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Lessons from history? Predicting Game of Thrones

ByDuncan Brown

May 14, 2017

George R.R. Martin has admitted to drawing from British history while writing the book series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’. This inspiration is evident when examining the plot and characters of Game of Thrones.

Large portions of the history of Westeros have been inspired by real British historical events. The war between the Lannisters and the Starks which resulted in a Lannister victory bears many similarities to the War of Roses, fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York which resulted in a Lancaster victory.

Certain characters likewise resemble various historical figures, mainly from the time period surrounding the War of Roses. The easiest comparison to draw is between Henry VIII and Robert Baratheon. Both were former warriors who, towards the end of their reigns as monarchs, got fat and lethargic before dying in inglorious ways.

If British history has inspired events in Game of Thrones in the past, could we use the same history to guess the events of future seasons? Probably not, no, but it’s always fun to try.

Daenerys Targaryen could be argued to resemble a great number of powerful rulers from British history, but perhaps the figure she is closest to is Henry Tudor, who was forced to flee to France after conspiring to take the throne from King Richard III. He then amassed an army of Frenchmen, Scots, and Welshmen, and fought a battle against Richard, which he won. King Henry’s story is remarkably similar to Daenerys’ which, if the historical parallels can be trusted, may mean that Daenerys will take the Iron Throne.

It only makes sense then, that in this scenario, Richard III’s Westerosi double is Cersei Lannister. King Richard rose to the throne following the death of the young King Edward V. Edward in this scenario could be either of Cersei’s sons – Joffrey or Tommen – who both died after short reigns, leaving her as the Queen.

So, if the theory pans out, season seven of Game of Thrones could see Daenerys march on King’s Landing with her acquired army when the first episode airs on 16 July. If it continues to be this similar to British history, then she will be victorious.

Image: Ghent University Library

By Duncan Brown

Science and tech editor and teen heartthrob

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