Saturday, July 5, 2014

Real Life Game of Thrones


   The number-one reason I am loving George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic, A Song of Ice and Fire book series, is the hardcore political action. The second reason, is all the similarities between the fictional characters and real-life historical figures. The third reason, Jon Snow.

I mean c'mon...
But back to reason number two...

Martin's book series is the inspiration behind HBO's hit television show, Game of Thrones. The series is set in the land of Westeros, or the Seven Kingdoms. Martin has said he used The Wars of the Roses, which was a series of wars fought in England in the 15th century between warring families the York's and the Lancaster's. One of the most obvious relationships between the fictional and the factional are the names: two of the major families in Westeros are the Stark's and the Lannister's. However, more in depth, individual characters seem to be very similar to historical figures.

  • Robert Baratheon, king of the Seven Kingdoms seems to have a lot in common with the infamous King Henry VIII. Both kings were very athletic in their youth but as they aged declined into obesity and drunkenness. Kings Henry and Robert also both left the governing of their kingdoms to others.
  • Cersei Lannister, queen of the Seven Kingdoms and wife to Robert Baratheon. To me, Cersei is a character who seems to be based on pseudo-history. Cersei shares traits with the much maligned Queen Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn was accused of high treason and incest with her brother, much like the character, Cersei. However, Cersei was guilty... and there is still tons of debate over Anne's innocence.
  • Robb Stark, is the son of Eddard Stark, best friend to Robert Baratheon. In the chaos after the death of King Robert, Robb declares himself King in the North and fights many battles trying to win governance over Westeros. He gets so caught up in battle victory and love that marries a girl of little wealth and of little political gain. Much like King Edward VI. King Edward was a young King who fought hard to declare his place on the throne, but jeopardized the whole thing by marrying Elizabeth Woodville.
  • Daenerys Targaryen- The Targaryen family ruled Westeros long before Robert Baratheon fought his way to the Iron Throne. Daenerys is the only heir to the Targaryen family. Like the future King Henry VII, Daenerys was raised in exile, where she is plotting to regain her family's throne.
The Wall which stands to separate the known world from the wilderness is very similar to Hadrian's Wall. Hadrian's wall was built along the borders of the Roman Empire to keep out any outsiders. Imagine who scary a wall such as that would be.

Anybody see any different similarities to characters? And would like to see more Game of Thrones/ historical figures or events articles? I am very open to suggestions!


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