May, 2014

Who Killed Attila the Hun? Who Killed Joffrey?

Does the murder of Attila the Hun offer any clues about who killed Joffrey? After reading Dr. Michael Babcock’s truly amazing book The Night Attila Died, I decided it might be fun to compare the suspects in Attila’s murder to the suspects in Joffrey’s murder. While Michael Babcock’s highly compelling analysis provides evidence that Attila may have been killed as part of a conspiracy, George RR Martin wouldn’t have known that so if Attila’s murder inspired him, he could have chosen any…

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Drunk at a Wedding? How Attila & Joffrey Died – Attila Part 3

Drunk and staggering, a bloody death from esophageal cancer, poison, murder – how Attila the Hun died is a 1500-year old murder mystery and may be the historical basis of Joffrey Baratheon’s murder – despite George RR Martin’s fishy story about it being based on Prince Eustace’s death. This article looks at Attila’s death, especially in light of Dr. Michael Babcock’s remarkable book, The Night Attila Died, and shows the similarities to Joffrey’s death. According to various legends and historians,…

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Attila the Hun, Part 2

When Attila and his brother Bleda became kings, the Romans met with them, hoping to renegotiate their tribute. If the Romans had expected the young men to reduce the annual gold payment, they must have received a rude awakening. [This article is continued from here…] The meeting was brief. The Huns did not get off their horses, and, the befuddled Romans followed suit. The Huns had four demands — all of which the Romans immediately agreed to. Double the gold…

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Attila the Hun: A Motive for Murder?

Series introduction: Did a 1500 year old murder mystery inspire George RR Martin’s Purple Wedding? Sure, he’s admitted that Prince Eustace’s death during the Anarchy inspired him, but there are way too many parallels between Joffrey’s death and Attila the Hun’s death for it to be a coincidence. The vicious barbarian raider Attila the Hun died of a massive nosebleed at his wedding in 453AD. However, not everyone is convinced that Attila died of natural causes. Some historians suspect poison. And,…

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Tyrion’s Trial: A Changing Tide? — Episode 6, Season 4 Recap

Is a seachange brewing in Westerosi power politics? The Iron Bank may have foreclosed on the Lannisters as they turn on one of their own. Yara finally sails into the Dreadfort to rescue her brother. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys struggles for control. Who is the Titan of Braavos? The tides are about to change in King’s Landing and the changes commence as a ship sails through the massive legs of the Titan of Braavos. Braavos is the largest of the Free Cities on…

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Hansel and Gretel: Cannibalism Part II

After a great famine had descended on the land, a starving woodcutter talks over the hardest decision of his life with his wife, the children’s “evil” stepmother. She persuades him to abandon the children; it is either that or starve. The woodcutter takes his two emaciated children, Hansel and Gretel, deep into the forest where he expects they will probably never find their way out. [This article is continued from here.] Hansel and Gretel come upon a gingerbread house where…

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Who is George Boleyn? A Guest Article by Clare Cherry

  For centuries, George Boleyn has lived in the shadow of the Boleyn women.  Although the Boleyns are one of the most controversial families in Tudor history, they are often overlooked due to  the all-encompassing legacies of Queen Anne Boleyn and the immortal Queen Elizabeth I. George’s sister, Mary Boleyn — the long-time mistress of her sister’s future husband Henry VIII — has recently emerged as the romantic heroine who outlived them all. George’s wife “that bawd” Jane Boleyn, who for centuries has been the Boleyn scapegoat, carries the burden of…

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The Hunger Games and Joan of Arc

In The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins uses history from Ancient Rome and the Hundred Years’ War. Like George RR Martin, Suzanne “meditates” on the effect of war throughout The Hunger Games series. Similar to Martin, Suzanne uses counterfactual (what-if) versions of history and, as far as I can tell, she did not create an historical “allegory.” We’re thinking of maybe doing a series of articles on The Hunger Games this summer. So, we are wondering, do you like The Hunger Games?…

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The Romans are Coming, “Tyrion” Purple

The Romans are coming to History Behind Game of Thrones, but they’ve been marching very slowly. (We have a couple of articles prepared but we’re waiting on something very special before we publish them.) Many people have written in noting the parallels between the Western and Eastern Roman Empires (aka the Byzantine Empire) and Game of Thrones. This is very helpful – thank you! (I definitely will be noting you explicitly as the series continues.) Superficially, people often compare Game of Thrones with the Wars…

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Who is the REAL First of His Name? Episode 5, Season 4 Recap

Although the Joffrey’s death still lingers as unfinished business, this episode marks quite a few new beginnings. Several new marriages and new alliances are soon to be forged. The depths of Petyr Baelish’s depravity and Lysa Arryn’s insanity are revealed. As the gears turn and these new alliances click into place, for others like Tyrion, Tywin, and Sansa the wheel turns tighter. As Tywin notes, you don’t need formal alliances – or marriage pacts – with people you trust. King’s…

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