Five Stunning Real Life Inspirations For Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Season 7, the penultimate season of the TV phenomenon that is Game of Thrones has just ended with its most explosive climax yet.  While many of us have plenty of theories, reactions, and just need to let some steam out in the next few weeks, it’s kind of fun to go through all of the amazing influence that not only Game of Thrones has on us but how much real life has an influence on the show itself.

Here are five facts behind the frequently jaw dropping fiction.

The Wall

Stretching over 300 miles and towering 700 feet over the frozen northern landscapes, the Wall is a forbidding structure of stone and ice that has protected the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros for 8,000 years. Exactly what it is protecting the civilized world from has faded into fairytales (although it turns out to be the very real threat of mysterious White Walkers with the nightmarish ability to reanimate dead soldiers.)

In reality, on the orders of Emperor Hadrian work commenced in AD 122 to build a wall partitioning the Roman colony of Britannia (present-day England) from the inhospitable lands to the north, a realm of warlike Celtic tribes. It eventually stretched 117 kilometers from coast to coast, with numerous forts and watchtowers along its route. Much of it remains intact.

Red Wedding

This shocking scene in Season 3 sees the wedding of a daughter of the devious Walder Frey degenerate into carnage as the key guests, the Starks, are murdered on the orders of their archenemies the Lannisters.

In 1692 in the Scottish Highlands, soldiers of the Early of Argyll’s regiment, mostly comprising men from Clan Campbell, had been welcomed as guests by Clan MacDonald of Glencoe. On the pretext that the latter’s chieftain had been late to pledge allegiance to the new monarch, William III, the British soldiers murdered 78 MacDonalds. Another inspiration was a massacre that occurred in 1440 when enemies of King James II of Scotland were dispatched during what became known as the ‘Black Dinner,’ their fate sealed when a black bull’s head was presented to the victims on a platter.

Wildfire

During the Battle of Blackwater Bay in Season 2, an armada is obliterated by ‘wildfire’, resembling green napalm. This was based on Greek Fire, an incendiary device developed for naval warfare in the 7th century. It was devastating against wooden ships and remained alight on the sea. Its composition was such a closely guarded secret it is still shrouded in mystery.

Armour-clad females

Brienne of Tarth is a striking figure: tall and blonde, with formidable sword-wielding skills. There are similarities with Joan of Arc, an armor-clad warrior who led the French armies to victory over the English during the Hundred Years War.

Marrying for love

Robb Stark marries Talisa Maegyr after he becomes smitten, rather than agreeing to an arranged marriage with one of the unhinged Walder Frey’s daughters. England’s Edward IV secretly married the beautiful Elizabeth Woodville in 1464, ignoring the arrangement his ally the Earl of Warwick was negotiating with a French princess. Warwick’s revenge was to plot Edward’s overthrow.

While the universe depicted in Game of Thrones is the product of its author’s fantastical imagination, if you are genuinely aspiring to a partnership for love, rest assured that dating in United States has never been healthier.

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