November, 2014

The Origins of Chivalry, Knights Beating Maidens

I only just discovered that, for the next four days, the Getty museum in Los Angeles, California has an exhibit about chivalry. It ends on November 30th, 2014. The museum created two videos for the exhibit, which made me reflect on the origins of chivalry. If you love knights and all things martial, definitely check out the combat demonstrations in the first video. It brings to life the fighting styles in the Italian manuscript The Flower of Battle (Il Fior di Battaglia) c. 1410. Both videos are embedded…

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Reversed: Tyrion as Richard III and Coriolanus

Late in A Storm of Swords, Tyrion Lannister goes on trial for the murder of King Joffrey, his 13-year-old nephew. The plot is obviously inspired by not only the historical mystery of “Princes in the Tower,” but also Shakespeare’s depiction of the event in the play Richard III. A clear indication of George R.R. Martin’s nod to the play itself, beyond historical facts, is the effects of being born deformed and ugly on the central character and the dynamics between…

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Isabeau & Cersei Sleep With Their Brothers, Part 2

This article is continued from here. Like Cersei, Isabeau was extremely close to her brother Louis of Bavaria (c. 1368-1447). Isabeau continuously promoted his career and arranged excellent marriages for him. Isabeau was also accused of sleeping with her brother-in-law, Louis of Orleans — a proximity the Church considered incestuous. Maybe the rumored relationship between Isabeau and Louis and the blatantly false accusation that Anne Boleyn slept with her brother George inspired George RR Martin to create Jaime and Cersei’s incestuous relationship. Like Jaime, Louis…

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The Queens Who Love Their Brothers: Cersei and Isabeau of Bavaria

An unfaithful power-hungry silver-tongued queen, who sleeps with her brother, bears an illegitimate heir to the throne, and acts as regent – who could this be other than Cersei Lannister? Surprisingly, it could also be Queen Isabeau of France (that is, the traditional interpretation of her). Born Elizabeth of Bavaria-Ingolstadt (c.1370), Isabeau (as the French called her) was the queen of France during the Armagnac-Burgundian phase of Hundred Years War. Isabeau is also famous for being the mother of two English…

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