Friday, November 2, 2012

Game of Thrones/War of the Roses

The idea for this thread comes from "Who will die in the winds of winter..." and this link to So Spake Martin.
There are a number of historical influences on the characters of ASOIAF, and in particular those who featured heavily in "The War of the Roses" - which was the peroid of civil war during the reign of King Henry IV with the Yorkist rebel, King Edward IV, called 'The Cousin's War'.  The peaceful reign of King Edward IV at the end of 'The Cousin's War', the brief and mysterious reign of his son, King Edward V, who became one of the princes in the tower.  The rise to power of Richard of Glouster, who became King Richard III after Edward V's disappearance and finally the rise to power of Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII.

I think that there are a number of characters who possess colours of some of these historical figures, some have already been suggested in the previous thread - Cersei Lannister:Margaret Anjou, Jeyne Westerling:Elizabeth Woodville and Robert Baratheon:Edward IV of York (suggested by Alexia in the other thread, who originally linked the So Spake Martin article).

Jeyne Westerling & Elizabeth Woodville.

Woodville was a noble, but much lower in terms of social class than King Edward IV.  They met when Elizabeth begged Edward to restore her lands held by her late husband so that her children could still inherit them.  This request was granted and soon Edward fell in love with Woodville.

Jeyne represents the younger life of Woodville, when she first meets the Yorkist (Stark ) King Edward. She is from a poor house and does not offer the King much in terms of land or alliance. Both Westerling and Woodville are from families that fought against the Kings they would later marry.

It would have been good to be inside Robb's head to understand whether he married Jeyne for love or honour - or a mixture of both. We know that the Yorkist King married Woodville for love. To strech this analogy further you have the fact that the Cecily Neville (the Yorkist King's mother) was in the process of arranging a marraige for Edward with the French King. In the series this can loosely be translated as Catelyn's marraige pact with Walder Frey. When Cecily Neville's brother Warwick found out about the Yorkist King's marraige to Woodville, he turned against him restoring his rival king to power. Warwick in this analogy can be played by Walder Frey. 

Add to this that both Jeyne Westerling and Elizabeth Woodville both had mothers who were rumoured to be sorcerers; Sybil Spicer and Jacquetta of Luxembourg respectively.

Margaery Tyrell - Anne Neville

Anne was a political pawn throughout the War of the Roses.  She was the daughter of the Neville family, who were a major force during the conflict.  Ultimately she married Edward of Westminister and Richard III, men on opposing sides of the conflict.  This obviously has reflections in Marge Tyrell being used to wed: Renly and then the Lannisters.  Anne died of TB.  

The question remains as to whether we can use history to predict future events in the series...

Game of Thrones image

Cersei Lannister - Margaret Anjou

Margaret Anjou was married to King Henry IV, who suffered frequent bouts of mental health problems.  She was determined to secure the throne for her progeny.  It was rumoured that King Henry IV was not capable of fathering children and that Anjou's children were the product of an adulterous affair or incest.  Anjou was vastly unpopular with the smallfolk, especially when she landed a French army on British soil.  Anjou was determined to win back the throne, after losing it to the Yorkist King, Edward IV, and eventually led an army herself to reclaim it.  It is thought that she was instrumental in the execution of two prisoners of war who had been promised their lives.  It is said that she influenced her son's (the then Lancasterian king) decision to have the two executed.  (Does this not have echoes of Joffrey executing Ned? - despite Cersei not influencing it directly).

Cersei definately has flavours of Margaret Anjou about her. GRRM has said that he is fond of English history specifically the time frame of the War of the Roses. And I think that like Margaret Anjou, Cersei will be forced to lead her host from Casterly Rock in order to defend the rites of her children, or child in this case. I think that this would be the perfect ending for Cersei's character, she has throughout the series thought that she should have been a man, that she should have led an army. This is her chance. I think this whole thing with the Faith was merely GRRM trying to remove Cersei from the game to set her up for her redemption.

Daena the defiant also suggested that the figurehead of the fleet commisioned by the crown during AFFC - Cersei dressed in mail - could be significant.

Brandon and Rickon Stark - The Princes In The Tower

Rickon Stark or Aegon Targaryen or An Imposter - Perkin Warbeck

The princes in the tower were the two sons of King Edward IV - who died suddenly.  The marraige between Woodville and Edward IV was declared void, by Richard of Glouster, who proceeded to take the throne for himself.  Effectively he disinherited Edward V.  After they were disinherited, the two princes Edward V and Richard of York, were imprisoned in the tower of London.  It is not known who killed them.

Later a pretender to the throne rose up, Perkin Warbeck, who claimed that he was the missing prince - Richard of York.  Due to the fact that Richard's fate, as one of the princes in the tower, was not known, his claim gathered some followers.  Warbeck was imprisoned and hanged at the Tower of London.

Firstly, the death of King Robb's heirs, Brandon and Rickon Stark does seem to have been aknowledged as fact in the Seven Kingdoms.  Whereas in the historical account the deaths have never been proven.  Yet it is entirely possible that Rickon Stark (his name even sounds like Richard) could rise in rebellion and reclaim Robb's crown.  As per the Warbeck claim.  This could be an event that turns the tide of ADWD - seeing as Osha can claim that this is the real Rickon Stark and with the reappearence of Theon, i.e. he can confess the truth, we could expect the return of the King in the North which would be a thorn in the side of: the Lannisters, Boltons, Stannis and Littlefinger.  I genuinely think that Rickon has to reappear in the next book.

A second possibility is that Aegon Targaryen could perform the role of Warbeck in our tale...

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