Hundred Years’ War

The Hunger Games and Joan of Arc

In The Hunger Games series, Suzanne Collins uses history from Ancient Rome and the Hundred Years’ War. Like George RR Martin, Suzanne “meditates” on the effect of war throughout The Hunger Games series. Similar to Martin, Suzanne uses counterfactual (what-if) versions of history and, as far as I can tell, she did not create an historical “allegory.” We’re thinking of maybe doing a series of articles on The Hunger Games this summer. So, we are wondering, do you like The Hunger Games?…

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Flaying Update, House Bolton, & Other Types of Skinners (Second Sons)

Flaying update? Just what you wanted, right? (I was relieved not to see Theon in “Two Swords” (last Sunday night) because, frankly, I find the Theon scenes a little hard to watch. With that said, sometimes the gory can be a little fascinating.) A while back, I wrote an article about House Bolton and flaying in the Middle Ages. Here are a few tidbits I’ve learned since then that I thought I’d share with you – these ones are a…

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Jaime, Ned, and the Assassination of Louis of Orleans

  Jaime’s men ambush Ned and his party © HBO The ambush and assassination of Louis of Orleans. In the Season 1 episode, “The Wolf and the Lion,” Arya chases a cat into the dungeon. Hearing voices, she hides behind a dragon skull where she overhears Varys telling his spy, “The Wolf and Lion will be at each other’s throats. We will be at war soon, my friend.” Later in that episode, a decisive ambush occurs that starts a chain…

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Kidnapping a King’s Son, “Kidnapping” Tyrion: The Armagnac-Burgundian War continued

One key episode that led to war between the Armagnac/Orleans and Burgundian parties was the kidnapping of the king’s heir, which caused Burgundy and Orleans’ relationship to deteriorate.  Curiously, one of the key episodes that caused the Stark-Lannister relationship to deteroriate was Catelyn Stark’s “arrest” or “kidnapping” of Tyrion for allegedly attempting to kill Bran. [This article is continued from here.] In August 1405, John of Burgundy – unhappy with his fading power and diminishing payments — marched for Paris…

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The Stark-Lannister Conflict and the Armagnac-Burgundian War continued…

Admittedly, the Stark-Lannister conflict does not last nearly as long as the Armagnac-Burgundian War. However, the seeds of the Stark-Lannister conflict were planted years before the Wars of the Five Kings began. [This article is continued from here.] First, Ned walks into the throne room immediately after Jaime kills the mad king, Aerys Targaryen, and Ned automatically assumes Jaime killed the king without honor. The knowledge of Ned’s judgment rankles Jaime for years before Ned arrives in King’s Landing. Then,…

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The French Wars of the Roses: the Lion vs. the (Dire) Wolf

At the end of last season, the House Stark was gutted of its leadership. All the adults are gone: Ned Stark, Robb Stark, and Catelyn Stark are all dead. Since the Stark/Lannister conflict may be winding down, let’s examine one possible event that may have inspired it – Armagnac-Burgundian War, sometimes dubbed the “French Wars of the Roses.” In particular, this article discusses the parallels between the events leading up to the assassination of Duke Louis of Orleans, the brother…

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Arya, the Hound, and Men of the Hundred Years War

Tonight I’ve been working on a post about Brienne of Tarth and Joan of Arc. Lately, I’ve been reading about the Hundred Years’ War. While rewatching the near gang rape of Brienne, it struck me how Jaime knew that Locke’s men would try to rape Brienne. Jaime knew because, for many of the soldiers in the medieval periods on which the novels are based, rape was par for the course. Rape was the standard behavior for many soldiers. At a six-hundred…

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A Valentine for Tywin: That Bastard (Feudal) Poster Boy

Call this a late Valentine, but I love Game of Thrones‘ villain Tywin Lannister – even when he is at his most heinous. As the Machiavellian mastermind behind the Red Wedding, Tywin dwells down there with villains like Cersei, Joffrey, and the Boltons. Still, from a literary and historical perspective, Tywin gives us a lot to love. Tywin exemplifies the old guard in early phases of the Wars of the Roses: the brutal veterans of the Hundred Years’ War. You can’t…

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A Valentine for Tywin: That Bastard (Feudalism) Poster Boy

Call this a late Valentine, but I love Game of Thrones‘ villain Tywin Lannister – even when he is at his most heinous. As the Machiavellian mastermind behind the Red Wedding, Tywin dwells down there with villains like Cersei, Joffrey, and the Boltons. Still, from a literary and historical perspective, Tywin gives us a lot to love. Tywin exemplifies the old guard in early phases of the Wars of the Roses: the brutal veterans of the Hundred Years’ War. You can’t…

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Is Chivalry Death?

“Explain to me why it is more noble to kill 10,000 men at battle than a dozen at dinner?” Twyin Lannister rhetorically asks Tyrion when Tyrion disparages Tywin’s role in the Red Wedding.1  Tywin’s question embodies one of the central philosophical issues in Game of Thrones: did chivalry cause more harm than good? Tywin and Lord Frey’s actions possibly prevented thousands of deaths. By resolving the conflict with Robb Stark quickly, Tywin may have saved the lives of half his…

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