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."

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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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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Breathing Life into Magic: Dragons

The dragons in A Song of Ice and Fire may fuel the magic and one day extinguish the icy White Walkers. The fiery ASOIAF dragons may be the antidote to the icy white walkers and there are mythological ties between these creatures that extend beyond the A Song of Ice and Fire series into Tolkien, Beowulf, and Celtic Myth. The Dragon’s Backstory In Westeros and beyond, the origins of dragons is controversial among septons and others who have studied the…

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Dragons, The World of Ice and Fire, & Your Thoughts on Fantasy

Last night, at his New York chat about his latest book The World of Ice and Fire, George RR Martin said that his dragons, notably Drogon, wouldn’t stand a chance against The Hobbit‘s Smaug. “Drogon could never beat Smaug in a fight… Drogon is a very young dragon,” Martin said. “Not to mention Smaug, like, talks, which would give him an intellectual advantage.” (For the record, Martin also noted that The World of Ice and Fire does not rival Tolkein’s The…

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“Fantasy is Always Bigger”

In his A Song of Ice and Fire series, George RR Martin takes elements from history and blows them up to ginormous size. At the Edinburgh International Book Festival, George RR Martin mentioned that the Wall is inspired by Hadrian’s Wall — just like John Henry Clay argues in this article. Martin told the audience: “I remember standing there on a cold October day… and I stood on that wall and stared off into Scotland, or what was Scotland, and tried to think what…

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HBO Will Be Sold Without Cable

I’ve reported before that it may be possible to stream HBO without paying for cable. That is, to pay for HBO GO — iPad/Internet version of HBO — without having to shell out for monthly TV service. This was no more than a mere rumor it seems. This week, however, HBO announced  they will begin to sell HBO as a broadband streaming service. This means that sometime next year consumers will be able to buy HBO GO directly from TimeWarner, HBO’s parent…

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Ned Stark’s Villainy: The Round Up

A few weeks ago I wrote a surprisingly controversial article that asked if Ned Stark was the worst thing that ever happened to Westeros: Ned’s Honor: Was Ned Stark the Villain? Some people were not amused. Somebody posted my Ned article to Reddit, and people there had quite a few things to say. Between the comments on this website  and the comments on Reddit, people had quite a few interesting things to say. The purpose of this article is to share some of…

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Not So Crazy Fan Theories?

Many of us are familiar with the more popular Game of Thrones/ASOIAF fan theories like the often quoted (“R+L=J”), but how about some of the more exotic ones? Recently The Mary Sue contributor Carrie Tupper wrote a fantastic series about some of the more “out there” theories, and a few of them are strangely tasty. Carrie Tupper based the theories on the wonderful tumblr blog A Song of Theories and the Westeros forums. Definitely check out her articles: The Wild World…

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