The Realm: The True history behind Game of Thrones by Ed West

The Realm: The True history behind Game of Thrones

Until I read The Realm by Ed West I had no idea that GRRM's A Song of Fire and Ice/Game of Thrones was so closely based on the history of England. In this Kindle Single, West draws parallels across thousands of years of history, with a focus on the War of the Roses.

I am well aware the Amazon reviews are all over the map for this short read. I have no idea if the history is dead-on-balls-accurate, I doubt it is. I will not likely be found quoting this book at social events and am thus unconcerned with minutia. If, however, what you are looking for a book to share a lot of the history that inspired, or may have inspired, a great book and television series, look no farther. I had a good time reading this.

From Lannister/Lancaster and Stark/York comparisons to Hadrian's Wall, none of these parallels ever dawned on me. I doubt I'd enjoy Ed West's other work, but this book was a lot of fun.

The Realm: The True history behind Game of Thrones by Ed West

Notable Replies

  1. I guess, living in the UK, the parallels are more obvious over here.

  2. Interesting. So was Jaime Lannister actually based on Michael Douglas' character?

  3. You must be the last person in the world who didn't know this.

    It sort of tells you where the story is eventually going. The Wars of the Roses ended up with Henry Tudor (Henry VII) on the throne. His claim was somewhat tenuous, being by way of a bastard son of John of Gaunt, son of Edward III. That sort of connected him via Lancastrian line, but he was actually a member of the house of York, being the son of Margaret Beaufort, who had married into the Yorkist line. To shore up his claim, he married Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV, who was Edward's sole remaining heir after the deaths of the princes in the Tower.

    So let's see -- we need someone with a bastardy past, from the house of York (scuse me, Stark), who needs to marry someone with a better claim to the throne.

    I'm predicting it now: John Snow and Daenerys Targaryen end up hitched and sitting on the iron throne together. Oh, and also, John Snow's mother will turn out to be some species of Lannister.

    I dare GRRM to hurry up and prove me wrong.

  4. Or

    Or European nobility.

  5. Windsor is coming.

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