A Storm of Swords

by: George R. R. Martin

Essay Topics

The many kings in Westeros use a variety of tactics to fight the war. They often fight enormous battles, but they also use marriage and negotiation. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each tactic as presented in the novel?

Women hold a variety of positions, from queens to peasant girls. How do the women interact with each other, especially when few men are present? What defines their relationships, and what drives them apart?

We witness a number of prophecies in the novel. What do they suggest about fate? Do they have to come true?

Many of the people, places, and events in A Storm of Swords have correlations in world history. Identify some of the historical influences and where they're present as elements in the novel. Does borrowing from history have any effect or significance?

Magic is present in A Storm of Swords, but the presence of magic is not as pronounced as in many fantasy novels. What role does magic play in the book?

What is the significance of the Others? How does the threat of the Others compare with the threat people face from political conflict in Westeros?

Many characters display a startling lack of compassion for others. Are reasons ever suggested for this way of being, and does it come across in any way as an advantage or disadvantage.