Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Lannister-like neighbors refuse to let George R.R. Martin build a personal castle in his backyard

Martin stands outside a castle that is, sadly, not in his backyard.
Photo: Liam McBurney - PA Images (Getty Images)

George R.R. Martin has done well for himself. The author of A Song Of Ice And Fire saw his already-acclaimed books adapted into one of the most popular TV shows in recent history. Even if its ending sucked and even if he never finishes writing his series, Martin will always be known for creating one of the best-loved fantasy worlds to date. That said, in a cautionary tale about undue power that Martin should have seen coming, neighbors have turned on ol’ George and laid siege to his plan to build an honest-to-god castle behind his house.

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The Daily Mail, an outlet we can always depend on to tell us when a celebrity wants to build a backyard castle, reports that Martin has been trying to get a “Gothic-style” fortress that consists of “a free-standing ‘seven-sided library’” built as an extension of his Santa Fe, New Mexico home.

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The castle is designed to be made up of “imposing stone walls, battlements, and a 27 foot tower.” The style is inspired by “the ‘defensive fortifications’ seen in Medieval castles and the ‘mystical spaces’ associated with cathedrals” as well as “a hint of the exotic’ from Moorish architecture,” which is a weird detail considering that any kind of castle plunked down in suburban New Mexico is pretty exotic just on its own merits. Despite having worked to incorporate architectural features from Santa Fe’s “most famous battlements, towers, and historical sights,” Martin’s neighbors wrote a letter of complaint and took to a meeting of the city’s Historic Design Review Board to argue against approving his plans.

“It is a Medieval castle and I don’t understand how we could possibly approve it,” the Review Board’s vice chair said. Neighbors also argued that “[Martin’s] fans will be looking to find the castle,” turning “our neighborhood [into a] treasure hunt.” A community letter has also made clear that, even with alterations to the design, “the fact remains that the proposed building is still a prominent Castle in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Santa Fe.”

The recently rejected application was only the latest of Martin’s attempts to get the thing built, though, and the article notes that he can submit a revision in 15 days. We say the man should have a castle if we ever want him to finish writing his series. Perhaps he needs to stroll the battlements at night or stare into the flames of a great keep’s fire to get the inspiration he needs. And, if nothing else, maybe he can also build himself a comfy old-fashioned gaol to be locked into as an extra bit of motivation if all else fails.

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Check out The Daily Mail’s full story for more details and wonderful blueprints of the castle that may never be.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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