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  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Dan Jones: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Is (Re)Making History

    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”).

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Historian: "Game of Thrones is more brutally realistic than most historical novels"

    Tom Holland is the author of numerous historical works, including "The Shadow of the Sword," and is the presenter of the BBC's Making History. Although Hilary Mantel is apparently yet to begin the third volume of her trilogy of novels about Thomas Cromwell, we can be confident of several plot twists that it will not feature. Cromwell will not precipitate a civil war. He will not betray the husband of his foster-sister, with whom he is in love. He will not escape the executioner's block. His downfall is scripted. The history books cannot be cheated. Mantel's Cromwell is as bound to the inevitability of his doom as any prisoner to a rack.

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