Could I ask you to talk about your idea of Westeros as an iconophobic society? Also what about art patronage vs art collections? I love your thoughts!!
This was also something @him-e asked for so here we go! ( @maravding: I’ve only now seen your reblog and I’ll do another post for the Martells and Tyrells, it’s probably going to be short but this one turned out already long enough!)
I used “iconophobic” pretty broadly, I should probably have said “a culture that looks bizarrely uninterested in pictures considering that, if we have an idea of how people in the real life historical period ASoIaF is based on thought and looked like, it’s also because they left us a shitton of visual sources” (though iconophobic is probably right for the North, but that’s farther down in the post).
It’s certainly not an iconoclastic culture because there’s no apparent ideological or religious condemnation of pictures, they just don’t seem to feature very prominently in the way culture is shared, and I think this can be traced back to a couple of issues I have with the general worldbuilding in the series: late Medieval England as a template for Westeros, and Martin’s own bias as a writer.
Disclaimer: I *am* about to nitpick and this is not a dig at Martin’s ability as a writer and worldbuilder. I think that overall, the worldbuilding in ASoIaF is impressive: you get a feeling of a rich, tangible world especially wrt Westeros (Essos is a bit more stereotyped, Sothoryos even more so), and I guess that’s exactly why the corners that Martin doesn’t explore as thoroughly stand out to me.