Although travel is one of the most prominent themes in the modern fantasy genre, travelogues are not usually regarded as one of the predecessors of Western fantasy. Yet a close examination of both medieval travel narratives and fantasy novels reveals many shared characteristics. The journeys of fantasy protagonists, which include encounters with foreign cultures, monsters, and marvels, tend to echo the journeys of the medieval missionaries and merchants who ventured into the Far East in the 13th and 14th centuries. This article uses George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire as a lens through which to explore the deep-seated connection between the two literary forms and affirm travel literature’s influence on fantasy.
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