Straight History

The 1500 Year Old Murder Mystery: An Interview with Historian Michael Babcock

Recently History Behind Game of Thrones ran a series of articles speculating about the real historical basis behind Game of Thrones‘ Purple Wedding (in which Joffrey dies). Although George RR Martin has stated the wedding is based on the Anarchy-era death of Prince Eustace, thanks to this theory by Emily Yoshida, we suspect there are other historical influences he is not mentioning. There are far too many parallels between Joffrey’s death and Attila the Hun’s murder for it to be a coincidence. Is the…

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The Betrayal: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence

Although eventually George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence) would betray his brother (King Edward IV), originally Edward was George’s maker. Edward rapidly raised George up from irrelevant third brother to his heir. When Edward IV became king, he was single, without any children. As a result, his heir was his closest brother: the twelve-year old George. Edward soon lavished many titles on him, including the dukedom of Clarence. [This article is part of the Theon and Clarence series. See here. ]…

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The Secret Love of Henry Percy and Anne Boleyn: An Interview with Elizabeth Norton

Long before Anne Boleyn was relentlessly pursued by King Henry VIII, long before she could ever have dreamed that she would enter into a marriage that would change the course of English history and put her on the throne, Anne Boleyn had simpler ambitions. Anne hoped to become a countess, albeit by marrying into one of the most powerful families in the realm. Henry Percy is a shadowy figure in Anne Boleyn’s life. After their romance ended, Percy fades into…

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Interview with Cultural Historian Susan Bordo about Anne Boleyn

  As part of our Anne Boleyn series, History Behind Game of Thrones is extremely proud to present this interview with cultural historian and philosopher, Dr. Susan Bordo. Susan is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and holds the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of five books and editor of two. Her most recent book, The Creation of Anne Boleyn, is a fascinating and entertaining examination of not only…

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The Time Traveller’s Manual to a Medieval Wedding

The government has issued a safety advisory against attending weddings in Westeros. However, you are cordially invited to travel back in time to attend the greatest wedding of the fifteenth century. This event will blow your mind with its conspicuous consumption the likes of which you will probably never hear tell of in the modern world. Do you accept? Great. Make sure you rest up! This medieval wedding has ten days of partying and festivities – not to mention the…

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Interview with Historian John Ashdown-Hill about George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence

History Behind Game of Thrones is delighted to welcome Dr. John Ashdown-Hill today. John Ashdown-Hill is a renowned historian who played a crucial role in finding Richard III’s remains. John recently released a remarkable book on George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence — The Third Plantagenet. In this fascinating book, John explores not only George’s life, but also the duke’s remarkable discovery about Edward IV’s children plus the most recent archaeological findings about George’s tomb. As the brother of Edward IV…

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Dracula: Impalement, Punishment by Proxy of his Brother’s Lover?

What drove Dracula? Vlad the Impaler, commonly known as simply “Dracula,” was a Transylvanian noble man whose atrocities and military escapades were so notoriously savage that his legend lives on today when his contemporaries have been nearly forgotten. During his reign, Vlad killed 80,000 people, including the 20,000 he impaled on stakes at  Târgoviste  and placed in the path of Ottoman leader Mehmed II’s invading  army.   Dracula’s atrocities stood out in a medieval world where life was cheap and…

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