War of the Roses

Margaret of Anjou’s Influence on Cersei Lannister

Cersei Lannister shares many personality traits (and some story lines or events) with Queen Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI—the “Mad King” defeated in the first phase of the Wars of the Roses. Both women were good-looking, commanding, indomitable, and fiercely devoted to their children, regardless of their flaws. Rumors of infidelity plagued the two queens. Their subjects despised them and they had few loyal followers. In addition, both women had a permissive attitude towards their reputedly monstrous sons….

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Walder Frey, Weddings, and Warwick: the first humiliation (Part 2)

With both Game of Thrones’  Walder Frey and his possible real-life counterpart Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, it always seems to come back around to marriages. Marriages define the men, could enrich them, and did lead them to betray the leader to whom they had sworn fealty and switch sides. Most of Frey’s energy is concentrated around marriages for his children and himself. When he chooses to betray Robb, he does so at a wedding. George RR Martin appears to…

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Interview with Galileu Magazine – NEWS – The True Game of Thrones

Today Galileu, a Brazilian magazine about science and culture, interviewed me about my take on the history behind Game of Thrones. Here is a link to the article: A verdadeira Guerra dos Tronos. I’ll try to post an English translation of it soon. In the meantime, here are a couple of images taken of version translated using Google:      

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The Late Lord Walder Frey and Thomas Stanley (Part 2)

House Tully called Lord Frey the “Late Lord Frey” because, during Robert’s Rebellion, he delayed arriving with troops until the outcome was clear. As far as I know, however, Ralph Neville was not known for failing to provide military support. For that aspect of Lord Frey’s reputation, George RR Martin may have taken a cue from the fence-sitting Thomas Stanley. This post is continued from Historical Basis of Lord Frey. The fourth husband of Margaret Beaufort (Henry VIII’s grandmother), Stanley was…

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The Red Wedding and Heworth Moor

Episode: Season 3, Episode 9 “Rains of Castamere” While we’re all still reeling from the Red Wedding last weekend, I thought I’d follow up with the second half of the blog post I promised when I first wrote about the Red Wedding. Admittedly, I’ve been umming and ahhing about writing this post because I’m not 100% sure if I’m right. But, this blog isn’t meant to provide a “secret-decoder ring” for the history George RR Martin borrows. Admittedly, I’m only making…

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Catelyn Stark: The Heart of Game of Thrones

At the emotional center of Game of Thrones, you’ll find Catelyn Stark. Trying desperately to hold her family together after her husband died, Catelyn represents toughness, ferocity, and love. House Tully’s words are “Family, Duty, Honor.” Quite possibly, George RR Martin loosely based Catelyn on Edward IV’s proud and passionate mother who repeatedly struggled to save her children during the turbulent Wars of the Roses. Like Catelyn, Cecily was once a great beauty. Contemporaries called Cecily “the Rose of Raby” after the…

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More on Cersei and Elizabeth Woodville

This post continues from my previous post on Elizabeth Woodville and Cersei Lannister. Elizabeth, like Cersei, had her share of sorrows. Elizabeth was the mother of twelve children, including the heir to the throne, the blonde-haired Prince Edward.  After Edward IV died, his brother Richard (later Richard III) effectively kidnapped Prince Edward and imprisoned him in the Tower along with his brother. Neither boy was ever seen again. While Elizabeth experienced grief, she also shared in the moral ambiguity seen…

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Cersei Lannister: The Evil Queen We Love to Hate

Tyrion: “You love your children. It’s your one redeeming quality; that and your cheekbones.” Episodes: Season 3, Episode 6 “The Climb”;  Season 2, Episode 1, “The North Remembers” In tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones, I almost found myself warming up to Cersei a little bit. Her son is a monster she can’t control and her father was forcing her to marry another man who will never be interested in her. However, I suspect my compassion for the evil queen won’t…

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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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Hidden as a Scullion Maid

Episode 3, Season 2 “What is Dead May Never Die” at 19:41 “Every man who has ever tasted my cooking tells me what a good whore I am.” – Shae In the Game of Thrones, when Tyrion wants to hide Shae, his <ahem> courtesan, to protect her from Cersei, Shae refuses, stating flatly, “I am not a kitchen wench.” Tyrion rethinks and arranges for her to become Sansa’s handmaiden instead. However, in the past, lords have hidden women far higher born than…

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