Elizabeth Bowen’s novel, The Heat of the Day, tells a story about espionage, war, and trust in a way that puts the modernist era on its head. Despite the fact the novel was written several years after the end of the modernist era, Bowen doesn’t shy away from using modernist concepts like non-linear storytelling and limited point of view to get her story across. While the novel does a lot of ‘good’, in the sense that it makes one reflect on the greatness of modernism while looking forward to the age of post-modernism, it’s important to acknowledge one of the best/worst characters in it – HARRISON.
When reading this book, I was drawn to Harrison’s character…unfortunately. That being said I do not like Harrison, I think he is a manipulative who goes wherever the meek and mild are so he can raise hell. But, I will recognize that his weasel-like personality and unlikable nature means he would most likely fair well in another war-themed novel, A Game of Thrones. The series, written by George R.R. Martin highlights the worst parts of humanity and puts them on display, showing that when it comes to getting what you want, there is no end to the possible ways to get it. The series presents an overwhelming amount of villainous, manipulative characters for readers/audiences to love and hate at the same time. Ultimately, I would argue that Harrison fits that bill perfectly and would make a great addition to Westeros.
Harrison is an intelligent character whether I like to admit it or not. He’s involved with British Intelligence and works diligently to ensure the safety of his country from spies. That being said, I think he would be fitting in A Game of Thrones because he could have told Stella about Robert being a spy out of the duty to his country, but instead chose to try to manipulate her into dating him – a very “Little Finger”-move in my option. Another reason why I think Harrison would be a fitting addition the life of Westeros is because of the fact that he’s a spy. In Westeros, people throughout the continent are a spy or have spies working for them. The most notable person being Varys who came from nothing, but with the more information, he was able to get his hands on the safer he was and the more he was needed. In the same way, I think this is how Harrison views himself a little bit since his role in the story and the war are monumental even though they aren’t well known.
Throughout the novel, Harrison plays an integral role in Stella’s life and, since Stella is the main point of view offered, in the reader’s life as well. Even though he is an unlikeable character, it’s important to recognize that The Heat of the Day wouldn’t be the same without Harrison’s presence. Overall, due to Harrison’s sneaky and scummy nature, I think he would be a fantastic fit in George R.R. Martin’s series.