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Discover the science in fantasy

by Evan | May 03, 2017
Serious geeks may be disappointed by Helen Keen's recent book, The Science of Game of Thrones. The British comic and science TV personality doesn't reveal how to wake the dead or mother your own dragon.

Lighthearted nerds, however, will enjoy Keen's spritely style and her research into just how close this world is -- or is not -- to the many fantastical elements of George R. R. Martin's great creation. He is the author of the Song of Ice and Fire book series, which is the inspiration for the Game of Thrones TV series.

The Science of Game of ThronesYou want to make  your own Valyrian steel sword? Keel will get you as close as she can, including what to look for in just the right iron ore meteor.

It is known that Winter Is Coming in Westeros, but Keen notes that Martin said his tale is partly an analog for what scientists say about our real world: Summer Is Coming. She tells how, ironically, bubbles in Antarctic ice cores help drive that prediction. 

Giants, choking poisons, dire wolves, the surprisingly successful sex lives of beta males (Samwell Tarly), the magical power of a king's blood -- Keen brings you up to date on these and many more just in time for the TV show's much-anticipated new season in July.

As to the even more-anticipated sixth novel  in the series, making it arrive immediately is beyond anyone's scientific or magical powers. So, in the mean time, check out Keen's  little book and then amaze your friends with the physics of 700-foot-high ice walls before the big one (maybe?) comes tumbling down. And if you've got other Game of Thrones-related fan books to recommend, post your suggestion in a comment below. 

EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
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