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Richard iii

“I love Richard III” — GRRM

On the Game of Thrones Season 5 DVD’s segment “The Real History Behind Game of Thrones,” George RR Martin admitted something that nibbles at the edge of his stories: he LOVES Richard III. And, Martin admitted his passion with such a nice smile. I’ve wondered for years whether GRRM is a closet Ricardian. After all, some of his storylines present a very kind interpretation of the man formerly known as Gloucester. You see traces of GRRM’s love for Richard III everywhere in…

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Richard III’s Burial (Round Up)

The lines to pay last respects to Richard III’s body circle the block, standing in line up to four hours. By early Monday morning, nearly 3000 people had seen his body. After all, you don’t get to see a king’s body lie in state every day. The internment starts tomorrow at 10:30 AM UK time. Apparently, you can watch it on BBC Channel 4; this may be tricky from overseas. There is an official site for the burial here and the…

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Richard III Funeral Procession Begins Today: Live Now (Live Updates)

The beginning of Richard III’s funeral procession starts today — an event that signifies the final chapter of a 500 year long story. His cortege is conveying his remains to Leicester Cathedral where they will be on display, effectively “lie in state” for the next four days. Richard’s burial is next Thursday. In keeping with medieval tradition, the funeral procession is weaving through multiple stops. In fact, if you are reading this right now (at 12:10 PM EST) you might be able…

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Richard III, a Royal Bastard? An Illegal Queen? The King’s DNA & Signs of Adultery

Recently, University of Leicester announced that with nearly 100% certainty the skeleton in the car park is Richard III — and they discovered evidence of adultery somewhere in Richard III’s family tree. Now newspapers are leading with headlines questioning Queen Elizabeth’s right to the throne. Regardless of whether there is illegitimacy in Elizabeth’s line, it doesn’t matter. She’s been anointed. Monarchs can legitimately claim the right to the throne in several different ways, including by right of conquest. As soon as a monarch is…

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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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Richard III, Theon Greyjoy and The Lost Princes

I often forget exactly why the people of the North loathe Theon Greyjoy. Theon Turncloak. Many Northerners still believe Theon Greyjoy murdered Bran and Rickon, the last sons and heirs of the beloved house of Stark. However we know that Theon did not murder Bran and Rickon. It is true he murdered two innocent children, a terrible crime of which he should not be absolved. But Bran and Rickon still live. And in A Song of Ice and Fire there…

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Ned Stark and Richard III

Episodes: Season 1, Episode 1 “Winter is Coming,” Season 1, Episode 7 “You Win or You Die,” Season 2, Episode 6 “The Old Gods and the New” If Robert Baratheon is an older Edward IV, does that make the man Robert likened to a brother, Ned Stark, an incarnation of Edward IV’s brother Richard? In some ways, it does. However, there are major differences and Richard III was not the only historic person George RR Martin looked to when creating Ned….

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The Chase: Henry VIII and Robert Baratheon

George RR Martin appears to base the deadly King’s Landing politics on the cut-throat world of  Henry VIII’s court. One of the reasons faction arose in Henry VIII’s reign is because he was often away hunting, which required him to delegate power and this, in turn, gave courtiers the idea they could get more power. Like Henry VIII, Robert Baratheon was noted for his love of hunting. Where was Robert when his children were born? Hunting of course. And, how…

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Henry VIII, the Game of Medieval Politics, and Game of Thrones

At the heart of Game of Thrones is the game of medieval politics. George RR Martin worded the title of this novel very careful: it is no coincidence the first word is game. Henry VIII’s one-time Lord Chancellor, and later victim, Sir Thomas More described the court politics as “a king’s game, and for the more part played on scaffolds.” Since Henry VIII presided over the greatest political game of all, it seems fitting that George RR Martin should base…

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Henry VIII Week

Last week, Olga Hughes published a fantastic interview on Nerdalicious with historian John Matusiak, who just released a new book, Henry VIII: The Life and Rule of England’s Nero. The interview and, heck, even the title of this book make it pretty clear that Matsuiak will be less than complementary towards old King Hal. And, frankly, rightly so. I haven’t read the book yet, but I do agree with the refreshing perspective. I loved this interview and it inspired me…

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