George R. R. Martin is not shy about killing characters in his A Song of Ice and Fire book series (which spawned HBO's Game of Thrones). But one particular character's demise has an interesting tie to the NFL. Specifically, the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.
(It will be an old story to the most diehard fans of Westeros, but it was brought to our attention thanks to a post on io9.)
When you read about Ser Patrek of King's Mountain in the book A Dance With Dragons, football might not leap to mind. However, if you were to put the knight's symbol on paper -- his clothes "are of white and blue and silver, his cloak a spatter of five-pointed stars" -- you might think the symbol he bears is a little... familiar.
Now, the Dallas Cowboys logo may not be the most complex or original design on the planet, but this isn't a coincidence. Ser Patrick is named after fantasy blogger Patrick St. Denis, and his garb is the result of a football bet that Martin lost.
"Well there's this guy named Patrick St. Denis, who runs a fantasy website called Pat's Fantasy Hotlist. And Pat is a big Dallas Cowboys fan," Martin said on the NPR show "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me" back in 2012. "So we would have a standing bet for a number of years about whether the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Giants would do better.
"And I won the bet the first two years. But finally, in the third year the Cowboys finished ahead of the Giants. And what I had to do if he won the bet was to kill him horribly within the books."
Martin continued, "So I invented a character called Ser Patrek of King's Mountain and described his heraldry as looking somewhat like the heraldry of the Dallas Cowboys with the silver star on a white field. And then I had him ripped apart by a giant."
The real Ser Patrick is happy about his counterpart's demise. "It was a fine death," he said in a blog post. "And yes, I did get a kick out of that! A little less about the the fact that it is implied that I was on my way to rape a woman ... But heck, you can't win them all!!! :P"
Furthermore, according to io9, "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 was retired by the giants in 1995."