A Song of Ice and Fire, along with side its TV adaptation, Game of Thrones, is a dream series. You can inform because there are fire-breathing dragons, zombie-making ice people, and most of the women have perfectly shaved armpits regardless of the proven fact that it’s the faux middle ages. But, while George R.R. Martin’s epic may have all the trappings of a whimsical, violent dream world, the real plot of the series is situated in reality. As Martin himself places it, he plucks lots of his plots and characters from history and he then “turns it up to eleven” and “changes along with from red to purple” to publish the books’ iconic scenes. So listed here is a consider the bloody, twisted, and unfortunately true history that inspired A track of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones.
If we wanted to go through every last moment of the books and which historical events they correspond to, of program, we’d be here all evening. The show has already been longer than The Lord for the Rings and the Bible combined, and George has only written five out of seven books thus far. Westeros is pretty obviously based on Medieval Britain (albeit a beefed up, much larger and sexier Britain), and Uk history just isn’t known if you are quick or simple.
For now, let’s just focus on two huge historical influences: Ancient England and the War associated with Roses.
Back in Ye Olden Times (around 2000 BCE), the Uk Isles had been populated by… somebody. Based on British mythology, the area ended up being crawling with elves and giants and whatnot, but we actually have very little information about the initial individuals of England. They mostly seemed to hang out, building Stonehenge and various other henges, before the Celts came from over the Narrow Sea—I suggest, the English Channel—to wipe them out with the cutting edge technology of iron weapons.
This might be pretty darn close to your story associated with First Men rolling up to Westeros and driving out of the mysterious Children of the Forest. The Starks and Ironborn along with other “First Men” families of Westeros worship Old Gods of the forest plus the ocean, much like early, nature-based Celtic religions. They’ve also got the Viking toughness of some associated with the later Nordic invaders of England, who arrived to pillage and then finished up remaining to raise families, mention winter, and carve runes on rocks.
The next major invasion arrived from way down south: the Romans (after a couple of false starts) finally got their act together and conquered England in 43 CE—at least, most from it. They expanded their edge all the way up to Northern England, near the border of contemporary Scotland and then figured… eh, the tribes up in the far north are too frightening, let’s just create a giant wall to keep them out.
The wall surface was referred to as Hadrian’s Wall, also it stretched from coastline to coastline. It absolutely wasn’t magical or made of ice, nevertheless the men who served at the wall were low-ranking and forbidden to just take wives or hold lands. Men from all across the Roman Empire were sent to the wall to provide away the rest of their lives protecting the northern edge of the world from the Wildling tribes that lay beyond.
Within the real globe, the Roman hold on Britain collapsed in 410 C.E., and the Angles and the Saxons began pouring into England from Europe. The Anglo-Saxons shoved all the Celts into Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and set up shop in England, fundamentally settling down into Seven Kingdoms.
A Song of Ice and Fire remixes all of these invasions, however the Angles seem quite similar towards the Andals of Westeros, who invaded from Essos and settled down into (wait for this) Seven Kingdoms.
There were a bunch of Viking invasions over the next couple of centuries in the British Isles, however the Seven Kingdoms of England mostly held it together, until…
OK, not really. But in genuine life, William the Conqueror, a bastard Duke of Normandy (in north France) decided it could be good to overcome England and guideline over all Seven Kingdoms. In 1066, he crossed the sea with one hell of an military and did just that. In A Song of Ice and Fire, it’s mostly the same story, except with Aegon the Conqueror and their sister-wives and their three dragons taking over Westeros and establishing the Targaryen Dynasty.
William the Conqueror was so successful in his conquest of England that the present Queen Elizabeth II of England is his 22X Great-Granddaughter. That certain family is nevertheless in control, very nearly a thousand years later. But that thousand years has seen lots of family drama…
The War of the Roses
In 1455, two families started a decades-long war for control of England. It starred the Yorks making use of their white rose sigil, therefore the Lancasters with their red rose.
The characters of A Song of Ice and Fire don’t perfectly match up with the historical figures of the War associated with Roses, of course. Brienne of Tarth is closer towards the armored lady Joan of Arc, who lived slightly earlier in the day, and both Cersei and the later Queen Anne Boleyn were accused of resting along with their brothers. But yeah, the Yorks are essentially the Starks plus the Lancasters are (spoiler alert) the Lannisters.
