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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A cursed match? Botticelli & the Purple Wedding

Many A Song of Ice and Fire fans have a bone or two to pick with the Game of Thrones TV show. They feel the television show is adulterating the beloved novels. And, that’s fair. The television adaptation can be omissive and sometimes alters the original storyline. But it is worth pointing out that film is not an inferior medium to literature: film is not the ugly red-haired step-child of the literary world. Film conveys its artistic worth through different channels: costume, music,…

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Game of Thrones’ Emmy Winning Costume Design for 2014

The camera often doesn’t do justice to the detailing in Game of Thrones’ costumes. These exquisite works of art reveal character and mood — and even reflect the character arc. Game of Thrones Costume Designer Michele Clapton and her team’s Emmy for costume design for “The Lion and the Rose” (the Purple Wedding) is well deserved. As the (head) Costume Designer for Game of Thrones, Michele Clapton overseas the creation of over 120 costumes per season from her office in Belfast,…

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Did Game of Thrones Deserve More Emmys?

Was Game of Thrones was robbed at Monday night’s 2014 Emmys — the American award show honoring television excellence? Despite being nominated for 19 Emmy awards, Game of Thrones scored no telecast awards for its writing, acting, or directing and only received four or five awards in the creative arts category: Art direction for a contemporary or fantasy series for the episodes “The Laws of Gods and Men” and “The Mountain and the Viper” Costumes for a series “The Lion and The…

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Ned’s Honor: Was Ned Stark the Villain?

I’d wager that most people reading this article think of Ned Stark as one of Game of Thrones‘ heroes. Ned has integrity and principles – he won’t stand for a wrongful claimant on the throne, especially not the product of his best friend’s two-timing wife’s incest. Ned has a code. He refuses to be an accessory to  killing Cersei’s children or the innocent Targaryen princess across the sea. This articles argues that the very reason George RR Martin created Ned is to make us…

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Florence and Braavos: An Introduction

The article takes a first look at Game of  Thrones‘ Free City of Braavos and Florence. Given Braavos is a lagoon city that is famed for its banking and skilled assassins, it seems possible Venice and Florence inspired it. This article takes a first look at some of the similarities between Florence and Braavos – and in particular, the Braavosi assassins. While the Wars of the Roses raged on in England and English nobles tried to increase their power while aligning…

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Game of Thrones Reaches Academia

Is academia embracing Game of Thrones? And, if so, what does this mean? Does it mean the world is changing or simply that Game of Thrones is worthy of analysis? Recently, I learned from David Levesley’s great Mic.com article that the University of Virginia is offering an English summer class on Game of Thrones. The course aims to use literary techniques to teach students how to analyze television. Instructor Lisa Woolfork describes Martin’s work as follows: “Literarily speaking, it’s very diverse and rich text….

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George RR Martin’s French Interview Translated, His Use of Burgundian History

Recently, George RR Martin did a book signing in <gasp> Burgundy. Why is this a reason to get excited? Because he also gave an interview with the French alternative rock station Le Mouv from the burial site of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless, who were key players in the French civil war that inspired so many events A Song of Ice and Fire. Saying I was excited about Martin’s interview when I found it on Nerdalicious is the…

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The Lost Princes & Tyrion’s Escape from the Tower

Tyrion’s flight from the tower faintly reinforces George RR Martin’s Princes in the Tower theme. Tyrion, as the son of the duke-like Tywin, could be considered a prince. When Tyrion escapes from the dungeon, it mirrors the hypothetical escape of the princes in the Tower of London. [This article is the latest installment of  the Princes in the Tower series. It picks up on a theme in an article Olga Hughes wrote that discusses how Martin plays with the idea…

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George RR Martin’s Symbolic Character Names Symbols, Part 2

This article is continued from George RR Martin’s Symbolic Character Name Choices and looks at the names in Houses Bolton, Greyjoy, Baratheon, and Tyrell. One of the interesting patterns in George RR Martin’s character name choices is how often Greek names come up. Out of the twelve first names in this article, at least three (25%) have Greek roots and there were three Greek names in the last article. This seems to be yet another connection to the Greek-Roman empire (Byzantium)….

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George RR Martin’s Symbolic Character Name Choices

It’s widely known that novelists, including George RR Martin, agonize over the naming of their characters: names represent much more than just a handy handle. Classic literature often uses symbolic names to foreshadow the destiny of characters, amplify theme, or simply cement the character’s identity in the reader’s mind.  As Alastair Fowler writes on the Oxford University Press’ blog, “In literature, names are often doors to meaning, and words giving glimpses of the writer’s intentions.” Charles Dickens not only invested significant time in…

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