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I was chatting with a friend the other day about different books on the Wars of the Roses and I realized that one of the reason I started this blog was just to get a chance to converse with other people who have similar historical interests. (In “real” (non-virtual) life I don’t have any friends who are into the Wars of the Roses.) She made a comment that sometimes she would go and hang out on the AnneBoleyn Files forums just to talk to other Tudor history buffs.

I don’t know of any Wars of the Roses forums, so I thought I’d set some up on this website. I figure that the forums can be used from everyone from researchers to swap reading ideas to people who want to debate who killed the princes in the tower or discuss Philippa Gregory’s books. Feel free to use the forums as it suits.

I also set up some Game of Thrones forums. I guess the big difference between these and Westeros’ forums are that these forums might attract people who are specifically into the historical aspects of Wars of the Roses.

Lots of you have theories about the historical origins of Game of Thrones or how the show will end. Questions like “Who is Jon Snow and is he really Ned Stark’s son?” are fun to discuss. Feel free to post your thoughts to the forums and talk to each other.

Anyway, enjoy!

Jamie Adair is the editor of History Behind Game of Thrones, a website about the history behind George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the hit TV show, "Game of Thrones."

5 Comments

  • Reply April 17, 2014

    abhinav91

    Jon snow i believe is mainly a construct on the lines of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester from during the anarchy era. Other influences can possibly range from William the conqueror and Henry Tudor himself. I would really like to see how G.R.R finally ties up Snow’s story-line with Danaerys. GOT is a tremendous body of work and could be one of few pieces of fantasy literature that can be classified as scholarly. It is mind boggling to see how much of Britain’s history GRR has subtly recorded in his books. As recently as yesterday, I was reading up on Jeffery Hudson who, one can argue, was one of the influences behind Tyrion, a character previously thought of to be with no historical parallel.

    I believe if we are to truly understand the genius behind GOT, then we ought to look at more historical sources and eras rather than just focusing on the hundred years war or the war of the roses. We might as well start looking way back to the Classical age and early history of Scotland to understand the influences behind the free folk and the others. While we are at it we might as well start drawing comparisons between Boadicea and lets see, who is another feisty red headed character we know of?

    • Reply April 17, 2014

      Chas D.

      So I’m not the only one who noticed Jon Snow = Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester influence. Good. 🙂

    • Reply April 18, 2014

      Jamie Adair

      Hey Abhinav,
      Thanks for the great observations! I completely agree about GoT being a truly scholarly work. In all seriousness, I think George RR Martin is greatly underrated as an artist and a historian. I’ve heard the Jeffrey Hudson comparison before and I agree. It creates a bit of a historic spoiler so I haven’t written about it.

      Yes, slowly but surely, I’ve been trying to increase the breadth of history this site covers because frankly there are quite a few allusions in GRRM’w work to so many different periods. We have a few articles on the ancient world – scroll down and you’ll see the ones about Sparta, a few on the Vikings, one on the Dark Ages, and one on medieval Scotland but that one’s kind of a give-me. And, come to think of it, we did just do one on the Anarchy. (You can find them from the category menu half way down the sidebar or from the top menus.) We also have at least two articles that I know of coming on the Romans or Eastern Roman related events. And, we’re also interviewing Historian Michael Babcock about his research into Attila the Hun’s death.

      But, I agree, it would be great to do more articles about all of the amazing periods from antiquity onward. I tend to write more about the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses because there are so many major storylines related to those periods and because I’m more of a (late) medievalist, which makes it easier for me to spot the patterns. (One thing I’ve noticed is that it isn’t necessarily that easy to see the patterns in GRRMs work until you either a) read deeply on a topic or b) just happen to have read about it from a similar perspective.) So, to make a long answer short, yes, I definitely agree and yes, I’m going to try to broaden the periods. Will it happen in the next eight weeks? Maybe a few additional articles – depending how it goes with the show schedule. But, longer term – ABSOLUTELY.

      BTW, I love the two ideas you suggested! I think I’ll almost certainly right an article about Boadicea and that certain somebody, who is one of my favorite characters! Thanks! If I do write it, is it okay to credit you with the idea?

  • Reply April 30, 2014

    WATCHER ON THE COUCH

    If GRR Martin has encouraged people to read and develop an interest in history that is twoworthwhile things he has done (as well as entertaining people). The Wildlings climbing the wall made me think of an achievement by Alexander the Great’s army https://suite.io/brenda-ralph-lewis/5j2722j but of course I do not know if Mr Martin was thus inspired. I enjoy visiting your site intermittently. Keep up the good work.

  • Reply May 5, 2014

    Jun

    Jamie, your historical analysis is the most relevant and illuminating analysis of the ASOIAF series I have seen. Sure, lots of fans mine all the details in the books (and the prequel stories), but a true history-based approach gets to the heart of Martin’s own sources and mindset. Indeed he is at least half a historian at heart.

    One of his early short stories, drawn from his undergraduate study of Scandinavian history (namely the war between Sweden and Russian involving a Finnish navy officer), explores the question of how minor, unrecorded figures unintentionally shape the course of larger history on a big scale. ASOIAF is not only an epic fantasy series, but also a meditation on human history. It’s tremendously ambitious, more than most people have recognized.

    Just want to mention a fun fact. A lot of Chinese readers of ASOIAF, me included, recognize certain familiar elements and themes from Chinese history, too. I generally believe this is a coincidence and reflects the universality of human nature, society, and violence despite cultural and geo-agricultural differences. Nevertheless, Martin acknowledged that he played “Romance of Three Kingdoms” in the 80s or 90s. It’s a Japanese computer game based on a prominent period in Chinese history when three factions warred with each other involving a lot of alliances and betrayals and conspiracies.

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