For today’s video I’d like to talk about a common reference made in Game of Thrones and that’s the reference to Macumber the blue-eyed giant. A few times in the show it is expressed by one character or another that “some say we live in the eye of a blue-eyed giant”. A part of me always felt this meant something substantial but I could never quite put my finger on it. Part of the reason I believe there’s relevancy to it, is because two times it was mentioned, once by Rob Stark to Bran in an early episode and again between Prince Oberon and Tywin Lanister, which demonstrates that this is a wide-spread fable and not just a story made-up by old nan at Winterfell.
You could write off any of these references as an open admission that recorded history in Westeros is very imperfect, with most of the recording done by Maesters, who could have their own agenda.
However I think there’s more to it than this. In the opening credits you see what looks like lenses looking over a map of Westeros and Essos. The style of these lenses also appear in the last episode of season 6 where Sam enters the library at the citadel in Oldtown. Could the famous blue-eyed giant be a Maester recording the history of events? Living in an eye could be symbolic of living within the recorded perspective of this maester or maesters.
Could that mean that Game of Thrones is actually a story being told by Samwell Tarly? As someone who enjoys books and Westerosi history, as well as clocking in at the citadel, this makes him a good candidate… execpt for one thing and that’s that he doesn’t have blue eyes. Since the expression is “blue eyed giant” I feel that having blue eyes, or at least one blue eye is a prerequisite to this reference since all the clues we have to go on are blue eyes and being a giant. Although the giant (I would imagine) is more likely to be metaphorical rather than literal.
If at this point you’re wondering whether or not the blue-eyed giant could be referring to George R R Martin himself, since the entire Game of Thrones exists within his mind’s eye, however George R R Martin has Brown eyes, so this is unlikely to be what it’s referencing.
Could it be referencing David Bennioff and Dan Weiss, the show writers? Well they do have blue eyes (although Dan Weiss’s are a little greener). This idea is also supported by the fact that the blue-eyed giant fable is not mentioned in the books, however I do feel that although you could argue that the TV show adaptation itself is the imagining of D&D, I think it’s a little much to reference that it’s their vision, so it doesn’t seem like it’s a good fit.
Another possibility is that it could be Tyrion Lanister, who chronicles the events of Game of Thrones. In the books he’s described as not having blue eyes, but in the show he does and since the blue-eye giant is only referenced in the show, there might be something there. With Vary’s foreshadowing comment that “a very small man could cast a very large shadow”, the term “giant” could have a degree of poetic irony about it.
I did spend some time looking to see if the reference to a giant could be literal, however none of the characters that are characterised by their stature are likely candidates: Hodor, Wun-wun, The Mountain or the Hound are likely to have chronicled the events of Game of Thrones.
Could the blue-eyed giant be a White Walker? White walkers are characterised by their bright blue eyes, however, since we know so little about them, we can’t really extract much useful information there. It could be the case that White Walkers and humans co-exist peacefully after the events in Game of Thrones in which (with the help of others) the White Walkers could be the chroniclers of the show’s events. I’ll be honest, this one’s pretty far-reaching, even for me, but y’never know!
From the first time I heard the blue-eyed giant mentioned, I felt it was analogous to something important, but I can’t settle on what it might be. As the show wraps up in it’s last two seasons, there may be more clues yet to come, perhaps it’s worth looking at who’s portrayed favourable in spite of questionable actions, who’s got blue eyes and fit the role or anything else. Let me know what you think the blue-eyed giant could be referencing in the comments below.