April, 2014

Interview with Cultural Historian Susan Bordo about Anne Boleyn

  As part of our Anne Boleyn series, History Behind Game of Thrones is extremely proud to present this interview with cultural historian and philosopher, Dr. Susan Bordo. Susan is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and holds the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of five books and editor of two. Her most recent book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn, is a fascinating and entertaining examination of not only…

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George RR Martin: In His Own Words About History, War, and Mortality

History Behind Game of Thrones devotes considerable ink to attempting to draw parallels between Game of Thrones and real-life history — generally we are interpreting the stories and trying find similarities to history. When George RR Martin reveals what he used as a historical basis for a character or a scene, we jump on it. The problem is that he rarely discusses his use of history. You can find comments he has made in ancient interviews on Westeros.org. You can also find the odd…

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Episode 4 Recap: Oath Keepers and Breakers: Killers Revealed and Rapists Redeemed?

Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones (Episode 4, Season 4) reveals not just oath keepers but also oath breakers. We catch up with Jaime, who fulfills his promise to Brienne to help return Sansa to her mother (and failing that at least keep her safe), Brienne who pursues Tyrion’s fleeing wife, and Daenerys who fulfills her promise to “meet justice with justice.” We also meet up with the oath breakers — namely the “mutineering” men of the Night’s Watch who remain…

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Poll: Who Killed the Princes in the Tower?

Given the series we’ve been running about the Princes in the Tower, and the murder’s repetition as a motif throughout Game of Thrones, it might be fun to see who you think killed the Princes in the Tower. (If you are unfamiliar with the mystery, please see the synopsis in this article. If you are unfamiliar with the suspects or want to learn more about them, please see this Wikipedia page for a brief overview.)        

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Princes in the Tower, Evil Princelings & Joffrey

It’s possible that the beginning of Joffrey Baratheon’s reign is not unlike a counter-factual version of what would happen if the son of Edward IV survived to become a dark and evil king. [This article is continued from here. ]  Shortly after Bran, the first “prince in the tower” falls and Catelyn falsely accuses Tyrion of attempted murder, Robert Baratheon draws up a deathbed will. He asks Ned to serve as “Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm” and rule in Robert’s…

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Tyrion, Bran, Joffrey, and the Princes in the Tower

Joffrey, Bran, and the Lannister nephews — are these the “Princes in the Tower” of Westeros? Is Tyrion like a falsely accused Richard III? George RR Martin tends to repeat certain historic images almost like defining themes or motifs. One of these defining images is the Princes in the Tower – a catalyst for the events in Richard III’s reign. For people who love the history of Richard III , Martin’s treatment of these events raises an interesting question –…

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Confused By All Those Game of Thrones Characters? Here’s One Reason Why

Recently, a good friend of mine in Florida started watching Game of Thrones. During episode one, he sent me a text bemoaning the fact I wasn’t there with him to explain what was going on. Game of Thrones can be really hard to follow – especially for the new or casual viewer. In fact, when Conan O’Brien interviewed George RR Martin, Conan admitted to using a cheat sheet, which is completely understandable. A cast of thousands of characters (hundreds on the…

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Breaker of Chains: Episode 3, Season 4 Recap

Each of the major players at the Purple Wedding has a different reaction to Joffrey’s death, and everyone finds themselves in a different situation or predicament. Do their reactions hold any clue to who killed Joffrey? Maybe. Meanwhile storm clouds are mounting for the Lannisters: not only across the Narrow Sea but also in Dragonstone. King’s Landing The episode picks up from where it left off with Cersei at the Purple Wedding beside Joffrey’s dead body. After ordering Tyrion’s arrest, Cersei screams…

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George RR Martin Interviewed on ABC as the Person of the Week

ABC World News interviewed George R.R. Martin last night as their Person of the Week. George reveals he based Joffrey on all the bullies he ever knew in school. George also discusses his strong female characters, which character he would want to play, and who is favorite character is. The interview shows Martin in what appears to be his home in front of lots of tiny figurines of Game of Thrones characters. The interview shows Martin as a little boy,…

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Whodunnit? Olenna Tyrell and the Usual Suspects

Warning: Fourth Season TV SPOILERS – Possible Spoilers from Tonight’s Episode The A  Song of Ice and Fire novels still have not revealed definitively who killed Joffrey. Recently, Rolling Stone ran a teaser promoting a longer interview with George RR Martin in which the great one replied to the question we all want to know: “Who killed Joffrey?” Note George RR Martin’s key words: “I make no promises, because I have two more books to write, and I may have more surprises to…

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