The Yorks and Lancasters were actually related, both branches of the royal family. The trouble started when the (mad?) King Richard II ascended to your throne… ahead of his deceased older brother’s sons. Richard’s nephews were none too pleased about that, and also Richard II ended up being generally speaking boring and no body liked him.
So Richard’s cousin Henry IV, a Lancaster, got all the people riled up about how much the “Mad” King Richard sucks, and then deposed him and took within the throne himself. Henry’s son Henry succeeded him. Just like Robert Baratheon, Henry V was a popular warrior and celebration dude, but he died at war, leaving behind an baby son named (you guessed it) Henry.
Lil’ Henry VI had been a Tommen-like pushover, and he had been soon bullied into marrying the hot and scheming Margaret of Anjou. Margaret was like a terrifying mash-up of Margaery Tyrell and Cersei Lannister. As Henry VI started to lose his mind, becoming an actual angry King, Margaret would simply take over governing the country for him, and mismanage the hell out of the war against France.
Margaret also didn’t care for her husband’s BFF, the serious Richard of York, who came back to court from the North (well, from Ireland) become made “Protector of this Realm,” which was essentially the real world version of the “Hand associated with the King.”
York whined a great deal that Margaret was doing a terrible job at operating the country, and a lot of people agreed with him. So Margaret convinced the king to fire Ned Stark/Richard York, who then raised an army and came charging back to town to need the throne. Instead of a finding a crown, though, his mind finished up on a pike if the Queen’s men killed him in battle.
Richard York’s son, Edward, pulled a total Robb Stark and claimed that he had been now king. He also ended up being an A+ armed forces genius, thrashing Henry VI’s armies on the battlefield. Henry VI had been beaten, and Margaret fled the nation with their cruel son, also named Edward (yeah, everyone in English history basically has certainly one of three names).
BUT Edward York pulled another Robb Stark, and backed out of his betrothal in order to secretly marry for *love*. This led to mass warfare and the death of young Edward Lancaster, but Edward York finally secured the throne once more until his death.
Except, Edward York’s younger brother, Richard III, stepped in as quickly as Edward died and reported that, because Edward had married in secret, his kids weren’t legit. Richard took the throne and had the two lil’ princes locked up in the Tower of London, and they had been never heard from again.
Richard III is a definite influence on Stannis, for the reason that he wants to discredit his nephews and ruin everyone’s day. But, there’s additionally a large amount of evidence that Richard III wasn’t a negative dude: people simply hated him because he was born slightly hunchbacked. The propaganda made him out become some type of evil, twisted monster who murdered his very own nephews.
Richard was proven to be “little of stature,” witty, and cunning. Much like Tyrion Lannister, he stands accused of murdering his nephews, although the crime has never been proven. But also like Tyrion Lannister, he is responsible for a number of financial policies dedicated to serving the “small folk” of this kingdom.
Richard III don’t reign for very long, though, just because a secret royal was plotting an invasion from across the sea…
Henry Tudor was perhaps not a dragon queen, but he did flee England as a youngster after his royal dad, a Lancaster, had been killed in a rebellion. With everybody hating on King Richard III, Henry Tudor began raising help for his claim across the ocean in far off France. He teamed up with all types of oddballs, like Scots and Welshmen, whom felt ignored or persecuted by English rule.
In 1485, together with his (unfortunately dragon-less) military, Henry sailed for England and defeated Richard’s forces. He then pulled a Daenerys and got it on with his distant relative, Elizabeth York, older sister associated with missing princes. The marriage between a Lancaster and a York finally combined the red and white roses, closing the war and beginning the Tudor line.
Will George end his own political saga with a quick conquest and a (mostly) happy wedding? Probably not. We can likely count on a great deal more zombies and dragons (and dragon zombies) before we reach the bitter end of A Song of Ice and Fire. But I think we can all agree that GRRM has certainly taken the bare bones of English history and “turned it up to eleven” to produce one of many most complex fantasy epics of in history.