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War of the Roses


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#1 Masha

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:38 AM

GRRM admitted that the war in Westeros was based on historic War of the Roses in England middle-ages between House of Yorks and of Lancasters. Other than obvious similiarity of names Lancasters - Lannisters, there might be some hints in the history of that war as to overall end of aSoIaF. Here is the brief summary of War of the Roses, nad you should notice there are lots of elements that GRRM borrowed for aSoIaF

Here is the brief summary:
#1 Settings: We have Duke Richard of York vs King Henry VI of Lancaster. Henry is known to be an inept leader with history of mental illnesses. His wife is Margeret of Anjou, a powerful and scheming woman who'd do anything for her son and heir Edward.
Henry VI is a grandson of Henry Bolingbroke who overthrew King Richard II. Richard II was the oldest son of King Edward III, Henry was a son of 3rd son of Edward, and Richard of York is a grandson of 5th son of Edward III thru father and a great greatson of 2nd son of Edward III.

#2 First act: Yorks win over Lancasters, capture Henry VI at one time. Install their ministers/councellors to mentally ill Henry and leave for Ireland for a time being. Margaret talks Henry into dismissing York councellors and to gather a new army. After several battles, Yorks capture Henry again and this time an Act of Accord is made where Richard of York is made Henry's heir and regent while Henry's son Edward is disinherited and banished from London along with Margaret his mother who vows revenge.

#3 More battles, Richard of York dies in battle, his 2nd son and friend are captured and beheaded by Margaret who puts all 3 heads on gates of City of York. Henry is rescued. Margaret has Edward (8-year old) to determine the execution of captured York knights even though they were Henry's bodyguards and protected him till the end of battle. Londoners shut the gates and refuse Queen entry.

#4 Edward of York (son of Richard) enters London and is crowned a king. Lancasters are defeated again and run to Scotland. Edward becomes Edward the IV

#5 Second Act: Instead of marrying a French bride, Edward marries Elizabeth Woodville in secret thus angrying his supporter Richard Neville and France. Neville rebels with Edward's brother and after winning couple of battles (and actually capturing Edward IV once) he finally loses and makes an alliance with Margaret of Anjou in exchange for marriage of his daughter and Margaret's son. With the help of French army Lancasters and Neville attack Yorks, till finally Edward (son of Margaret) and Henry VI are killed. Edward wins.

#6 Third Act: After death of Edward IV, his brother Richard rebels and captures Edward's sons (12 and 8-yr boys) proclaims them illegitimate due to "secret" wedding of Edward and Elizabeth and imprisons them after which they vanish in history. Becomes Richard II

#7 Conclusion: Henry Tudor is of house Lancaster (distant relative to Henry VI), comes from France, attacks and deafeats Richard II then he marris Edward IV daughter Elizabeth thus uniting two houses.

#2 Ghost's claw

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:55 AM

nice work there capturing all the facts! :thumbsup: if GRRM indeed admitted that the game of thrones was based upon this, it could very well end this way.. i think once potential danger due to Others becomes evident all the rival houses will resort to an alliance which will be sealed off with marriages.

#3 Jon Targaryen

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:10 AM

I think some of the characters match up well with historical figures but we can't figure out the story through studying the Wars of the Roses because the characters don't relate to each other in the same way.

For example, GRRM has said Edward IV is the basis for Robert. But Robert's father didn't rebel and I think Richard II is the best match up to Aerys II (though it could be Henry VI) and Richard II was a different generation than Edward IV. Also, Tyrion most closely resembles Richard III (though you could make a case for Stannis) but Tyrion and Robert are not blood brothers.

#4 Masha

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 11:10 AM

For example, GRRM has said Edward IV is the basis for Robert. But Robert's father didn't rebel and I think Richard II is the best match up to Aerys II (though it could be Henry VI) and Richard II was a different generation than Edward IV. Also, Tyrion most closely resembles Richard III (though you could make a case for Stannis) but Tyrion and Robert are not blood brothers.


I think that GRRM took characteristics from all those historic kings mixed them up and then created his own characters. You can argue that Richard II is a best match up to Aerys II (based on his despotic rule and weird (for that time) tastes), but also that Henry VI's mental illness is similar to Aerys II as well.
Edward IV is a best match up to Robert and Tyrion to Richard III even though they are not blood brothers. But Henry VI's ambitious wife Margaret of Anjou is a total match-up for Cersei and Henry VI was weak-minded just as Robert was when dealing with Cersei.
Edward IV sons were proclaimed illegitimate because of his secret marriage, so was Jeffrey (although for him it was real), and Tyrion became House Protector just as Richard III was, although it never worked out for him as well as it did for Richard III.
But at the same time Robb Stark is also similar to Edward IV, in that he had secretly married a girl he loved (Jeyne Westerling related to Lannister's just as Elizabeth Woodville was related to Lancasters' House) thus angrying his supporter (Neville aka Fray) who immediately betrayed him and rebelled against him. Also Robb Stark is similiar to Edward IV is that his father was killed by Lancasters. Richard of York was killed in battle and his friend and 2nd son were captured and beheaded by Lancasters. Ned Stark was beheaded by Lannisters which are close enough circumstances

#5 Jon Targaryen

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:25 PM

Yeah, so you bring up more examples that support my main point.

