How much do you know about the Wars of the Roses?

I just added a poll to the sidebar asking how much you know about the Wars of the Roses. If you could take a second to answer it, I’d really appreciate it!


I never know how much to explain or what to explain when I write posts. My assumption is that most people reading this blog aren’t familiar with the Wars of the Roses, so I tend to explain the background on that basis. But, I don’t bore you, so please take a second and answer the poll.

I also am thinking about redesigning the site to make it easier for people new to the blog to get started with it. I think the chronological style entries, which in some cases build on information in previous posts, must make it hard for people new to the blog to know where to start.

I’m thinking of moving towards a magazine-style front page. This would not only include latest posts but also let you explore the historical world of Game of Thrones through specific characters, historical figures, historical periods, or themes. Any thoughts or suggestions – either via the Comments below or the Contact form in the menus above (whichever you prefer) – would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!


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."


  • Reply July 3, 2013


    I love it just as it is . but will continue to read whatever you decide on for the format. I think even if we are pretty much well up on our WOTR history, so many people out there are not. So you are pitching it beautifully, in my opinion, so that the blog covers both ends of the spectrum,

  • Reply December 10, 2013


    Having just discovered this blog, I find many parallels betwixt the Wars of the Roses and GoT.. I like to think that I know a bit, being a card carrying member for over 30 years of the Richard III Society, American branch. I find GoT to be exciting, fascinating, wonderful and terrible all at the same time. I love the characterizations, for example Jaime..bad? good now? changing, yes for sure. I have read extensively, fact and fiction about WotR, and find most people to be either staunch Ricardians or staunch Tudorites. I could talk forever on the subject. History can lay less then 6 judicial murders against Richard, and hundreds against 115 years of Tudor rule. Henry Bolingbroke, Henry IV, Lancastrian, usurped the throne and murdered Richard II, York. Henry VI, devout, weak, and suffering periods of insanity (thanks to his mother’s family genes) by a royal writ declared Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, to succeed to the Crown upon his (Henry’s) death. This is where the fight started. I think the Plantagenets were ever so much more interesting then the Tudors, they didn;t call them “the Devil’s Brood” for nothing.
    I like the format, easy to negotiate, but change if you must, if it’s not an improvement, people will let you know.
    I believe that most people do not have a real idea of English history, and the recent, miracle of uncovering Richard’s remains has caused a renewed interest in the 15th C. The Society as a whole has added many new members in the last year.

    • Reply December 10, 2013

      Jaime Adair

      Thanks this great comment. Very interesting. I wish more people would tell me how they got into history.

      I love the Plantagenets. Like most people, I got into the Tudors first and then discovered the Wars of the Roses, which to me is so much more interesting. More interesting personalities and fascinating politics and issues.

      I do belong to the Richard III society, but only because I’m a WOTR junkie. 😀 I am (surprisingly) on the fence about Richard III. I have no idea whether or not he killed his nephews – there are some *very* convincing arguments that he did not. But I am not a Ricardian nor am I a Lancastrian/Tudor person. (I try to remind myself that Henry VIII was a bit of a monster and not get caught up in the unwitting efforts to portray him as charismatic and sympathetic.) I tend to view most nobles and royals in the period with a cynical eye – and remind myself they don’t share our values. Even my favorites (Edward IV) had moments when they did bad things.

      I think I got interested in the WOTR because after my history degree I did a rhetoric degree and there is so much spin in the WOTR and Tudor periods. I mean that’s not the only reason I like the period, but it does make it more mysterious.

      Lately, I’ve been getting more into the Hundred Years’ War period, and I’m trying to find ways to make it more interesting and engaging to women. Some friends of mine and I were discussing how to make military history relevant to women and why we find it so alienating. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

      • Reply December 10, 2013


        Thanks for the reply. I think Richard did not murder the boys, but I do think he should have. As children, they would always be a rallying point for dissatisfied nobles, kidnap plots would have been endemic. As adults, they would be able to foment rebellion and more war. I don’t think Richard could do it. There is a book by Josephine Wilkinson, Princes in the Tower-Fact and Fiction I am interested in reading on the subject. If any one did it, my vote goes to Margaret Beaufort. She had motive: putting her son on the throne, opportunity: husband Stanley was constable at the Tower for a while. Lots of people coming and going there as it was a Royal residence, no one would notice another strange person there.
        I do enjoy the military parts also, but the magazine Medieval Warfare. But as a woman, I do prefer personalities over bloody details.
        One fascinating book about Henry VIII is Blood Will Tell by Kyra Cornelius Kramer. It’s a medical explanation of the tyranny of H8. It’s well written and a good possibility to explain his excesses.

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