Game of Thrones parallels to actual history

Mar 2012
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
For those of you who don't know, George RR Martin is believed to have gotten a lot of inspiration for his story and characters from medieval history, and in particular English/British history. I'll list some of the more obvious ones I've found:

House Stark and Lannister: the houses of York and Lancaster respectively. Much of the storyline is based on the War of the Roses, and this particular analogue could not be more obvious: the names are only a few letters different, the two L houses are noted for their wealth, the house of York/Stark are based in the north, etc.

The Wall: Hadrian's Wall. Built for similar purposes. This makes the wildings rough analogues for the Scots.

House Targaryen: the direct line Plantagenets before they splintered into the houses of York and Lancaster. I base this on the similarity of William/Aegon the Conqueror, and being the direct rulers before the War of the Roses commenced.

Areys II: Richard II. There are a lot of candidates for who the inspiration for Areys II came from, but I think Richard II is it. To argue this, both started out as decent monarchs that became more oppressive as the years went by, both were opposed by a man who had distant blood relations to him, and both lost everything in a civil war won by said man who started the war as a personal issue that evolved into a bid for the throne. And in both cases, during his rule the head of the house of "L" - Tywin Lannister/John of Gaunt - was a very powerful figure in the government. This also ties in with the previous Targaryen/Plantagenet analogue, as both were the last direct king of their line.

Cersei Lannister - Margaret of Anjou. Both are strong-willed women that led the house of L during the War of the Roses/War of the Five Kings.

Robb Stark - Edward IV. Both from the house of the North. Both were skilled military commanders that won great battles to their name. Both also made bad decisions in marriage, which managed to alienate key northern supporters.

Those are just the ones I managed to see/find. Are there any you would like to add?
Mar 2012
Redneck Country, AKA Texas
The Sparrows= The Flagellants?
The Seven= Catholicism?
Bravvos= Venice-meets-Constantinople?
The Seven/Catholicism makes sense. Sept is based on the Latin word for seven.
I always thought Bravvos was Venice, given the many canals and the economic power of the Iron Bank/ Venetian economic prowess.
Mar 2014
On hospitality laws – e.g. the “bread and salt”:
“It was stolen from history. Hospitality laws were real in Dark Ages society. A host and guest were not allowed to harm each other even if they were enemies. By violating that law, the phrase is, they “condemn themselves for all time.”

On the Red Wedding’s historical roots:
“The Red Wedding is based on a couple real events from Scottish history. One was a case called The Black Dinner. The king of Scotland was fighting the Black Douglas clan. He reached out to make peace. He offered the young Earl of Douglas safe passage. He came to Edinburgh Castle and had a great feast. Then at the end of the feast, [the king's men] started pounding on a single drum. They brought out a covered plate and put it in front of the Earl and revealed it was the head of a black boar — the symbol of death. And as soon as he saw it, he knew what it meant. They dragged them out and put them to death in the courtyard. The larger instance was the Glencoe Massacre. Clan MacDonald stayed with the Campbell clan overnight and the laws of hospitality supposedly applied. But the Campbells arose and started butchering every MacDonald they could get their hands on. No matter how much I make up, there’s stuff in history that’s just as bad, or worse.”
link: George R.R. Martin Explains The Red Wedding?s Historical Roots « Nerdist
Oct 2012
Des Moines, Iowa
Valyria = Roma

First Men = native Britons

Andals = Anglo-Saxons

Dorne = Moorish Spain (ironically ruled by the "Martels")

Dothraki = Mongols/Huns/stereotypical horse-borne barbarians

Qarth = Carthage (i.e. Qart-Hadasht, extremely subtle isn't it?)

Probably a million others that I'm too lazy to identity and point out.
Mar 2014
I came up with some past thoughts I had on this subject

The defence of King's Landing, reminds me of Constantinople's defences, the Greek Fire being "the green napalm" (which I can't remember it's name) and also the great chain between the two shores (although the byzantines used it to keep the invaders off the Golden Horn, not trapped inside! )

Also, Westeros vaguely resembles England, the "civilised" populations in the south are protected by (Hadrian's) Wall against the "clansmen" of the frozen north.

King's Landing is (in my opinion) situated in the Wash, near a city called... King's Lynn

Lannister territory would be in Wales, and, although I doubt they have any gold production, the DO have a city called.. Tywyn, really close to where Casterly Rock should geographically be.
May 2011
Navan, Ireland

Lannister territory would be in Wales, and, although I doubt they have any gold production, the DO have a city called.. Tywyn, really close to where Casterly Rock should geographically be.
Definitely Gold mines in Wales.

Dolaucothi Gold Mines - Visitor information - National Trust

But I think the Welsh (and their Northern cousins the Cumbrians) are the hill tribes who don't owe loyalty to any of the great houses and are not 'civilised'.

Tyrion rallied and made use earlier in the series and if the TV follows the books Stannis will try and use them but will have to use Ned Starks 'good name' since he was popular with them.

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