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.

Take a Look: LeVar Burton Will Livestream Readings on Twitter

Jesse Grant/Stringer/Getty Images
Jesse Grant/Stringer/Getty Images

LeVar Burton has been fostering a love of books in readers since the 1980s. Now, the former Star Trek star and Reading Rainbow host is taking his popular podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, to Twitter.

As engadget reports, Burton will livestream readings for various age groups from his Twitter page starting April 3. Fridays are for adults, and he's kicking off the series today at 9 p.m. EST with a selection from author Neil Gaiman.

On Mondays at 12 p.m. EST, Burton will channel his Reading Rainbow days with a selection from a children's book. And on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. EST, he'll host readings for preteens, teens, and young adults.

The success of LeVar Burton Reads from Stitcher proves that the entertainment personality's soothing voice doesn't just appeal to kids. Adults who grew up with Reading Rainbow and new fans have tuned into his podcast to hear his relaxing narrations. And with schools closed around the country, younger generations of readers at home will now have the chance to listen to him for the first time.

Whether you're tuning in for your kids or for yourself, you can catch Burton's literary livestreams on his Twitter page throughout the week. In between readings, check out these other online activities to stay busy at home.

[h/t engadget]

Audible Makes Hundreds of Audiobooks Available for Free While Schools Are Closed

This gleeful teen is probably not listening to Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.
This gleeful teen is probably not listening to Victor Hugo's Les Misérables.
max-kegfire/iStock via Getty Images

To keep kids occupied and educated at home, Audible recently launched “Audible Stories,” a completely free online library with hundreds of audiobooks that’ll stay “open” for as long as schools are closed.

The stories are split into categories like “Littlest Listeners,” “Elementary,” “Tween,” and “Teen,” so parents can easily choose an age-appropriate bedtime story for their toddlers, and high-schoolers can automatically bypass titles like ABC: Learn Your Alphabet With Songs and Rhymes. And while the platform might’ve been created mainly for the benefit of housebound schoolchildren, you definitely don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the calming adventures of A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. There’s even a “Literary Classics” section with audiobooks that appeal to listeners of any age, like Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Some of the audiobooks even feature the familiar voices of top-notch talent from your favorite films and television series. Westworld’s Thandie Newton narrates Jane Eyre, Scarlett Johansson lends her versatile voice to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Rachel McAdams brings her own spirited spin to Anne of Green Gables. The crown jewel of the site is probably Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, read by Stephen Fry.

You don’t need an Audible account or the Audible app to access the platform. Just open "stories.audible.com" in any web browser on any device. And if you want to take a break from listening, Audible will save your spot (but only for the most recent audiobook you’ve played).

The digital library is not just for English-speaking users—there are titles narrated in French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese, too, including foreign-language versions of classics like Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. If you're interested in Audible's full offering, you can try out a 30-day free trial.

Looking for something to do while you listen? Here’s how to grow your own yeast for sourdough bread.

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