The Chase: Henry VIII and Robert Baratheon

George RR Martin appears to base the deadly King’s Landing politics on the cut-throat world of  Henry VIII’s court. One of the reasons faction arose in Henry VIII’s reign is because he was often away hunting, which required him to delegate power and this, in turn, gave courtiers the idea they could get more power. Like Henry VIII, Robert Baratheon was noted for his love of hunting. Where was Robert when his children were born? Hunting of course. And, how…

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The Defence of a Dynasty or the Wrath of a Mad King?

I am not so blind that I cannot see the shadow of the axe when it is hanging over my own neck. — Robert Baratheon to Ned Stark (Game of Thrones Chapter 33) Ned Stark baulked at the idea of assassinating a pregnant young girl. But then it was Ned’s political naivete coupled with his sense of honour that brought about his downfall. Daenerys Targaryen was a true threat to Robert’s throne, and Daenerys with an heir, especially a son, even more so….

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Henry VIII, the Game of Medieval Politics, and Game of Thrones

At the heart of Game of Thrones is the game of medieval politics. George RR Martin worded the title of this novel very careful: it is no coincidence the first word is game. Henry VIII’s one-time Lord Chancellor, and later victim, Sir Thomas More described the court politics as “a king’s game, and for the more part played on scaffolds.” Since Henry VIII presided over the greatest political game of all, it seems fitting that George RR Martin should base…

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Henry VIII Week

Last week, Olga Hughes published a fantastic interview on Nerdalicious with historian John Matusiak, who just released a new book, Henry VIII: The Life and Rule of England’s Nero. The interview and, heck, even the title of this book make it pretty clear that Matsuiak will be less than complementary towards old King Hal. And, frankly, rightly so. I haven’t read the book yet, but I do agree with the refreshing perspective. I loved this interview and it inspired me…

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Daenerys as Henry VII

After seeing the phenomenal ending of this week’s Game of Thrones episode (“And Now His Watch is Ended” Season 3, Episode 4), I find myself wondering once again if Daenerys Targaryen is an incarnation of Henry VII? Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty and father of Henry VIII, was the unlikeliest conqueror when his soldiers slew Richard III and Henry overthrew the Yorkist dynasty. Through his Lancastrian mother, Henry Tudor had a watery claim to the throne. After somebody, possibly…

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