Tyrion Pushes Dany to Name a Successor & Elizabeth I’s Succession Troubles

In a cozy fireside chat, Tyrion ponders, if not frets, about how dangerous it will be for Daenerys to negotiate with Cersei in King’s Landing. But, then he makes the mistake of bringing up her succession.  The Dragon Queen already has her scales ruffled; Tyrion just criticized her for incinerating the Tarlys. So, perhaps, this isn’t the best time for him to bring up Daenerys’ death. Daenerys responds as you might expect – annoyed that Tyrion is already contemplating her…

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Was Being a Medieval Queen Hazardous to Your Health?

Was being a medieval queen was hazardous to your health? Given the push for queens to have many babies, did most medieval queens die in childbirth? To find out, I put 139 years of late medieval and Tudor English queens — from 1400-1503 – in a table to compare their causes of death. Depending on how you slice and dice it, the answer is: Yes. (But, the usual disclaimers apply.) Baby machines It is no secret that medieval queens and…

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Daenerys and Elizabeth I: Iconic Queens

Daenerys Targaryen, arguably one of the most popular and iconic of the Game of Thrones characters, has been often compared to the least popular Tudor monarch Henry VII. Her removal from the center of the story, her connection to dragons, and the implied dark horse victory that the majority of fans are anticipating at the end of the series, certainly make this comparison plausible. Despite this, Daenerys exhibits, many of the personal characteristics and story arcs of another, and much…

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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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Who is George Boleyn? A Guest Article by Clare Cherry

  For centuries, George Boleyn has lived in the shadow of the Boleyn women.  Although the Boleyns are one of the most controversial families in Tudor history, they are often overlooked due to  the all-encompassing legacies of Queen Anne Boleyn and the immortal Queen Elizabeth I. George’s sister, Mary Boleyn — the long-time mistress of her sister’s future husband Henry VIII — has recently emerged as the romantic heroine who outlived them all. George’s wife “that bawd” Jane Boleyn, who for centuries has been the Boleyn scapegoat, carries the burden of…

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“Pay for Dinner?” “I Incest”: Anne Boleyn, Lucrezia Borgia, & Cersei Lannister

Between The Borgias, The Pillars of the Earth and Game of Thrones, we have seen rather a lot of incestuous relationships in medieval settings on television in the last few years. We even had a recent allegation of incest in The White Queen. The Pillars of the Earth producers made the decision to add an incestuous relationship between mother and son, William and Regan Hamleigh, which was not actually depicted in the book. Considering Pillars has a set of fictional…

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Anne Boleyn and Margaery Tyrell Take Aim at Love and a Throne

  Natalie Dormer is no stranger to playing the Queen. Having played the enigmatic Anne Boleyn in Showtime’s The Tudors, there were going to be some inevitable comparisons between Margaery Tyrell and Anne Boleyn. One is a fictional queen and one is amongst the most controversial queens in English history. Natalie is resolved to separate the two: “You’ll appreciate that I’m trying very, very hard as an actor to separate my characterizations,” Natalie said in an interview last year. “It…

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Introducing the Anne Boleyn Series: Margaery, Cersei, and Melisandre

Over the next few weeks, in honor of Anne Boleyn and some of the Game of Thrones characters she may have inspired –we will be running a series of articles and interviews with historians about her. George RR Martin appears to have taken threads of factual — and counterfactual  (the opposite of historical events) — aspects of Anne’s story and woven them into various Game of Thrones characters like Cersei, Margaery, and Melisandre. Each character represents a different facet of…

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New books on Elizabeth of York: The True Story of the White Princess

Today Alison Weir’s latest book on Elizabeth of York: A Tudor Queen and Her World was released in the United States. I’ve been reading an advance copy, and it is marvelous. If you enjoyed my posts on Sansa, I highly recommend Weir’s book and Amy Licence’s new book (more below). Not to be effusive, but I think Alison Weir is truly at the height of her writing powers. She’s always been a great writer, so it is impressive her style…

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Traces of Henry VIII in Game of Thrones: Similarities Between Henry VIII and Robert Baratheon

Initially, I resisted the idea of there being any similarity between Robert Baratheon and Henry VIII. (In  Robert Baratheon May Be Edward IV’s Older Half,  I compared Robert Baratheon to Edward IV but I did say I thought Robert Baratheon had a tinge of Tudor.) While getting my Tudor on this week – these days I’m more of a Plantagenet gal – I reread some of my old Tudor books and saw striking similarities between Henry VIII’s finer points and…

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