Jamie Adair

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."

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The Winds of Winter: Historic Recap (Season 6, Episode 10)

Last night’s Emmy nominated episode paved the way for what may be Game of Thrones’ last battle: the battle against the Night King and the white walkers. Once again the rulers of Westeros’ houses have changed and new alliances have formed. This recap looks at the history behind a few key scenes and their historical basis. An explosive end for Cersei’s rivals This year’s season finale did not disappoint in terms of its death toll. What was surprising is how Cersei escaped…

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Historic Recap: Battle of the Bastards, Season 6, Episode 9

Episode 9 – “Battle of the Bastards” – of Season Six Game of Thrones is epic – not because it necessarily surprised anyone but because the battle scenes were so phenomenally well produced. This episode has tons of historic tidbits for history lovers – and this recap will take you through a few of them. The episode only has two storylines: Meereen and Winterfell. Both places are under attack. This week’s recap focuses on a few specific historical events from the…

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Khal Moro: Eat Your Heart Out — Part 1

[Author’s note: A few episodes ago Daenerys was back in Vaes Dothrak, where Khal Moro and his cronies threatened her with effective imprisonment, rape, or slavery. They should have known better than to bully Daenerys where she once had one of her most glorious moments (after she ate the wild stallion’s heart). This two-part article takes a look back at the gruesome history behind Season 1’s heart-eating ritual. Warning: No shocker, but this article gets a little gross. And, the second half is much…

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Historic Recap: The Broken Man

Coming into this episode from last week, the big question that everyone wants answered is: “Will Arya survive?” Or will the Waif succeed in killing her? It’s easy to assume that Arya isn’t in real danger. After all, she is everyone’s second or third favorite character – at least according to most polls. But, this is Game of Thrones – and as we know from Lady, Ned, Catelyn, Robb, Hodor, Summer, Osha and many others, anything can happen. Tonight’s episode…

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A Greensighting of Mad King Aerys

In Episode Six of Season 6 (“Blood Brothers”), we caught a glimpse of the notorious Aerys Targaryen through the greensight of Bran – aka the incoming Three-Eyed Raven. We see flashes of the alchemists mixing the wildfire, a tunnel exploding, and King Aerys on his throne. Some fans theorize that Bran caused Aerys’ madness by whispering at him through time. The real-life Aerys-es’ madness had entirely different causes — one may have had paranoid schizophrenia and the other may have suffered…

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Historic Recap: Blood of My Blood (Season 6, Episode 6)

Tonight’s episode has some interesting moments ripped right from the pages of history about chivalry and Richard III. Shakespeare lovers and Ricardians will be thrilled. This recap also contains some fun George RR Martin tidbits that Jun Yan brings to us fresh from this weekend’s Balticon. The episode focuses on Sam and Gilly, Arya, the Lannisters, Tyrells, and Faith Militant, Daenerys, Riverrun, and Bran and Meera. This episode picks up right where the last one left off – with Meera and…

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Is Shaggydog Dead? Symbolic Direwolf Names and Ironic Reversals

[Like all fan theories, this article may have spoilers.] Many Game of Thrones fans harbor theories about the direwolves.  Summer’s death – if he did die – made it clear that the name “Summer” wasn’t foreshadowing an outcome of salvation but rather the death of Bran’s dreams of his own halcyon “summer” days.  (He might not be quite so indulgent with the greensight after his losses last Sunday night.) The direwolf names appear to symbolize the fate and arc of…

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Opening The Door (Season 6, Episode 5) (Recap)

We’re still in the afterglow of Daenerys’ Dothraki coup last week, and, perhaps fittingly, tonight’s episode is full of strong women, some poised for leadership. Not all of the women are good, of course. (I mean, come on — this is Game of Thrones.) But, they all wield power. In “The Door,” Leaf atones for her past mistakes, but, frankly, her atonement isn’t enough. Unable to learn from his sister’s mistakes with the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant, Tyrion…

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Dothraki and the Proto-Indo-Europeans: Martin’s Horse People are the Real Deal

On George RR Martin’s blog, he writes that the Dothraki are a blend of a “number of steppe and plains cultures” including Mongols and Huns, certainly, but also Alans, Sioux, Cheyenne, and various other Amerindian tribes… seasoned with a dash of pure fantasy.” Martin doesn’t say how far back he draws on history for “horse people,” but it doesn’t seem inconceivable that he has a nodding acquaintance with Proto-Indo-European societies given what he writes next: “So any resemblance to Arabs or…

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