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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Brunhild: The Original Queen Cersei

We are delighted and honored to have this article by historian and novelist John Henry Clay. Dr. Clay is a lecturer in medieval history at Durham University and the author of The Lion and the Lamb, an epic novel of Roman Britain. If Cersei is ever brought to trial, chances are that her list of crimes will be topped by the murder of her husband, King Robert Baratheon. No doubt she’ll plead her innocence. After all, she didn’t exactly murder Robert. She…

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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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Guardians or Guards? Theon Greyjoy and the House of Stark

A Polite Fiction We’ve spent the last few weeks discussing the story of one of George R.R. Martin’s more divisive characters, Theon Greyjoy. We have looked at his relationship with Robb Stark, we’ve examined the effects that being held hostage for a decade have had on Theon, we’ve discussed choices he was forced to make between his two families and the crimes he committed in the pursuit of ambition. If we take a closer look at Theon’s relationship with his…

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Brothers Apart: Oathbreakers and Turncloaks

As viewers we tend to see Theon as Robb Stark’s adopted brother, therefore we see his betrayal as an unnatural thing. When we look at Edward IV’s younger brothers, George Duke of Clarence and Richard III, we see George as the betrayer and Richard as the loyal one. Is it not natural to support one’s own brother over a cousin? Or was George’s decision a little closer to that of Theon Greyjoy’s, choosing between a father and a brother? Theon…

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Richard III, Theon Greyjoy and The Lost Princes

I often forget exactly why the people of the North loathe Theon Greyjoy. Theon Turncloak. Many Northerners still believe Theon Greyjoy murdered Bran and Rickon, the last sons and heirs of the beloved house of Stark. However we know that Theon did not murder Bran and Rickon. It is true he murdered two innocent children, a terrible crime of which he should not be absolved. But Bran and Rickon still live. And in A Song of Ice and Fire there…

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Betray or Obey? The Other Side of Theon Greyjoy and George Duke of Clarence

Olga Hughes, editor of Nerdalicious, takes another look at the Theon and Clarence. She finds the parallels between them complex and even finds Theon oddly sympathetic. George Duke of Clarence is a serviceable villain; after all, there are not many historical figures of well-known royal houses that betrayed their own brother. Yet research on George has previously not been easily accessible, and despite a new biography being published this year, it will be some time before George Plantagenet is reassessed on…

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The Wrong Place for Justice? (Ep. 8, Season 4 Recap)

The theme of “The Mountain and the Viper” is justice: justice delivered and justice perverted. The obvious struggle for justice is the trial by combat itself. But the struggle for justice is everywhere. Cersei struggles to find justice for her son’s death. Tywin doesn’t struggle nearly hard enough to deliver justice for Joffrey’s death. Instead, Tywin uses his son’s trial not to punish the real killer but possibly to eliminate a reminder of a betrayal from decades before. As the…

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Game of Thrones Trial by Combat: An Unlikely Duel

The following is a guest article by Dr. Steven Isaac, professor of medieval history at Longwood University. In one of the newest wrinkles being ironed out on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister, accused of killing his nephew the king, finds a surprising ally—at least they have one common purpose—in Prince Oberyn Martell. Conclusion of the fight aside, Martell’s motives are personal: he seeks vengeance, not Tyrion’s innocence, as he agrees to champion the Imp in a…

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Michelle Fairley’s Take on the Strong Women of Game of Thrones

One of the most compelling aspects of Game of Thrones is its strong female characters. In far too many medieval shows and films, attempts to create empowered women fall short and come across as cardboard anachronisms. Recently, there has been a tremendous amount of controversy over the series of rape scenes in the Season 4 television show. Some critics applauded Daenerys’ show of sexual assertiveness in the last episode (“Mockingbird”) — no doubt because of the contrast it provided with sexually…

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