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."

Poll: Is Melisandre Good or Evil?

Melisandre has been behind some of Game of Thrones worst moments. She introduced the concept of burning heretics and king’s blood to Stannis and his followers. She wanted to burn Gendry (or Edric Storm in the books) — and would have if Gendry hadn’t escaped. She facilitated the burning of Selyse’s own brother on the beach at Dragonstone. She set Mance Rayder to the torch. And, she urged Stannis to burn his daughter Shireen to secure his victory at Winterfell….

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The Red Woman: Season 6, Episode 1 Recap [Spoilers]

Can Jon Be Saved? Finally, Game of Thrones is back for Season 6. At the beginning of the season’s first episode, many characters – Stannis, Sansa & Theon, Myrcella, Jon Snow — had unknown fates. Daenerys was in the wind and Arya was left vulnerable in Braavos. The Wall Jon Snow is definitely dead. Can Melisandre bring him back? When last season ended, Jon’s men – including Night’s Watch leaders like Alliser Thorne — had stabbed him in a Caesar-esque,…

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“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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George RR Martin Talks History on Season 5 DVD

Today HBO is releasing the Season 5 Game of Thrones DVD, which includes interviews with George RR Martin and a few other folks talking about history and Game of Thrones. I have to admit that I’m very excited — and somewhat terrified — to see the DVD because I’m one of the people HBO interviewed. (Thanks again, HBO!) I’ve never been on TV before and I’ve never been to New York city, so I was pretty nervous during the interview. (Think Deer/Headlights.)…

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Denial: Is Jon Snow Dead? [Poll & Season 6 spoilers]

This article includes some mild Season 6 spoilers. The Season 6 poster teases us with a picture of Jon Snow’s face. Yet HBO has said adamantly and repeatedly that Jon Snow is dead. Everyone from the showrunners to the executives have avowed his death. Just yesterday, Natalie Dormer told Channel 5 news that “If you get stabbed that many times, you’re dead, you know. There are some basic medical rules that even apply in Westeros.” But, she continued to say, “So…

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Will Tyrion and Sansa Die? Eerie Trailer

In the eerie trailer for Season 6,  the Hall of Faces at the House of Black and White shows the faces of the fallen Starks (Catelyn, Ned, Robb) and others like Joffrey —  as well as a few faces that were alive last we checked (Sansa, Tyrion). Are Tyrion and Sansa there because all men must die (eventually), or is this foreshadowing? What do you think?  

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The Soprano’s Medieval Heart

For quite some time, I have been meaning to write an article about Game of Thrones‘ fantastic Emmy win. Yes, I realize the news cycle has passed, but I still think the win is superb and long overdue recognition of fantasy as a genre. In the meantime, however, I found this article sitting on my hard drive, so I thought I would publish it. While rewatching some episodes of The Sopranos, I noticed some references to the Middle Ages and became…

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Sons of Anarchy, The Bastard Executioner, Honor-based Culture

It’s a long winter when Game of Thrones is off the air. In fact, it feels like years. So when Kurt Sutter’s The Bastard Executioner premieres in the United States on FX tonight, it might provide some respite. The Bastard Executioner follows fourteenth-century warrior Wilkin Brattle after a messenger implores him to give up warfare to become an executioner. I’m excited about the show because the showrunner is Kurt Sutter of Sons of Anarchy. Ron Howard’s partner superproducer Brian Grazer pitched Kurt Sutter…

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Valar Morghulis & Memento Mori

One of the most powerful and often quoted catch phrases from Game of Thrones has to be “valar morghulis” – a mantra that closely resembles a memento mori. In the Middle Ages, art depicted reminders of our mortality – skulls and other symbols of death. Artists intended these symbols to remind their audience of the fleeting vanities of wealth and other earthly pursuits. A Latin phrase – memento mori, or “remember that you have to die” – came to encapsulate this mortal reflection….

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I couldn’t have said it better myself…

In the category of “I couldn’t have said it better myself,” I found this delightful article about Game of Thrones and history from Cinemania in Madrid, “6 lecciones de Historia que has visto en ‘Juego de tronos’ by Yago Garcia. My Spanish is terrible and Google Translate chokes on this article, so here is my very crude translation… The article begins with the most common excuses we hear for not watching GoT or reading ASOIAF – and, boy, do I get…

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