Dan Jones: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Is (Re)Making Historytags: WSJ, history, Game of Thrones, medieval history, Dan Jones
Dan Jones is the author of “The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings And Queens Who Made England” (Viking), to be published on April 22.
Is it possible for a historian to dig “Game of Thrones”? Short answer: yes. The new season of the HBO smash premieres tonight – and while it is the sight of dragons in flight and white walkers on the prowl that excites the fantasy heads, it is the show’s deep roots in “real” history that has given the show such huge crossover appeal.
There have been plenty of successful fantasy shows on the major cable networks in the last two decades of television. The staple subject matter is vampires and werewolves (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “True Blood,” “The Vampire Diaries”), but successful shows have also been spun out of time travel (“Doctor Who”), Greek mythology (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) and a cryptic meditation on the potential permeability of spacetime (“Lost”).
Nothing, however, has taken the fantasy genre quite in the direction of “Game Of Thrones.” The world created by George R.R. Martin and adapted masterfully for the screen under the direction of David Benioff and DB Weiss might look on the surface like a knock-off “Lord of the Rings.” Scratch it, though, and it reveals stories borrowed from ten thousand years of human history, all bleeding together in a plot every bit as politically charged as that of “House of Cards.”...
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library