War of the Roses

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Black Princes, Lost Kings and Chivalric Savages? The Historical Inspirations for Rhaegar Targaryen

We are delighted to have this article is by Tom Pert, who recently completed a Masters Degree in early-modern history at the University of Birmingham (UK). Congratulations Tom! Please give him a warm welcome and show your support of him by sharing this article with your friends. After reading a previous article on whether Daenerys Targaryen (marching under a dragon banner in command of a “mercenary” army) is a reimagining of Henry VII, I found myself pondering the question: “Does Rhaegar Targaryen have…

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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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The Lost Princes & Tyrion’s Escape from the Tower

Tyrion’s flight from the tower faintly reinforces George RR Martin’s Princes in the Tower theme. Tyrion, as the son of the duke-like Tywin, could be considered a prince. When Tyrion escapes from the dungeon, it mirrors the hypothetical escape of the princes in the Tower of London. [This article is the latest installment of  the Princes in the Tower series. It picks up on a theme in an article Olga Hughes wrote that discusses how Martin plays with the idea…

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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 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 Princes in the Tower & the Murder of the Lannister Nephews

When the vengeful Lord Rickard Karstark murders Robb Stark’s hostages (Tywin’s nephews Willem and Martyn Lannister), in their beds, once again we see the motif of the murdered Princes in the Tower – even though the hostages are the sons of lords and not princes.  Although the Lannister nephews aren’t particularly memorable, their murders are important.  They unleash a chain of events that ultimately leads to the Red Wedding. Although nobody knows if the Princes in the Tower were murdered, traditionally…

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Princes in the Tower, Evil Princelings & Joffrey

It’s possible that the beginning of Joffrey Baratheon’s reign is not unlike a counter-factual version of what would happen if the son of Edward IV survived to become a dark and evil king. [This article is continued from here. ]  Shortly after Bran, the first “prince in the tower” falls and Catelyn falsely accuses Tyrion of attempted murder, Robert Baratheon draws up a deathbed will. He asks Ned to serve as “Lord Regent and Protector of the Realm” and rule in Robert’s…

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Tyrion, Bran, Joffrey, and the Princes in the Tower

Joffrey, Bran, and the Lannister nephews — are these the “Princes in the Tower” of Westeros? Is Tyrion like a falsely accused Richard III? George RR Martin tends to repeat certain historic images almost like defining themes or motifs. One of these defining images is the Princes in the Tower – a catalyst for the events in Richard III’s reign. For people who love the history of Richard III , Martin’s treatment of these events raises an interesting question –…

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