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Anonymous:  Hi James, I'm curious about your opinion on magic on the ASOIAF books. Do you like it? Do you think It's being overused? I personally like Melisandre's abilities, but I felt reviving Catelyn was a bit too much.


I’m going to have to disagree with you here because I’m actually very fond of the magical aspects of the books. I guess I kinda understand why you feel that way, because the magical elements in the books increased and overshadowed (at least for me) the political side of the books. In fact, magic (or “supernatural,” whatever you want to use) became such an important part of the books that, the fandom has several very popular (and very likely) theories about how they affect even the political, non-supernatural storylines. 

And honestly, I really enjoy it. In AGoT, the only major supernatural elements we’ve got were the confirmed exitence of the Others in the Prologue, and Bran’s prophetic dream after his fall. (We were also made aware of the Children of the Forest, stories about skinchangers and some other things but for my part, I hadn’t considered them to be true until I progressed further in the series.) But now in ADWD, magic and politics are so geniusly intertwined that I can’t help but love it.

Supernatural elements are everywhere, whether characters realise it or not. It actually has been everywhere since the beginning, but us readers are only just beginning to realise how important they have been, right from the beginning. Stark kids’ skinchanging abilities (especially Bran’s), the miraculous birth of the dragons (possibly the key to defeating the Others in the future), Maggy the Frog’s prophecy of Cersei (which shapes her personality and affects many other characters’ fates in King’s Landing), Rhaegar’s obsession with the Prophecy of the Prince that was Promised (which I believed eventually led to Robert’s Rebellion) and many more that I can’t think of right now… they’re not just there to add supernatural elements for the sake of them or to create further drama, they’re central to plots, characters and storylines.

Catelyn’s resurrection was surprising, certainly. (Who didn’t go "fuuuuuuuck!" after reading the ASOS epilogue?) But her resurrection wasn’t the first one we’ve seen. We saw wights from very early in the series (granted, they’re more like meat puppets rather than revived versions of people, but still…) and we saw Beric Dondarrion. Who was resurrected six times. So no, I didn’t think Catelyn’s resurrection was “too much” when you’re talking about a series that has an army of ice demons and a night that lasts a generation.