Let me start by describing one of the first magic tricks I learned to perform when I was a kid. Here is what the audience sees: I reach into my pocket and reveal a jumbo-sized card depicting the four of spades on one side and the ace of spades on the other side. After mumbling some magic words, I turn the card, and to the audience’s astonishment, the four of spades turns into the six of spades.
I turn the card again, and now the ace of spades has turned into the three of spades. This is not the most impressive magic in the world, but it is a wonderful demonstration of how certain principles of perception can be exploited to produce magic tricks. So how is it done?
Now that Game of Thrones’ series finale has come and gone, even more attention is being paid to author George R.R. Martin. He’s mostly been minding his own business and living his life while the rest of the world harangues him about the final two entries in the series of novels that started it all.