A Game of Gingers – 2019 Holiday Card

Guest Starring George R.R. Martin, Author of A Game of Thrones

In A Game of Gingers, the Fiery Folk are all that hold back the unred hordes.

Pictured above: a small delegation of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads meets George R.R. Martin, author of the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire. This  cosplay parody tribute came to pass in Knave at Parker New York.

During a brief ceremony, the red quorum bestowed upon GRRM an LoERH “Honorary Member” card as a show of thanks “for sharing such wonderful red-haired characters with the world.”

In their good fortune, neither HBO nor any of GRRM’s publishers are associated with or are in any way responsible for The League of Extraordinary Red Heads.

Author George R.R. Martin was inducted into The League of Extraordinary Red Heads as “Honorary Member” on Oct. 20, 2019 by The Hon. Anasha. GRRM now has the full authority to “card” any other red head he deems extraordinary. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Inside message in 2019 LoERH Holiday Card

Every December, the LoERH releases a Christmas or holiday card that both parodies and pays tribute to a famous story (i.e. A Ginger Christmas Carol, and Yes, Virgina, Santa is a Ginger). The annual scene is always set in the pub, with all the familiar characters sporting natural red hair.

This year, the League paid homage to the memorable red-haired characters from Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, including Tormund Giantsbane, Ygritte, Melisandre “the Red Woman,” Catelyn Stark and her daughter Sansa Stark.

Red haired women dressed as characters in A Game of Thrones.

Mary Darcy and Noelle Reign dress in tribute to Catelyn & Sansa Stark. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Earlier in 2019, HBO’s premier television program Game of Thrones, based on and inspired by Martin’s novels, concluded with its eighth and final season. The program was a cultural phenomenon.  The League of Extraordinary Red Heads was thrilled to see Martin’s beloved red haired characters brought to life on the small screen by talented actors from around the world, but LoERH is especially proud of the naturally ginger actors, most notably Kristofer Hivju and Rose Leslie.

“I cannot imagine a world without Kristofer Hivju’s Tormund Giantsbane, and we owe that to George R.R. Martin,” said LoERH Founder Duncan Crary. “What makes Martin’s red haired characters important to us is that they are brave, charismatic, dynamic figures who aren’t based on the stereotypes we’ve grown weary of.”

Red haired men dressed as charcters from A Game of Thrones.

From left to right, LoERH Founder Duncan Crary, Anthony Gagliardi, Colin Butler, The Hon. Anasha Cummings. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Kissed by Fire

In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, the free folk who live north of the Wall describe people with red hair as being “kissed by fire.”

Just as it is in our world, red hair is rare among the free folk and is considered a great beauty. Still others in greater Westeros can be rather nasty to gingers, but we know they’re just envious.

Red haire women in costumes.

The Red Haired Women of Westeros. From left to right, Mary Darcy, Noelle Reign, Margaret Young “The High Ginger,” and Laura McCaffrey. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

The Cast & Crew

Many people worked to create this spectacle.

From left to right, back row: Anthony Gagliardi, Noelle Reign, Margaret Young “The High Ginger,” Laura McCaffrey, The Hon. Anasha Cummings; front row: Duncan Crary, LoERH Founder, Mary Darcy, Colin Butler, George R.R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.


Wardrobe Supervisor Emily Menn helps Laura McCaffrey get dressed for the shoot. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Emily Menn is the unred wardrobe supervisor of LoERH. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Emily Menn of Golden Bough Design, served as Wardrobe Supervisor, making sure everyone’s costume was ready for the camera. Emily also made four of the costumes and enhanced others.  She is the only unred member of the crew. Here she is with the crew.

Noelle Reign is a burlesque dancer. These are her costumes from “Burlesque is Coming,” a GoT themed burlesque show that toured the country and eventually played at George R.R. Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema:

Noelle Reign, left, Margaret Young “The High Ginger,” right. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

But Noelle wasn’t on that leg of the tour, so she was delighted for another chance to meet GRRM and show him her beautiful costumes (both of which stayed entirely on the whole time)!

Anthony is quite a costume maker, too. He fashioned these Wildling getups for himself and his nephew Colin. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.


Laura McCaffrey, of Laura McCaffrey Makeup, was responsible for the women’s makeup. She really earned her keep by giving Margaret eyebrows during a bumpy van ride down the NYS Thruway to NYC. Here she is hard at work in the hotel lobby where the red quorum got dressed:

Laura McCaffrey on makeup duty in a lobby at Parker New York. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.


Trojan Chain Mail, 3D Printed Necklaces & Chalices

When GRRM met the red quorum, he asked: “You guys all live here in New York?” To which several LoERH Members closest to him said: “Not New York City,” and “Upstate.”

“We’re all upstate,” said LoERH Founder Duncan Crary. “We’re north of the Wall.”

Though global in scope, The League of Extraordinary Red Heads is internationally headquartered about 140 miles upriver from Manhattan in Troy, New York a.k.a. “Ginger City, USA.”

Trojans are a handy and resourceful people and a few artisans and makers lent special contributions to A Game of Gingers. Blaise Hartley forged in Troy the chain mail suit worn by Duncan. The enchanted necklace that Laura is wearing was 3D printed in Troy by Toast Halasz. It has the banner of the LoERH in the center panel. The red quorum gave the necklace to GRRM to give to his wife, who is a natural red head. The chalice GRRM is holding in the photo was crafted by Brian McCandless and was also given to him as a gift to take home to New Mexico.

Anthony & Margaret help Duncan into a chain mail suit, forged by Blaise Hartley. Duncan has worn this chain mail on a surprising number of occasions. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.


The enchanted necklace worn by Laura was 3D Printed in Troy by Toast Halasz. In its center panel, is the LoERH banner. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Chalice by Brian McCandless. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

Special Thanks

Costumed group of red heads stands before gate to Knave bar off of hotel lobby at Parker New York

The red quorum, about to sack Knave at Parker New York. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.

The League of Extraordinary Red Heads wishes to extend a heart-felt thank you to the staff at Parker New York and to staff of Knave at Parker New York hosting this spectacle. After the photo shoot concluded and GRRM was on his way, the red quorum slaked its thirst at the bar, still fully clad in armor, gowns and furs. It was the happiest of hours!

And special thanks to Sid, assistant to George R.R. Martin, for being helpful and kind and fun.

Night of the Walking Red & a Toast to George R.R. Martin

A little over a week before the red quorum headed to Manhattan to greet George R.R. Martin, The League of Extraordinary Red Heads hosted its seventh annual meeting and Night of the Walking Red. During the festivities, about 200 gingers toasted in honor of George R.R. Martin for his extraordinary red haired characters. The toast was reported on by The New Yorker magazine.

Group 2019 Photo By Neil Grabowsy_optimized

Night of the Walking Red VII annual meeting and toast of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads. Photo by Neil Grabowsky.


You can watch a video of that toast and behind-the-scenes of the photo shoot with George R.R. Martin here: