The world of “The Game of Thrones” is incredibly similar to the medieval Europe. Here you’ll also find the struggle for throne domination, political intrigues, insidiousness, and human cruelty. So, it’s not a big surprise that many of the characters of George RR Martin’s epic novels have real historical prototypes, many of which were the actual kings of England and France. Who are the most ruthless and bloodthirsty rulers — the real life or a messed up fantasy world? Let’s see and compare!
1. Brienne of Tarth and Joan of Arc
Brienne is (technically) a lady, but with a badass sword and wearing full body armor. People call her the Maid of Tarth, and she does resemble Joan of Arc, who was a warrior as well, and who had also called herself a “maiden” (La Pucelle). She also preferred men’s clothes and short hair, just like Brienne.
2. Daenerys Targaryen and Henry Tudor
What’s the most memorable thing about Dany? Probably her mile-long title, and her three dragons, but also the fact that she’s the last living member of her family and that she was exiled. Guess who else meets those last two criteria? That’s right – Henry Tudor. He was the last of the Lancastrians, and was a legitimate heir to the throne in the Wars of the Roses. He fled the kingdom when he was 14, and his banner had a red dragon on it as well. Too many coincidences?
3. Dothraki and the Mongols
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. In Game of Thrones we have the Dothraki with their khals and nomadic lifestyle. And in the real life there were Mongols. Ruthless killers and plunderers with Genghis Khan as their leader (at one point).
4. Night Watch and the Templars
Night Watch is a military brotherhood, whose members vowed to protect the realm and its citizens from wildlings, white walkers, and other unpleasant creatures. The Watch mainly consists of convicts, who had their crimes written off, when they joined the brotherhood. Meanwhile, in the real world, Templar knights defended pilgrims and Jerusalem from robbers, bandits, and everything unholy.
5. Robert Baratheon and Edward IV
When Robert Baratheon was a young, dashing lord, he overthrew the tyrannical Mad King, Aerys Targaryen. The charming Edward IV of the York dynasty seized power from the mentally ill Henry VI of the Lancaster dynasty during the Scarlet and White Rose War.
6. Stannis Baratheon and Richard III
Stannis, Robert’s little brother, wants to rule Westeros, because his nephews, Joffrey and Tommen, are illegitimate heirs to the throne.
Similarly to Stanis, Richard of the York dynasty, brother of Edward IV, in 1483 issued an act according to which his nephews were recognized as illegitimate heirs, and then he himself ascended the throne. Not quite as similar as the previous entries, but still.
7. Red wedding and Massacre in Glencoe
Walder Frey neglected the ancient rules of hospitality and killed all the Starks at the wedding of Roslyn Frey and Edmur Tally. Easily one of the most memorable TV episode of the last 50 years.
And here in our world, in 1692, 38 members of the MacDonald clan were slaughtered by the guests who took advantage of their cordial reception.
8. The Wall and the Hadrian’s wall
This colossal 800-foot-tall structure in the north of Westeros, was somehow built to protect against the evil white walkers, and unpredictable wildlings, as well as other things lurking in the dark. In 122 AD emperor Hadrian erected a wall, also in the north (of Britain), to keep the Scots, who were back then considered to be barbarians outside the kingdom.
9. The Iron Bank and the Florentine Bank of Medici
The Iron Bank is a powerful organization in Braavos, providing loans to a number of notable people and the monarchs of Westeros, including the Lannisters.
In the XV century, a bank established by Giovanni di Bicci Medici, also provided money to countless European royals, lords and nobility.
10. Cersei Lannister and Anna Boleyn
The bedroom games of Cersei and her twin brother Jame are really the cornerstone of the narrative. Similarly to them, despite the fact that there is no solid evidence of royal incest, one of the reasons that Henry VIII executed Anne Boleyn were the accusations of her sleeping with his brother George.