Monday, 18 August 2014

King of the North

Winter is Coming

Reading (before the HBO series started) George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones and its sequels I am sure I was not the only born Northerner to be thrilled that the stoical, steadfast Starks (“Winter is Coming”) were Wardens of the North and the tragic splitting of the family and their subsequent fates (no spoilers here) form the emotional core of the saga’s appeal. The fancy folk in King’s Landing and elsewhere are clearly modelled on duplicitous, corrupt southerners! I can only speculate about the metaphorical links between the Iron Bank of Braavos and the City of London.
Richard Madden in the HBO series based on the Song of Ice and Fire saga

 Alex the First?

When Robb Stark was declared King of the North, the event as written gave me a disturbingly patriotic thrill.  Is that what the Scots will be feeling if they vote YES to Independence? Will Alex Salmond become Alex the First?
Alex Salmond satirical portrait in English press

The True King of the North?

Has there ever been a true King of the North? Richard III ruling from Middleham/York with his Council of the North? The Percy family? One of the sites that I visit when I need an Arthurian fix suggests that St Edwin, King of Northumbria made a credible contender when he refortified York as his central base. I am sure I will return to King Arthur in future blogs when I express my admiration of TH White’s Once and Future King. 
TH White and his marvellous 5-part saga with
the Middleham statue of Richard III, the Percy coat of arms and Saint Edwin of Northumbria

The forces of the south will not stand their ground....

In the meantime, perhaps the Old Testament Daniel (Chapter 11, verse 13-15) can illuminate the topic:
13 The king of the north will come back, having recruited an even larger army than before, and finally, after some years, he will advance a second time with a great army and plentiful supplies.
14 At that time, many will take up arms against the king of the south, and the more violent of your own people will rebel in the hope of realising the vision; but they will fail.
15 The king of the north will then come and throw up siege-works to capture a strongly fortified city. The forces of the south will not stand their ground; the pick of the people will not be strong enough to resist.

Independence for Yorkshire?

I am fully expecting the Starks to have a scintilla of triumph by the end of Song of Ice and Fire. It was prophesied in the Old Testament, after all. By the time George RR Martin gets round to writing the final chapters, maybe it will be time for a vote on Yorkshire or Northern Independence.