coat of arms

Google Search Q&A 7

It’s really thin pickings now. The only search results we still see are from what I imagine must be the really exotic search engines. Hello to all you Yahooers and Lycosers and Duck Duck Goers! But there’s one search that we get weirdly often. It doesn’t even have any sparrows in it.

coat of arms of different country

Not many people have been to Different Country, but I popped through on holiday this year, and I got a glimpse of their coat of arms. I reproduce it below (with help from Wikimedia’s very extensive palette of coat of arms elements)

Isn’t it lovely?

The best national coats of arms

As you’ve probably guessed from Dove’s many Game of Thrones cross-stitches, there are few things we like more than a good coat of arms. The one problem is that the sigils used in A Song of Ice and Fire don’t quite ring true in the real world. Most of arms of the great families just consist of a single animal on a plain background. A couple of players shake things up a bit – Stannis puts the stag, traditional symbol of his family, inside a flaming heart, while the Freys choose to commemorate the fortified bridge that keeps them as major players in Westerosian politics – but for the most part, they’re simple and ancient.

Compare those to the real world coat of arms of medieval Europe. They’re a mess of intermarried houses, surreal imagery, symbolism piled on symbolism, and eye-searing patterns, with the occasional minimalistic one thrown in too (and if there’s one thing medieval heraldry proves, it’s that everyone thought of themselves as lions. Real Westeros would just have have seven families of lions.).

So, here are some of my favourite coats of arms – bold, distinctive and clever, and barely a lion in sight.

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A Cross Stitch Of Ice And Fire


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!?

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