Fans in Siberia send George R.R. Martin a handcrafted silver Night Watch statuette, earning a video thank-you in return
A group of Game of Thrones fans in the Siberian republic of Yakutia decided to thank the creator of the series, George R.R. Martin, by commissioning local artisans to make the celebrated writer a sterling silver statuette. The gift depicts a member of the Night Watch posed to resemble an Oscar trophy. It is inscribed “To George Martin, from Yakutia with love.”
Sending the statuette from northern Siberia to its recipient, who lives in Santa Fe, California, proved to be no easy task. However, through a relay of Yakutia natives living in various countries, the statuette made its way south. Zhanna Ushkanova, whose family finally delivered the gift during a road trip from Canada, said the writer was traveling at the time but that his assistant “thanked all the real Defenders of the real Winter from the bottom of her heart.” The capital city of Yakutia is the largest city on Earth that is located on continuous permafrost.
George R.R. Martin himself appeared to be genuinely touched by the gift. He recorded a video message for his fans in Yakutia that aired with a Russian voiceover on the local TV station Yakutia24. In the video, Martin thanked his fans, assured them that he was working on new books for them to enjoy, and expressed awe at the cultural and national boundaries that art and fantasy can cross.
For their part, the statue’s commissioners explained that they had chosen to give Martin a Night Watch Ranger because the Wall guarded by the Watch in Martin’s books resembles the Lena Pillars, a local rock formation that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To complete the gift, Martin’s fans also sent him a collection of legends from Yakutia in English translation.