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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is Based in History—Outdated History

...018. Larrington, Carolyne. Winter is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones. London: I.B. Tauris, 2016. Pawlac, Brian, ed. Game of Thrones vs. History: Written in Blood. Oxford: Wiley, 2017. If you enjoyed that article, please share it with your history-loving friends on Facebook, or on Twitter! And be sure to subscribe here to receive every new article from The Public Medievalist the moment it launches....
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Game of ThronesRace, Racism, and the Middle Ages

Game of Thrones’ Racism Problem

...e’re going to look to the Middle Ages to explain race relations in Game of Thrones, it’s medieval literature not medieval history that we should read. Game of Thrones and Martin’s novels aren’t aberrations, they reflect a way of thinking about the world that centres on Europe and Europeans and sees Others as either tools to serve the needs of a white person and their power, or irrelevant. It’s a way of thinking that is at least as old as the Middl...
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Game of Thrones

Who Won the Game of Thrones?

...historian, very disheartening indeed. So… Who Won? So, who won the Game of Thrones? In the end, it ultimately didn’t matter much—both within the world of the story and also for the viewers. Because as in actual history, the stories of the wars that were fought and the people who rose to power is often far less interesting than the journeys of the flawed, complicated, and beautiful people outside these grand narratives. It was initially surprising...
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Game of ThronesGender, Sexism, and the Middle Ages

How Medieval are the Eunuchs in Game of Thrones?

...episode 8. Credit: HBO. Eunuchs are larger-than-life characters in Game of Thrones. Varys commands an army of child-spies to do his bidding. He shamelessly manipulates the politics behind the Iron Throne. Grey Worm is a perfect soldier because he (supposedly) lacks worldly desires. Grey Worm both plays into, and disrupts, Orientalist fantasies around what a eunuch could be. He is “Eastern,” and comes from a cultural context not widely understood b...
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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones’ Medieval Crap

Content warning: minor spoilers for Season 7 Episode 1 of Game of Thrones. Talk about “Same Shit, Different Day”. In the Season 7 opener of Game of Thrones, poor Sam learns the hard way—in a stomach-turning montage—that manure is serious business in Westeros. This is just as it was in the Middle Ages, and, interestingly, continues to be to this very day. A medieval chamber pot, held at the Yorkshire Museum. ref.1992.69 Just as it does in hospital...
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The Public Medievalcast Transcript (Episode 1)

...Kinitra Brooks, and Shiloh Carroll talking to us about the end of Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones has come, it has gone, and I get the feeling that all of us have quite a few feels about it. (Panel laughs) Paul Sturtevant: So, I am just going to throw this out to the entire panel, and tell me: it’s been a week, how ya doing? Shiloh Carroll: (Groans and laughs) (Panel joins in the laughter) Shiloh Carroll: Wow! I am still at the point where...
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Game of Thrones

Brienne of Tarth is a Heroine for our Age

...m/watch?v=ArHAQzH10GU How the viewer first meets Brienne of Tarth. Game of Thrones, Season 2, Episode 3. Credit: HBO. For both of you out there reading this who don’t watch Game of Thrones, Brienne has always been an example of valor for all Westerosi knights to follow. We first met her when she defeated Ser Loras Tyrell in a tournament, and, as her reward, asked only to be made a member of the Kingsguard. She continued to serve her sworn liege la...
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Game of Thrones

Grimdark Medievalism in A Song of Ice and Fire

...man would be treated with respect by default. Rape and Violence in Game of Thrones In Game of Thrones, even consensual relationships are turned into rape. The HBO show takes the grimdark patriarchal brutality of A Song of Ice and Fire to another level. Consensual sex scenes—one between Daenerys and Drogo and one between Jaime and Cersei—were changed into rape scenes. And off-page rape scenes involving minor characters were amplified by putting the...
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Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages

Race in A Song of Ice and Fire: Medievalism Posing as Authenticity

...o pretend race does not exist. A similar issue occurred at another Game of Thrones fan-community website: Watchers on the Wall. When Lupita Nyong’o mentioned—in passing—that she’d like to cameo on Game of Thrones, one of the contributors wrote a thoughtful piece discussing the issues of representation in the show. These attitudes raised the question of how much of a viewer’s expectation for a white Westeros comes from a preconceived notion of a “w...
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