expanding fantasy world.
One of the most significant events in my fantasy series is the Dark Death plague. It resulted in the death of half the empire’s population and eventually the fall of the Marvak Dynasty. Soon afterwards, the Dark Death mysteriously stopped abruptly seemingly without reason. Three hundred years later, modern historians and chroniclers regard the Dark Death as a simple disease. However, what if the worst and most horrifying pestilence Gradaia has ever known was not a natural occurrence? What if the true cause of the Dark Death was something so evil and unholy that it was purged from the history books forever? I am thinking of writing a prequel that will explore the true nature and history of the Dark Death and how its cause was forgotten by the empire. I may even foreshadow the possible return of this unknown cause.
After watching the series finale of Game of Thrones, I spent a great deal of time contemplating what Jon Snow’s ultimate fate was after he went Beyond the Wall with the remaining wildlings. Personally, I don’t think he stayed with the Night’s Watch or the Wall. There are too many painful memories for Jon at the Night’s Watch such as Jeor Mormont’s death, Benjen Stark’s death, Ygritte’s death, and Jon’s murder at the hands of his own men. Even though Jon Snow is a man of honor who tries to uphold his oaths whenever he can, he already broke his oath of fealty to Daenerys Targaryen so I think he would have a more flexible and open mind when it comes to oathbreaking.
Besides, with the White Walkers permanently defeated, the Wall breached, and the wildlings no longer seen as an enemy, the Night’s Watch will be rendered obsolete and will no longer exist for much longer. Their “oath” will now be viewed as loose guidelines.
Instead, he stayed with the wildlings to become the new King Beyond the Wall. After everything he did for them and after witnessing everything he did, the wildings won’t accept anyone else to be their king. There are less than three thousand surviving wildlings and due to my medieval research I know for a fact that great kingdoms have started with far less.
The wildlings revered Jon as their savior when he saved them from the White Walkers at Hardhome. They worshipped him as a god when he died and rose from the dead. They respected him as a warrior and leader after fighting alongside him in the Battle of the Bastards. Now they idolize him as a king when they saw him ride a dragon. Due to all these factors, Jon seen as a legendary figure to the wildlings for generations to come. They will sing songs and tell tales about him for a thousand years.
This would be similar to how legendary figures such as Bran the Builder, Lann the Clever, and Garth Greenhand were revered by the First Men during the Age of Heroes. Normally, wildlings only name leaders based on strength and character instead of by blood and inheritance. However, future generations of wildlings will name Jon Snow’s descendants Kings and Queens Beyond the Wall because of their ancestor’s legendary status. This is similar to how the First Men eventually swore fealty to House Stark over the centuries. Thus, Jon Snow would found the wildlings’ first dynasty of rulers.
With this in mind, the Targaryen Dynasty will survive as Kings Beyond the Wall instead of Kings of the Iron Throne. Jon’s descendants would have a mixture between Stark and Targaryen features. Some will have the Stark features of black hair, dark eyes, and long faces. Some will have the beauty of Old Valyria with silver-gold hair and violet eyes. Because of their superstitious nature, the wildlings could see Jon’s Targaryen-looking descendants as divine.
With Bran Stark ruling the south and Sansa Stark ruling the North, they may change some of the punishments so that exile beyond the Wall will become more common. Since the Wall is breached, it will no longer serve as a viable penal colony like it used to. So in the future convicts would be banished Beyond the Wall. If they do not like the elected monarchs of the south or the Stark monarchs of the North, there would be another monarchy and kingdom who would have them. As the all-seeing and all-knowing three-eyed raven, Bran would subtly help Jon Snow build his kingdom Beyond the Wall. He would know that since the day he was born Jon Snow was destined to lead and rule and therefore cannot escape his fate as a king. The Iron Throne may no longer exist, but Bran would know that there are still people who need Jon to lead and rule them.
Because of their interactions at Winterfell, the wildlings may undergo several societal changes. They claim that they need room to roam, but that might change after they experienced the comforts of living in a castle. Frankly, a castle would be warmer and safer than the cold wilderness. Like the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, the first wildling castles may be wooden motte-and-bailey fortresses. They may rebuild Hardhome into a more fortified walled city with its own castle and make it the capital of their new kingdom. Thanks to the breach in the Wall, a new trade route can be established that would link the lands Beyond the Wall to the Seven Kingdoms. Due to this, the economy of Jon Snow’s new kingdom may revolve around trade instead gold. Tormmund Giantsbane showed an interest in the concept of knighthood when Brienne of Tarth was knighted so the wildlings may adopt knighthood into their new kingdom.
Finally, with the White Walkers permanently defeated, the surviving giants and Children of the Forest will come out of hiding. We do not know for sure if the White Walkers truly hunted them into extinction. If there are survivors and they come out of hiding, Jon Snow’s new kingdom Beyond the Wall may resemble what the North looked like before the Andal Invasion when giants and the Children of the Forest were everywhere.
Most fascinating of all would be the climate of the Kingdom Beyond the Wall. For over eight thousand years, the White Walkers threw the seasons out of balance. Seasons would last years instead of months. Now that the White Walkers are permanently defeated, the seasons will stabilize after the land Beyond the Wall experiences a spring that will last for a very long time in order to compensate for being frozen for millennia. This means more game to hunt and more fertile land for crops. Wildlings are not know for being farmers, but as trade grows through the breach in the Wall they may learn to develop their own agriculture.
Overall, I think Jon Snow, his bloodline, and the wildlings have a bright future ahead of them after so much hardship. Considering the circumstances, this would be the ending to Jon Snow’s story I would accept. The blood of the dragon will live on Beyond the Wall.