Many Thrones Storylines from Edward IV’s Life

An older Edward IV may have inspired Robert Baratheon.Game of Thrones is not simply re-enacting the events in the Wars of Roses. For example, George RR Martin doesn’t have one character who completely embodies Edward IV and participates in all the events in Edward’s life.

Instead, Martin slices up some of the most interesting aspects of Edward’s life and, possibly so he can shrink the time period, gives them to different characters. For example, like I discussed in this Robert Baratheon post and this Robb Stark post, Martin assigns:

This is a combined visual tree of the Starks and Yorks.

This tree displays Ned and Robb Stark with the historical people who may have inspired them.

  • Young Edward’s life to Robb Stark. He also gives Robb the major events in Edward’s life between 1460-1464. This includes the drive to save his family after his father’s death and his marriage.
  • “Old” Edward’s life to Robert Baratheon. He gives Robert the qualities of the aging, debauched Edward IV and creates a story similar to Edward’s death to initiate the illegitimacy plot.

Perhaps, not uncoincidentally, both of these characters have the same name (Robb/Robert).

Martin plays with time and splinters and blends numerous characters. Consequently, I think I might need to explain some more of the historical events before I start mapping the characters again since it could be quite confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the Wars of the Roses. (Heaven knows, it confuses me sometimes!)

My assumption is that most people aren’t familiar with the Wars of the Roses. For anyone familiar with it, you may want to skip over some of the background posts.




Jamie Adair is the editor of History Behind Game of Thrones, a website about the history behind George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels and the hit TV show, "Game of Thrones."

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