The Real Life Event That Inspired The Wall

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chicago 1967 blizzardWe know that Hadrian’s Wall, a defensive fortification in Northern England built around 122 AD, was the inspiration for The Wall in Game of Thrones/ASOIAF. But it seems that the 300 mile structure that protects Westeros from the dangers in the far north had another real life inspiration – The Great Chicago Blizzard of 1967.

Speaking at Medill School of Journalism (Northwestern University) in Chicago, where he studied the same year as the blizzard, Martin revealed that the event left a huge impact on him. One student asked him if the winters is Westeros were comparable to the brutal winters in Chicago, to which he replied:

“The coldest winter was in Chicago, let me tell you about cold. There was so much snow that winter, you couldn’t see, all snow, all ice, and it was so very cold. It was like the trenches during World War I, but they were trenches of ice. I remember walking through the trenches and the tunnels of ice, the wind blowing so you couldn’t even see. It’s an experience that never left me.”

Northwestern University Students During the 1967 Blizzard. (Source:
Northwestern University Students During the 1967 Blizzard. (Source:

Martin, who was present at the university to receive an alumni award, revealed that this particular event was the beginning of the formation of The Wall in his mind, years before he began to work on the ASOIAF saga.

Martin also spoke about his planned ending for A Song of Ice and Fire series which he says will be “bittersweet“. He also expressed sympathy for “teenage assholes” like Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan, who get fame too early in their life. Martin also revealed his desire to see Lady Stoneheart in Game of Thrones.

via Chicago Tribune


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