I think that if you find a character that seems to match up you might be able to guess some of that character's fate by looking at the fate of the historical figure. But there is no way anyone is going to "discover" the whole story by looking at the Wars of the Roses.

#6 Gerold Hightower

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 12:29 PM

Yes, there are lots of parallels but GRRM isn't just retelling the War of the Roses in a Fantasy setting. He rather uses it as a quarry. He takes elements of the story in uses them as building blocks for his own. Besides, there were no Others in the War of the Roses.

#7 GSP

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 07:08 PM

Gotta agree,

I read a GRRM interview where he mentions using history as an inspiration for his stories, but is not attempting to change some names and rewrite history in a fantasy setting. That would be ... lame. I don't think you could possibly predict anything substantive about the end of ASOIAF merely by reading the History of the War of the Roses.

Particularly with the overlying theme of the 'War of the Dawn' I think ASOIAF is going to end up quite a bit more epic than just your typical aristorcratic struggle for dominance. The nobles squabbling in the series and the resultant destruction and power vacuum are distractions and a backdrop for a far more destructive and profound struggle to come, at least that's my guess.

#8 valyrian dragonlord

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:48 AM

i realize margaret is similiar to cersei. but sounds and spelled margaery

#9 Antonius Pius

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:21 AM

GRRM admitted that the war in Westeros was based on historic War of the Roses in England middle-ages between House of Yorks and of Lancasters. Other than obvious similiarity of names Lancasters - Lannisters, there might be some hints in the history of that war as to overall end of aSoIaF. Here is the brief summary of War of the Roses, nad you should notice there are lots of elements that GRRM borrowed for aSoIaF


Yeah, but GRRM doesn't just copy and paste. He mixes and matches. There was a thread sometime back about Valyria-Ghis being Rome-Carthage or Carthage-Rome, the answer being that GRRM took elements from both and created new empires.
And, as has been stated, GRRM has a War for the Dawn, which was singularly absent from the Wars of the Roses.... ;)

Henry VI is a grandson of Henry Bolingbroke who overthrew King Richard II. Richard II was the oldest son of King Edward III, Henry was a son of 3rd son of Edward, and Richard of York is a grandson of 5th son of Edward III thru father and a great greatson of 2nd son of Edward III.


[geek mode]
Actually, Richard II was Edward III's grandson. Richard's father, Edward the Black Prince, died before Edward III. And Richard of York was descended from Edward III's second son (Lionel of Clarence, if memory serves), but through the female line, Lionel of Clarence only having daughters. Henry IV was also a grandson of Edward III, his father being John of Gaunt, Edward III's fourth son.
[/geek mode]

All in all, the similarities are certainly there. When I reread "The Sunne in Splendour" by Sharon Kay Penman, I was forcibly reminded of Robert Baratheon. I remember thinking "GRRM must have liked The Sunne in Splendour". But I wouldn't suggest any strict adherence by GRRM to real Wars of the Roses history. He's telling his own story, and re-writing the Middle Ages in a fantasy-setting.

#10 tzanth

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 06:29 AM

The OP has a terrible pro-Yorkist bias! I mean come on, surely you could find a few nicer words to describe the strong, true and brave Margeret of Anjou!

anyway, there are a ton of past threads discussing the similarities between ASOIAF and the war of the roses.

personally I'm in the cersei = elizabeth woodville and edward IV = robert camp

also, Ive always said that jon = henry tudor

#11 Guest_Other-in-law_*

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:49 AM

[geek mode]
And Richard of York was descended from Edward III's second son (Lionel of Clarence, if memory serves), but through the female line, Lionel of Clarence only having daughters.
[/geek mode]

He was actually descended from three different sons of Edward III, not all in the same generation working back though: Edmund of Langley, first Duke of York was his great-grandfather going straight back on his father's side. Lionel of Antwerp was his great-great-great (!) grandfather, though through the female line in the second and fourth (of six) generations. And John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster was his great-grandfather going straight back through the female line.

Throw in descent from Edmund of Woodstock, Plantagenet Earl of Kent from the Holland/ Mortimer side, and Edmund Crouchback and the old Plantagenet Earls of Lancaster from the Fitzalan/Mortimer side and it's positively scary how many times Henry III and Edward I appear in his family tree.

Edited by Other-in-law, 07 December 2007 - 08:51 AM.


