George RR Martin's New Book Is Hiding Muppet Easter Eggs

iStock/PictureLake
iStock/PictureLake

Although some fans of George RR Martin's work are straight-up furious with the author for still not releasing the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, there might be at least one good reason to read his newest companion novel, Fire and Blood (despite its decidedly mixed reviews). Namely: Muppets!

While the book is meant to be a much deeper exploration of the House Targaryen—giving the family an entire history—for some readers, the most enjoyable part of reading the book is spotting the references to some of Jim Henson's most beloved fuzzy creations. ​​Redditor​ IDELNHAW shared one particularly fun bit. While describing House Tully, Martin writes:

"Then as now, the riverlords were a fractious, quarrelsome lot. Kermit Tully, Lord of Riverrun, was their liege lord, and nominally commander of their host … but it must be remembered that his lordship was but nineteen years of age, and 'green as summer grass,' as the northmen might say. His brother Oscar, who had slain three men during the Muddy Mess and been knighted on the battlefield afterward, was still greener, and cursed with the sort of prickly pride so common in second sons."

Any of those names sound familiar? Kermit Tully is no doubt inspired by Kermit the Frog, and Oscar is seemingly Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. While this could seem like just a coincidence, ComicBook.com points out that Martin has previously included characters inspired by Jim Henson. In earlier books, characters Lord Paramount Grover Tully, Elmo Tully, and Kermit Tully have all been introduced.

This is definitely some comedic relief while we wait for The Winds of Winter, but it might not be enough. While Martin still hasn't confirmed when the next book in the series will debut, we at least now know that Game of Thrones's final season will kick off in April 2019.

A 17th-Century Book With a Hidden Compartment for Poison Is Selling for $11,000

Abebooks
Abebooks

Most rare books are noteworthy for their illustrations or prose. But there's something different hiding between the covers of a folio currently for sale for $11,000 on AbeBooks: The book acts as a miniature apothecary cabinet with spaces for storing jars of poison.

The secret storage box masquerading as a manuscript was likely assembled sometime in the 19th century, Atlas Obscura reports. It uses the leather binding of Sebastião Barradas's Opera omnia, vol. III—a theology text from the mid-17th century—as its shell. Two hundred years or so after the original book was published, someone pasted together the pages and hollowed them out to make room for a discreet apothecary lab. A shelf holds four glass bottles measuring 10 centimeters high. Tiny drawers are labeled with the names of poisonous plants—such as hemlock, foxglove, and Devil's snare—in German, suggesting the book safe was crafted in Germany. On the inside of the front cover, a memento mori illustration depicts two skeletons above the Latin Bible quote "Statutum est hominibus semel mori," which means, "All men are destined to die once."

The Vienna-based antique bookseller INLIBRIS is selling the oddity through Abebooks. The sellers don't know the full backstory of the object, but they suspect it's not as dark as the skulls and poison labels suggest. Rather than being an authentic lab used by a poisoner, the book was likely made as a gag item.

The book may have been intended as a hoax, but that doesn't mean it can't be used as hidden storage today—ideally for something other than poison. Curio collectors can purchase the item for $10,924.51.

Book with secret compartment.
Abebooks

Secret compartment with bottles in book.
Abebooks

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

Daniel Radcliffe’s Original Harry Potter Glasses Are Hitting the Auction Block

© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved
© 2001 - Warner Bros. - All Rights Reserved

Having trouble reading your spell books and A History of Hogwarts? Maybe all you need is a pair of original Harry Potter glasses. If you’re a diehard Potterhead, you can now buy one of the first pairs that Daniel Radcliffe himself wore on the set of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001).

The glasses are on auction on EwbankAuctions.com, but you might want to check your vault in Gringotts before you decide to put a bid down, because the movie prop is going for about £3000 to £5000 (around $3800 to $6300).

The description for the glasses is as follows:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) - Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, a pair of silver metal wire frame glasses. Round clear lenses, bordered in black matte finish, silver metal earpieces tipped with transparent plastic. Left frame arm inscribed 'FRAME MADE IN ENGLAND' and right earpiece numbered '40 20 135'. These glasses are one of only a small number of pairs produced for the film. This is one of the first pairs of glasses Daniel Radcliffe wore as Harry Potter.

Judging by the photo provided, the glasses look to be in spectacular condition, and come in a black eyeglass case.

The auction site is also offering up other props from the Harry Potter films, such as Hagrid’s bird house from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), a song sheet used by the students in the Great Hall at Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and even one of the many sealed Hogwarts acceptance envelopes that were sent to Harry's home in the first film.

Whoever the lucky winners of these bidding wars are, they’ll get to have special pieces of the Harry Potter films that no one else has. So be careful of any envious friends who might perform a Confundus Charm on you.

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