A Cross Stitch Of Ice And Fire

SPOILER FREE

Get me, being all regular!

I finished reading the mind-meltingly good A Dance With Dragons yesterday, and the sneaky chapter of The Winds of Winter this morning. At the same time, I’ve been distributing the books around work like they’re some kind of illegal substance, and watching the series.

Is it enough? No, it isn’t. The Winds Of Winter isn’t out, and I’m settling in for the long, long haul of being patient and waiting for the next book. I’ve been all Pollyanna about it and tried to think of reasons why this is good. To wit:

1) Patience is a virtue.

2) Waiting patiently is a challenge and therefore totally character building.

3) I’ll have time to read OTHER BOOKS. Granted, those books may not be as good as the A Song Of Ice And Fire series, as they will probably not have dragons or devious politics (or Tyrion) in them, but variety is the spice of life and all.

4) I’ll have one less distraction to take me away from my own, woefully inadequate, writing.

5) Something something are we there yet something

6) Time for CROSS STITCH!?

I think we all know by now that the best and healthiest way to deal with fan-obsessions is to stitch. Not only that, but it’s more socially acceptable than slash fiction!

CROSS STITCH: YOU CAN SHOW IT TO YOUR PARENTS.

Unless it’s slash-stitching? I don’t even know, I’m just the idea man. I just say the words. It’s up to you to make it real (and, you know, link if you do, because that would be hilarious).

Anyway.

I love symbolism and all that, so I was completely in love with all the heraldry of the great houses in ASOIAF. (Other things I am in love with: The Rains of Castamere – warning for spoilers in those comments, and also it’s Youtube, so you don’t want to be reading the comments anyway.)

Cue the stitching!

First we have the Starks, because the Starks are great. I will give you no spoilers, I promise. No spoilers for the series, no spoilers for the books. Cross my heart and hope to die.

Grey direwolf racing across ice-white field

In some of my later ones, I’ve added one-strand lines to the picture for details, but I kept this one as simple as possible. The Starks are an ancient family, so I imagine their coat of arms is quite simple. I didn’t really reference the coats of arms in the series, so don’t expect anything like that.

I was looking for image references of running wolves, of which there are a metric ton on the internet, and, joy of joys, I came up against this pattern, which was just perfect.

The font is my own design. I tried looking for Old English style fonts, or calligraphy style, but you know how it is. They’re all like twenty stitches tall. So in the end I just grabbed an Old English alphabet and designed a small back stitch font from it. I like how it’s turned out, ornate but a little shaky, just like fancy handwriting.

My second try was the Lannister lion, of course.

The lion’s position is not clarified. A lot of the fan and series artwork I found showed a lion rampant, because everyone loves lions rampant(s?). However, in the dramatis personae in the back of the books, the Lannister lion is passant. I decided to go this way, partly because of that and partly because it would be nice and horizontal and matching with the Stark direwolf.

Here you go:

Golden lion passant on a crimson field

No references for this one. I used the Wikipedia page on heraldry lions to get the gist of the pose, but the lion is all my own work. Not bad, eh? And see what I mean about the one-strand detailing? I marked out the mane and ears and where the body hides the left hind leg in one strand. I think it looks pretty good.

The font is the same as that used for the Stark banner.

Coming up next, the Targaryen dragon what I just finished, and hopefully the Baratheon stag!

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