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Kit Harington appears in a scene from HBO's, 'Game of Thrones,' 2017. Game of Thrones is a seemingly authentic portrayal of a pseudo-medieval world. But it is ahistortical and actually reveals much more about how we imagine the past and view our society today.

Game of Thrones Creates a Romantic and Grotesque Pseudo-Medieval World, Revealing Modern Perceptions of the Past

Take the dragons and the zombies away from the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire novels and you are left with the seemingly authentic portrayal of a pseudo-...
King Arthur. Detail. Charles Ernest Butler, 1903.

Archaeologist Claims that King Arthur Was Not a Real Person But a Fictional “Celtic Superhero”

A British archaeologist has controversially claimed that King Arthur was not a real historical figure. Rather, the legendary warrior king was created as a “Celtic superhero” and in reality, was...
View of the Castle of Zafra, Campillo de Dueñas, Guadalajara, Spain. The castle was built in the late 12th or early 13th centuries

Parallel Worlds – Events in Game of Thrones Based on Real Historical Events

The television series, Game of Thrones , based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire , has been praised for its gritty realism and epic storyline. G.R.R. Martin has been referred...
Why Do We Love (and Fear) Mummies?

Why Do We Love (and Fear) Mummies?

Christian-Georges Schwentzel / The Conversation Somewhere in Iraq, the tomb raider Nick Morton (a never-ageing Tom Cruise) flies over the desert. This is where Egyptian queen Ahmanet lies in her tomb...
Detail; Byzantine Alexander Romance, Venice, 14th century.

Fact or Fiction? The Obscure Origins of the Greek Alexander Romance

The Greek Alexander Romance , often referred to as a ‘pseudo-Callisthenes’ production, is in one form or another one of the most influential and widely read books of all time; it has birthed a whole...
Galician Faith in the Enchanted Mouros and Mouras: Is There Reality Behind the Fairytales?

Galician Faith in the Enchanted Mouros and Mouras: Is There Reality Behind the Fairytales?

Numerous folk stories in Galicia, Spain, tell of supernatural spirits that dwell in forests, among the waters of the rivers, or on sandy beaches. Many of them are related in some ways to ancient...
Akseli Gallen-Kallela: The Departure of Väinämöinen

Väinämöinen: The Finnish Deity and Hero Who Inspired Tolkien to Create Gandalf and Tom Bombadil

J.R.R. Tolkien created remarkable stories that inspired Peter Jackson to make incredible movies. But it was his knowledge of literature and old legends which inspired the writer to use stories of...
Deriv; Marco Polo travels by camel caravan and a modern re-imagining of Marco Polo

Is Marco Polo a Fictional Character? Challenging the Historical Tale of the Merchant Traveler

Based upon historical analyses, it is unlikely that a person named Marco Polo who visited China in the 1200’s existed. Before presenting this argument, here is an analogy: if people do not know that...
Walls of the Middle Age city of Dubrovnik, Croatia - one of the filming sites of Game of Thrones (Wikimedia Commons)

The Real History Behind Game of Thrones (Part one)

Game of Thrones is a series of fantasy books by acclaimed author George R.R. Martin and a highly popular television show on HBO. It is a world unto its own, but like other popular fantasy series,...