Edward IV

The Chase: Henry VIII and Robert Baratheon

George RR Martin appears to base the deadly King’s Landing politics on the cut-throat world of  Henry VIII’s court. One of the reasons faction arose in Henry VIII’s reign is because he was often away hunting, which required him to delegate power and this, in turn, gave courtiers the idea they could get more power. Like Henry VIII, Robert Baratheon was noted for his love of hunting. Where was Robert when his children were born? Hunting of course. And, how…

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Tywin Lannister’s Legacy and the Medieval Obsession with Genealogy

During one of Tywin’s war counsels at Harrenhal, back when Arya was Tywin’s cupbearer1 , Tywin discovers, much to his fury, that Amory Lorch inadvertently sends a letter detailing the Lannister’s infantry movements to Lord Marlin of House Dormund instead of Lord Damon of House Marbrand. The following exchange occurs: “Girl, fetch me the Histories of the Greater and Lesser Houses.” – Tywin When Arya immediately retrieves the correct book, Tywin scoffs, “My cupbearer can read better than you.” Tywin…

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Seven Ways Edward IV Was Like a Modern Politician

Although Edward IV is a central part of the story in The White Queen, his character is still somewhat elusive. The White Queen’s focus is on the women. The king, although dominant, is almost a secondary character. Edward IV presents a paradox. In The White Queen, he is the great romantic hero who married for love and yet he is also a known “lecher.” What was the real Edward IV like? In some ways, he was similar to the archetype…

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Second Sons

In Game of Thrones, bands of soldiers-for-hire (known as “sellswords”) sell their fighting services to the highest bidder. Without loyalty to a country or king, they fight for whomever holds their contract. In the “Second Sons” (Season 3, episode 8), Daenarys encounters a company of sellswords in Yunkai known as the Second Sons.   “Men who fight for gold have neither honor nor loyalty. They cannot be trusted.” – Ser Barristan Selmy  “They can be trusted to kill you if they are…

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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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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 3, Episode 8

Tonight’s episode of Game of Thrones (Season 3, Episode 8 “Second Sons”) had three major events: Gendry’s disgusting leeching, Daenerys’ near assassination by the dashing sellsword Dario Naharis, and Sansa’s marriage to Tyrion. For the purpose of peering into the history behind this Game of Thrones episode, this post focuses on the Tyrion’s marriage. Tyrion’s noble behavior at the wedding feast reveals how he towers over the peers who laughed at him hours earlier as he struggled to put the…

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The Seriousness of Arranged Marriages: No Jane Austen Novel

Episodes: “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” Season 3, Episode 7 As Season 3 winds up, arranged marriages are becoming an incredibly important theme. Tywin Lannister wants to marry Tyrion to Sansa Stark and prevent the Tyrells from becoming Lord in the North. Robb Stark pleaded with his uncle to marry Lord Frey’s daughter so he can regain the lord’s military support. In the HBO interactive features from this week’s Game of Thrones, George RR Martin talks about the political importance…

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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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