It is well documented that George R. R. Martin is an NFL football fan.

What NFL references has he included in his A Song of Ice and Fire series?

  • 4
    How can you be so sure that he has included any? Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 21:16
  • 5
    @Shevliaskovic - Because several have been confirmed including a reference to the Patriots losing to the Giants. It would be nice to have a definitive list. Commented Sep 4, 2014 at 21:32
  • @Shevliaskovic there's also the death of Ser Patrek of King's Mountain, whose colours represent those of the Dallas Cowboys, who was slayed by Wun Wun (representing the New York Giants, who are their real-life rivals). GRRM is a big Giants fan. Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 19:42
  • Orys Baratheon was the Hand of Aegon, so he was "HandEgg"...
    – Bebs V
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 10:36

2 Answers 2


This page from The Citadel summarizes several references:

  • The Volantene patriot and Triarch Belicho, whose unbroken succession of conquests and triumphs ended rather abruptly when he was eaten by giants,

refers to the 2007-2007 New England Patriots and their coach Bill Belichick. The team had managed a perfect season—the first team to go without a single regular season loss since 1972—and entered the Superbowl as heavy favorites against the New York Giants… only for the Giants to win. Martin is a a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of the Giants, and has been quite vocal when it comes to Belichick and the rivalry against the Patriots.

is a reference to book blogger Patrick St. Denis, who won a football wager with Martin after his Dallas Cowboys had a better season than the New York Giants. The knight’s arms feature a blue star on silver, a clear reference to the Cowboys dress.

His death at the ends of the giant Wun Wun has been confirmed as a winking nod to a past New York Giants quarterback, Phil Simms, whose jersey number 11 ("one one") was retired by the giants in 1995.

In addition:

  • Ser Clayton Suggs could be, according to this post, a tribute to Baltimore Ravens Terrell Suggs and Mark Clayton. Supporting evidence:

    • GRRM is a Giants fan and the Ravens are the only team to beat the Giants in the Superbowl.
    • Ser Suggs coat of arms is a flying pig, and he is described as being overly cruel.
    • He is also often seen in the company of "Godry the Giantslayer".

Here is another possible one from r/asoiaf:

Melisandre is an anagram of "Elis Erdman". Ellis 'woody' Erdman owned a number of radio stations around New York and was also a radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Giants - GRRM's favorite football team. Melisandre is from Asshai and Erdman was born in Ashland, Pennsylvania. He died in 1997 around the time ACOK was being written (the first book Melisandre is mentioned in.) I know it is not a perfect anagram and it is quite dubious, but it is fun to think about!

  • 2
    Ser Suggs coat of arms is a flying pig, and he is described as being overly cruel. He is also often seen in the company of "Godry the Giantslayer". Rather sounds like a reference to me.
    – stonemetal
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 18:16
  • @stonemetal - Agreed, thanks for the additional information :) Commented Sep 9, 2014 at 14:49

Ice and Fire itself is an NFL reference, particularly to a Giants fan like GRRM. In the late ’50s, the Giants’ Defensive Coordinator and Offensive Coordinator were openly compared in the press to Ice and Fire, due to their contrasting personalities. You might have heard of them.

DC (Ice) – Tom Landry

OC (Fire) – Vince Lombardi

They would go on to become head coaches themselves, of course. Their teams would eventually meet in a legendary epic final battle in a frozen wasteland – the NFL Championship Game played on Dec. 31, 1967, in Green Bay. The Ice Bowl. (An obvious analogy to the Long Night and the Battle for the Dawn.)

Which should let us surmise that the Last Hero was from House Dayne of Starfall, and was named Bartimus, Bartemius, or something similar.

Bartimus Dayne, of Star(r)fall. Archery was the key element in the battle. (Bart Starr’s center on his famous QB sneak was of course Ken Bowman.)

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