For Immediate Release
Contact: Duncan Crary, (518) 274-2723
AUTHOR GEORGE R.R. MARTIN JOINS RED HEADS IN HOLIDAY PARODY TRIBUTE
League of Extraordinary Red Heads Spreads Seasonal Cheer in “A Game of Gingers”
TROY, NY (12/17/19) — George R.R. Martin, author of the epic fantasy series “A Game of Thrones,” posed in a Manhattan hotel bar with a small band of natural red heads from upstate New York for their humorous annual holiday photo and greeting card released on Friday.
The photo was taken in Knave, the hotel bar at the Parker New York in Manhattan on Oct. 20 while Martin was visiting the city. In the professionally staged photo, four elaborately costumed women, three men, and one 9-year-old boy, all with natural red hair, raised their chalices and ox horns in seasonal cheer with red drapes, columns, arm chairs and a stained glass back bar lending a vaguely medieval setting behind them.
The small ginger-haired delegation was representing The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, an international social club headquartered in Troy, N.Y. a.k.a. “Ginger City, USA. The message inside their greeting card reads: “Winter is here. May your holidays be kissed by fire.” In the novels and TV show, the characters are often say “Winter is coming.” They also refer to red heads as being “Kissed by fire.”
In a “making of” video posted on the group’s website, Martin says “Hello league of red heads” before greeting each individual member of the red quorum. When he gets to one woman in a red dress and choker, he can be heard quipping “Red Woman, very scary,” a reference to his character Melisandre the red priestess.
Next, Anasha Cummings can be heard in the video informing Martin that the group wishes to make him an “Honorary Member” of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, which Martin accepts. Cummings grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Martin now resides, and the two are acquainted through a shared personal connection. Cummings was recently re-elected to Troy City Council.
“We wanted to thank you for sharing such wonderful red haired characters with the world,” says Duncan Crary of Troy, founder of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads, before handing Martin a few offiical “Member” cards. “And now that you’ve been inducted as an honorary member of the League, you can now induct any other extraordinary redhead.”
“Oh, very, good,” Martin says. “Yes, indeed.”
PRAISE FOR REFRAINING FROM RED HAIR STEREOTYPES
In statement posted online later, Crary wrote: “HBO’s premier television program, ‘Game of Thrones,’ was a cultural phenomenon. The League of Extraordinary Red Heads was thrilled to see George R.R. 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. 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.”
UPSTATE: “WE’RE NORTH OF THE WALL”
Later in the video, as the group poses for the photo, Martin can be heard asking “You guys all live here in New York?” To which Crary can be heard responding, “We’re all upstate. We’re north of the wall.” The joke is both a reference to the Wall from Martin’s stories and to the cultural differences between New York City and upstate New York.
MORE PHOTOS TO SEE ONLINE
A blog post on the group’s website ( https://extraordinary.red/agog/ ) includes many other photos of the group as well as details about their handmade costumes and accessories, like a 3D printed enchanted necklace and chain mail tunic.
THESE RED HEADS HAVE NO AFFILIATION WITH HBO OR GRRM’S PUBLISHERS
A message on the back of the greeting card, in the video and on the website states: “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.”
In a nod to the HBO “Game of Thrones” Season 8 coffee cup anachronism incident, the white ceramic coffee cups behind the bar at Knave were left visible in the League’s holiday photograph.
OFFICIAL GRRM SOCIAL MEDIA SHARES
Martin’s official social media accounts shared the photo at the following:
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/GRRMspeaking retweet Dec. 11, 2019
The photographer is Neil Grabowsky, whose Through the Lens Studios is based in Montclair, N.J. Grabowsky, who also has red hair, is the official photographer of The League of Extraordinary Red Heads” and has photographed the group’s annual gathering several times. https://extraordinary.red/photographer/
Emily Menn, of Troy-based Golden Bough Designs, served as Wardrobe Supervisor. She also created four of the costumes and modified others. Emily Menn was the only “unred” crew member.
Noelle Reign designed her Sansa Stark costume and the Ygritte costume worn by Margaret Young. Anthony Gagliardi designed his Free Folk (Tormund Giantsbane) costume as well as the “Wildling Boy” costume worn by his 9-year old nephew, Colin Butler.
Laura McCaffrey, of Laura McCaffrey Makeup, was responsible for the women’s makeup.
The enchanted necklace that McCaffrey 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.
OFFICIAL LoERH ACCOUNT
To read the official League of Extraordinary Red Heads account of this epic encounter, visit: https://extraordinary.red/agog/
Previous Christmas card photo themes have been “A Ginger Christmas Carol” and “Yes, Virginia, Santa is a Ginger.”
TO EMBED VIDEO
To embed the video referenced above, see:
200 GINGER SALUTE TO GRRM IN TROY, N.Y. “NORTH OF THE WALL”
Both the video and the blog post make reference to The League of Extraordinary Red Heads annual meeting and “Night of the Walking Red” event, held about a week before the holiday photo shoot this year, at which a group of about 200 red heads toasted George R.R. Martin by shouting “Gingers are kissed by fire!”
A clip of that toast is at the beginning and end of the video along with a professional group photo. That event and toast were reported on in the Oct. 21, 2019 print edition of The New Yorker Magazine in an article headlined “Night of the Walking Red.” That article also appeared earlier online on Oct. 14, 2019 at: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/21/night-of-the-walking-redheads
FOR MEDIA: DOWNLOAD HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOS AND VIDEO AT:
To download High Resolution photos and video of the League of Extroardinary Red Heads holiday photo shoot with George R.R. Martin, plus other LoERH photos, visit the following Dropbox link:
Note: Credit all “Photos by Neil Grabowsky” or “extraordinary.red/photographer”
ABOUT THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY RED HEADS
The League of Extraordinary Red Heads formed innocuously in January 2013 as a social get-together for those with reddish hair sprouting from their scalps and chins. From the moment of its inception, however, conspiracists around the globe have posited that the League is, in reality, “a drinking club with vague plans for world domination.” Only those in the upper echelon of this clandestine fellowship know for sure its purpose.
Headquartered in Troy, New York (a.k.a. “Ginger City, USA”), The League assembles once or twice a year under the guise of conviviality. Secret meetings of this highly visible group are known to attract up to 200 red heads.
NEW CHAPTERS: Earlier this year, The League created a local chapter affiliation process.
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leagueofextraordinaryredheads/ @leagueofextraordinaryredheads