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The Real War That Inspired ‘Game Of Thrones’

In George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the book series that inspired the HBO show “Game of Thrones,” many different parties are vying for the throne of Westeros. But this exciting scenario actually happened in England in the 1400s, when multiple claimants to the throne stepped forward. The events that followed would be known as the War of the Roses, and 600 years later, they would inspire Martin to write his epic series. Find the parallels between the fact and the fiction.

The King Is Dead

After the demise of Henry V of House Lancaster in 1422, his son assumed the throne as Henry VI (as engraved). Henry VI was no military leader, so and this made his country to become war-torn. England experienced a serious war for a hundred years. During his reign, he lost several lands to France, and was not popular among his people because he was ill-suited to leadership. Westeros, just like England is already at war before the start of the “Game of Thrones” series. It was one rebellion that brought new leadership into Westero many years ago.

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Long Live The King

Richard (the Duke of York) was appointed by the Parliament to be Protector of the Realm when in 1453 Henry VI is said to have gone mad. He was to rule England in Henry’s stead. The duo were related as their grandfathers were both biological sons of the King of England- Edward III, until 1377. However, these done without his consent, and having “recovered” from his madness in 1454, Henry had to send Richard packing. This “Game of Thrones” is exactly like the case of Henry VI, because King Aerys (of House Targaryen) was also mad, to the extent that he was called “the Mad King.” in Westeros.

Them’s Fightin’ Words

Richard didn’t get any sad about his dismissal rather he raised an army and had a short bloody battle with the King’s forces in May 1455. The Duke and his army, known as the Yorkists, had the day and captured the King. Though, not depicted in “Game of Thrones” series, this event is a bit reminiscent of Robert’s Rebellion. Rhaegar Targaryen, son of Aerys, was defeated as well in battle.

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You Can’t Fire Me

While Henry was deposed with immediate effect, Richard was reinstated as protector with the right to take the throne in 1460, but wouldn’t make it there as the Lancastrians, who are the supporters of Henry VI staged a massive attack on Richard and killed him in the front of his Wakefield castle. Though the sneak attack of the Lancastrians was devious, but not like the red wedding engineered by House Lannister. Same applies in the “Game of Thrones” where several unexpected deaths and attacks occur.

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The House Of York

After the death of Richard, Edward, his son raced to London with the aim of getting ahead of Margaret (Henry VI’s widow), who held so much power in her right. His aim was successful and in1460 he became King Edward IV. He immediately proved himself as king by waging the bloodiest of wars depicted as “the Battle of Towton” against the Lancastrians. This made Henry and his family to flee, and hide in Scotland. The “Game of Thrones” features as well a very powerful Queen who will go to any extent to see her son on the throne.

game of thrones

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