This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book identifies the commonplace that George R. R. Martin is “the American Tolkien”. It explores one of Martin’s more striking themes – his frank depiction of human sexuality. The book shows that neither the sex nor the sexual violence in Martin’s tale are as gratuitous as they may appear. It examines Martin’s work with reference to Tzvetan Todorov’s ideas about fantasy as a genre of hesitation between magical and rational explanations for oddities within the narrative. The book analyses Martin’s work in relation to David Sandner’s analysis of fantasy literature in terms of the resolution of “the anxiety of the sublime moment”. The book concludes with an examination of the focalisation of Sansa Stark, often cited as Martin’s most idealistic character, whose focalisation actually serves to focus reader attention on the thinned nature of Westeros.