In the fantastical realm of Westeros, where the struggle for power is the driving force behind the realm, George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones has captured the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide. The series, officially known as “A Song of Ice and Fire”, is a complex and rich tapestry of fantasy and reality, drawing inspiration from real-life events, figures, and cultures throughout history.
The Wars of the Roses
One of the primary inspirations for Game of Thrones is the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars fought in England in the 15th century between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The wars were characterized by shifting alliances, betrayals, and a struggle for power between rival branches of the same royal family. In the same way, the wars in Westeros are also characterized by shifting alliances, betrayals, and a struggle for power between rival houses.
In the book “The Real History Behind Game of Thrones,” author Mike Loades writes, “The Wars of the Roses, with their shifting loyalties, their sudden reversals of fortune, their betrayals and betrayals avenged, all that blood-letting and slaughter, must have seemed to George R. R. Martin like a ready-made template for his own series.”
The Viking Age
Another historical inspiration for the series is the Viking Age, a period of Scandinavian history that lasted from the late 8th century to the early 11th century. The Vikings were known for their seafaring, trading, and raiding, as well as for their fierce and ruthless warrior culture. In the series, the ironborn of the Iron Islands, led by House Greyjoy, are heavily influenced by the Vikings.
In the book “Iron, Fire and Ice: The Real History that Inspired Game of Thrones,” author Ed West writes, “The Vikings’ seafaring, trading, and raiding are all reflected in the Ironborn of the Iron Islands, led by House Greyjoy, who are heavily influenced by the Vikings.”
The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages also served as an inspiration for the series, particularly in terms of the political and social structures of the time. The feudal system, in which lords held land from a higher lord in exchange for military service, is reflected in the system of vassalage in Westeros, where lords hold land from a higher lord in exchange for military service.
In the book “A Song of Ice and Fire and History” author Peter Snowdon writes, “The feudal system in which lords held land from a higher lord in exchange for military service is reflected in the system of vassalage in Westeros, where lords hold land from a higher lord in exchange for military service.”
Real-Life Historical Figures and their Fictional Counterparts
Many of the characters in Game of Thrones are based on or inspired by real-life historical figures. These characters draw on the strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics of their historical counterparts to create a sense of realism and believability in the series.
Robert Baratheon and Henry VII
Robert Baratheon, the king of Westeros at the beginning of the series, is heavily inspired by King Henry VII of England, who won the Wars of the Roses and established the Tudor dynasty. Both Robert and Henry were victorious in civil war, both had a strong and charismatic personality, both were seen as the savior of their respective kingdoms and both had a successful reign but their later years were marked by decline and a lack of strong leadership.
Eddard Stark and Richard III
Eddard Stark, the honorable lord of Winterfell and Hand of the King, is heavily inspired by King Richard III of England, who was known for his honorable and just nature. Both Eddard and Richard were honorable and just men, both were betrayed by their own family members, both were killed in battle, and both were depicted as tragic figures in their respective stories.
Tyrion Lannister and Richard III
Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf son of Tywin Lannister, is also heavily inspired by King Richard III of England. Both Tyrion and Richard were physically deformed, both were underestimated and both were the cleverest and most capable member of their respective families.
Jaime Lannister and Richard the Lionheart
Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer, is heavily inspired by King Richard the Lionheart of England, who was also known for his bravery in battle and his reputation as a great warrior. Both Jaime and Richard were known for their bravery in battle, both were considered a great warrior and both were also considered a controversial figure.
In conclusion, Game of Thrones is not just a fantasy series, it’s a complex and rich tapestry that draws inspiration from real-life events, figures, and cultures throughout history. From the Wars of the Roses, the Viking age, and the Middle Ages, Martin has created a world that is both fantastical and rooted in reality, giving fans a deeper understanding of the series and an appreciation for the historical context in which it is set.