The Origin of Sansa May Lie in Elizabeth of York

Sansa Stark is lovely: everything you’d imagine a medieval princess to be. Beautiful, poised, graceful, soft-spoken, and mannerly, Sansa studies the feminine arts and tries to stay composed. She isn’t the sort of girl who would upstage her prince. Instead, she would remain quietly waiting in the background, smiling sweetly, as she ties a favor to his lance or kisses his sword before battle. Yet, Sansa is quite possibly the most annoying character on Game of Thrones. Why is that? Through our twenty-first century eyes, the…

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Giveaways, Goodreads, Google Scholar, and Wars of the Roses Book Reviews

Inspired after the Nerdalicious interview, I’d intended to work on a post about Sansa. Instead, I got distracted and had some fun playing around with Goodreads and writing some reviews. But first, a tip about research and Google Scholar. Google Scholar I’ve never used Goodreads before because I usually find books and articles by reading footnotes and then tracking down the item with Google Books or, my newest discovery, Google Scholar. A few quick asides about that in case you…

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Nerdalicious Interview

What might be my new favorite blog, Nerdalicious, just interviewed me about the historical basis for Game of Thrones and the Song of Ice and Fire series.  To mix it up a bit, I talk about some parallels I haven’t had a chance to write about yet. Nerdalicious has articles about anything that appeals to your inner nerd, including history, StarTrek, Doctor Who, and J.K. Rowling. It even had an awesome post the other day with some very funny GoT…

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Origins of the Iron Throne?

Recently, George RR Martin wrote that few artists render the iron throne the way he imagined it. In fact, on his blog, he provides a picture of Marc Simonetti’s depiction of the iron throne – an enormous monstrosity so large you have to mount it by climbing steps. Today, while reading J.R. Lander’s Wars of the Roses, I stumbled across a picture that made me wonder if it planted a seed for the iron throne in GRRM’s mind a long time…

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The Unsullied and the Battle of Thermopylae

Recently, somebody posted a compelling comment that maybe the Unsullied weren’t based on the Spartans but were based on the Mamluks.  He wrote: I enjoy reading your posts. I’m not sure that I agree with you that the Unsullied are based on the Spartans. Would a better comparison perhaps be the Mamluks, the great medieval slave army that defeated the Mongols and the Crusaders? It would seem to make more sense, especially as the Spartans took great pride in themselves…

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Sparta: The Inspiration Behind the Unsullied?

Recently, in the comments of this post, “K. Wolf” asked if I take requests (I do) and if I could write an article about the Unsullied. He wrote, “I read book 3 <Storm of Swords> and I was wondering about the Unsullied. Their training seemed unbelievably cruel and I was wondering if that was based on real history.” There are many parallels between the Unsullied, the disciplined eunuch-warrior slaves,  and Spartan history. In fact, there are so many similarities it…

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