#12 Mlle. Zabzie

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:56 AM

personally I'm in the cersei = elizabeth woodville and edward IV = robert camp


:agree:

also, Ive always said that jon = henry tudor


Interesting thought, especially because Henry Tudor's strongest claim came through his mother's descent from John of Gaunt's (legitimized) bastard son. But Henry Tudor was by many accounts kind of a humourless jerk, and I wouldn't like to think of Jon that way, nor does Jon have the equivalent of Margaret Beaufort masterminding his rise to power. Maybe Jon is, fastforwarding a few centuries, more of a Monmouth, or maybe he sprung, fully born, from GRRM's head.

#13 Raymond III

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:58 AM

Right, Elizabeth Woodville is the basis of Cersei Lannister and her brother, Anthony Woodville, the Earl Rivers, is the inspiration for Jaime, although after Edward IV/Robert Baratheon's deaths their stories diverge considerably. Eventually Anthony Woodville was captured by forces loyal to Richard III while escorting his nephew, Edward V, to London. He was subsequently beheaded on Richard's orders. Martin seems like an Anthony Woodville fan; he has a toy knight painted in his heraldry in that section on his website.

#14 Antonius Pius

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:09 AM

He was actually descended from three different sons of Edward III, not all in the same generation working back though: Edmund of Langley, first Duke of York was his great-grandfather going straight back on his father's side. Lionel of Antwerp was his great-great-great (!) grandfather, though through the female line in the second and fourth (of six) generations. And John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster was his great-grandfather going straight back through the female line.


Yes, I knew Edmund of York was in there somewhere, but I couldn't quite remember how...

Throw in descent from Edmund of Woodstock, Plantagenet Earl of Kent from the Holland/ Mortimer side, and Edmund Crouchback and the old Plantagenet Earls of Lancaster from the Fitzalan/Mortimer side and it's positively scary how many times Henry III and Edward I appear in his family tree.


From the looks of this, the Plantagenets had more inbreeding than the Targaryens... ;) Though seriously, I think they did try to sustain legitimacy by keeping to their own bloodlines. Accidents like the Black Prince marrying Joan of Kent aside. The early Plantagenets were far more cosmopolitic in their marriages, but then again, they used their marriages far more for diplomatic purposes.

#15 Slynt

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:33 AM

Interesting thought, especially because Henry Tudor's strongest claim came through his mother's descent from John of Gaunt's (legitimized) bastard son. But Henry Tudor was by many accounts kind of a humourless jerk, and I wouldn't like to think of Jon that way, nor does Jon have the equivalent of Margaret Beaufort masterminding his rise to power. Maybe Jon is, fastforwarding a few centuries, more of a Monmouth, or maybe he sprung, fully born, from GRRM's head.


Jon Snow is a humourless jerk, no doubts

#16 Dayne's Sword

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 07:54 AM

As an out and out Yorkie an unofficial Rickardian. i hope george isnt a Lancaster boy. if only Bosworth went the other way? how would English history of changed?
Anyways. i hold to the idea that there are elements of the 15 centuary in A Song of Ice and Fire. not events or people as such. but more attitude and style. granted Rob Baratheon has a strong resemblance to Eward the iv. but not exact. for instance he wasent as bad a ruler as Rob is.
Ice and Fire. really draws inspiration from the pagentry and house politics. the Beauforts in our time i see no corralation of them with a Westros family. yet we hvae the shiffting of allegiances heither and theither on "House" Stanley basis througout.

p.s if people are assumong that tyrion is based on Richard the 111 then they are going from a shakesperean bias. his patron's (good queen bess) grandaay beat Richard at Bosworth. so any plays/prose or poems from the tudor period will be heavily stacked against yorkist dealings.
Richard had a slim rather than robust build compared to his two older brothers. but he was no amateur when it come to fighting. he commanded a wing at Barnet and Twekesbury. at the later it was the prestidgious left. at Bosworth. During his ill fated last glorious charge he tranfixed Henry tudors standerd beaer with a lance and laid waste around him till killed proberbly by a welsh billman. in no way as much as i like Tyrion. can he be similar to Richard save through the hatchet job done by the Bard. for me Stannis is more like Richard.

Edited by Dayne's Sword, 08 December 2007 - 08:11 AM.


#17 Slynt

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:38 AM

i am currently reading 'the sunne in splendour' and it really feels like im reading asoiaff kind of. style,tone, types... awesometh..kind of

#18 Ser Bun the Rab

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 03:17 PM

...there are all sorts of neat things that happened during the 'war of the roses' that I think GRRM 'borrowed'...a comet that could be seen during the day...a knight that killed a king and then lamented that where ever he went for the rest of his life he would be reminded of his dishonor...a gluttonous lord being gouged and killed by a boar...scads of stuff really...

#19 tzanth

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:10 PM

p.s if people are assumong that tyrion is based on Richard the 111 then they are going from a shakesperean bias.

:agree:

#20 Ran

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:15 PM

Dayne's Sword,

See here. It's not an assumption -- George has been explicit. He, certainly, is drawing from the particular view of Richard that Shakespeare most popularized.