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The Red Woman: Season 6, Episode 1 Recap [Spoilers]

Can Jon Be Saved? Finally, Game of Thrones is back for Season 6. At the beginning of the season’s first episode, many characters – Stannis, Sansa & Theon, Myrcella, Jon Snow — had unknown fates. Daenerys was in the wind and Arya was left vulnerable in Braavos. The Wall Jon Snow is definitely dead. Can Melisandre bring him back? When last season ended, Jon’s men – including Night’s Watch leaders like Alliser Thorne — had stabbed him in a Caesar-esque,…

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“I love Richard III” — GRRM

On the Game of Thrones Season 5 DVD’s segment “The Real History Behind Game of Thrones,” George RR Martin admitted something that nibbles at the edge of his stories: he LOVES Richard III. And, Martin admitted his passion with such a nice smile. I’ve wondered for years whether GRRM is a closet Ricardian. After all, some of his storylines present a very kind interpretation of the man formerly known as Gloucester. You see traces of GRRM’s love for Richard III everywhere in…

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Breaking the Wheel – Hardhome Recap (Part I)

Because “Hardhome” (Ep. 7, Season 5) is nearly twenty minutes longer than most episodes, I’m publishing this recap in two parts. (The second part is dedicated specifically to the events at the Hardhome settlement.) In this episode, we see how dark both Stark sisters have become as a result of the horrors of the War of Five Kings. Arya’s character arc has been on a dark, downward spiral for quite some time. Her nightly prayers focus on killing the people on…

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Where’s Sansa’s Lantern?

This is the second part of my editorial about the recent rape. This part of the article is posted separately from the first part, in which I discuss the pain many of us feel when we see rape on television. It is with a little trepidation and mixed feelings that I write this article. On one hand, I’m extremely sympathetic to people who do not want to see violence against women portrayed on television. On the other hand, I’ve spent a great…

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Richard III Funeral Procession Begins Today: Live Now (Live Updates)

The beginning of Richard III’s funeral procession starts today — an event that signifies the final chapter of a 500 year long story. His cortege is conveying his remains to Leicester Cathedral where they will be on display, effectively “lie in state” for the next four days. Richard’s burial is next Thursday. In keeping with medieval tradition, the funeral procession is weaving through multiple stops. In fact, if you are reading this right now (at 12:10 PM EST) you might be able…

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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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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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New to this Website?

If you are new to this website, you may be wondering where to start. There is a lot of information here (well over 200 pages). Here are a few ideas: Become familiar with the purpose of this site and George RR Martin’s use of history, as described here. The site is intended to explore the history in the periods George RR Martin alludes to in Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) and look at his work from a…

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