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King Tyrion VIII

Just how similar are War of the Roses and ASOIAF?

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I've been wondering this for awhile and have seen it brought up on here several times. What are the similarities? Would reading War of the Roses ruin the ending of ASOIAF?

And how would the last two books play out according to War of the Roses?

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Well, I'm not sure what you men by "reading War of the Roses". The Wars cover a (roughly) 30-year period of English history and there is ongoing debate about some aspects of them to this day.

While there are certainly strains of the WotR in ASoIaF, there is enough of a difference that it's not possible to predict what will happen in ASoIaF from even a detailed knowledge of the events of the wars. Martin, for instance, has compared Tyrion to Richard of Gloucester, but Richard's defeat (and death) effectively ended the WotR, while Tyrion is long gone from Westeros in ASoIaF and the plot is still grinding along.

To be honest, while the WotR are fascinating in their own way, there are more factions and more complicating factors in ASoIaF than there were in history (rarely for fiction). The WotR at heart was a power struggle between two branches of the ruling dynasty, which ultimately destroyed each other. In ASoIaF there are three or four major factions and a few other dead ends and so on, not to mention the Others and the Children of the Forest and what have you.

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Well, I'm not sure what you men by "reading War of the Roses". The Wars cover a (roughly) 30-year period of English history and there is ongoing debate about some aspects of them to this day.

While there are certainly strains of the WotR in ASoIaF, there is enough of a difference that it's not possible to predict what will happen in ASoIaF from even a detailed knowledge of the events of the wars. Martin, for instance, has compared Tyrion to Richard of Gloucester, but Richard's defeat (and death) effectively ended the WotR, while Tyrion is long gone from Westeros in ASoIaF and the plot is still grinding along.

To be honest, while the WotR are fascinating in their own way, there are more factions and more complicating factors in ASoIaF than there were in history (rarely for fiction). The WotR at heart was a power struggle between two branches of the ruling dynasty, which ultimately destroyed each other. In ASoIaF there are three or four major factions and a few other dead ends and so on, not to mention the Others and the Children of the Forest and what have you.

Thanks for the reply. The "like" button is still broke. What are some other similarities?

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Lancaster sounds a bit like Lannister

York sounds a bit like Stark

White rose versus red rose

white snow versus red fire

He draws inspiration from it I think; from the customs of the time such as nobility and peasantry to other aspects. Notably some of the personalities of the time have been compared to those from the series.

But, as GRRM has repeatedly said, he drags elements from throughout history into his books, for example:

It's been suggested that the First Men could be a reference to the Celts that previously occupied England (the Celts now have their heritage mostly in Northern Britain in the form of Scots but albeit still the North), and that the Andals are the Saxons. The Saxons interestingly enough divided England into seven kingdoms. Also similarities draw from the Targaryens and the Normans, foreigners whom considered themselves superior than the others but whom overtime either integrated with new societies or died. The Normans are also remnants of the Vikings who resided in Scandinavia which was known for their steel and warriors - reminds us of Valyria. The Targs (Normans) claiming to be the blood of old Valyria (Scandinavia).

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There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of books about the War(s) of the Roses. I'm not really sure what to recommend as a starter. Shakespeare's Henry VI Parts I-IIII and Richard III present a heavily biased account, although in terms of the actual narrative they're not a million miles off the mark. Really, for the full context, though, you need to check out the history right back to Edward III (Shakespeare also wrote plays about this - Richard II, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V.

I don't know how much you know about the facts: they're at once kind of straightforward but also complicated; I can give you a brief rundown if you desire. People do have strong opinions about the rival houses to this day, though.

The idea of a civil war between feuding dynasties that tears apart a kingdom is always going to look a bit like the WotR. Specifically, Aerys II ("the Mad King") could be Henry VI, who was debatably mad (and certainly very mentally ill). Although he wasn't as cruel as Aerys, burning alive as a form of punishment was a feature of the House of Lancaster, and was introduced as a punishment for heresy by the first king of that branch. Robert won his title on the battlefield but went to seed afterwards, like Edward IV. On Edward IV's death, his children were declared illegitimate by their uncle, Richard, and a brief power struggle ensued between him and the queen's family (Richard won decisively, but lost his crown on the battlefield two years later). There are various hints and nods throughout, but some of them are just momentary allusions or general tips of the hat. The Tyrell rose, for instance, is reminiscent of the roses supposedly (but not actually) used as badges of the rival houses. A number of fans are suspicious of Aegon precisely because he looks a bit like Perkin Warbeck (a Yorkist pretender who challenged the ultimate victor of the WotR).

It's one of those situations where I think you could get more out of ASoIaF by reading about the WotR, but reading the history won't spoil your appreciation of the books.

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An interesting note of comparison is Joffrey with Edward of Westminster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_of_Westminster,_Prince_of_Wales). There were rumors Edward was an illegitimate bastard due to the insanity of his supposed father; although he wouldn't live long enough (or rule for that matter), he was already showing signs of being quite the budding tyrant.

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Baron's Warwick's daugher Anne Neville was a pawn like Sansa. She married Prince of Wales Edward Lankaster first, after his death Richard Gloster. Between these marriages she escaped Duke Clarence's custody in servant's disguise.

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An interesting note of comparison is Joffrey with Edward of Westminster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_of_Westminster,_Prince_of_Wales). There were rumors Edward was an illegitimate bastard due to the insanity of his supposed father; although he wouldn't live long enough (or rule for that matter), he was already showing signs of being quite the budding tyrant.

Very interesting :)

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An interesting note of comparison is Joffrey with Edward of Westminster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_of_Westminster,_Prince_of_Wales). There were rumors Edward was an illegitimate bastard due to the insanity of his supposed father; although he wouldn't live long enough (or rule for that matter), he was already showing signs of being quite the budding tyrant.

Very interesting :)

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There are many, may War of the Roses references, althopugh just to confuse us I think that GRRM has switched houses so Lannisters are Yorkists and Starks Lancasters.

BUT

Princes in the tower - lost and no bodies - Rickon and Bran

Henry V - Robb won battles at 15-17. Was charismatic

John of Bedford - (brother to Henry V) Jon - wise and honorable - protected his nephew Henry VI - who became mad but after Bedford died

Someone above suggested there were just two factions in the WoR. NOT so

There were Nevilles

Beauforts

Tudors

Yorkists

Lancastrians

The church

Unpopular foreign queens who caused trouble

Each with their own agendas - also France and Spain were in the mix (the Reach and Dorne)

It was very messy and confusing and many parties changes sides or married one another.

Eventually a bastard branch (female) of the Lancastrians inherited the Throne married to a very distant male of the York line

Sansa and Harry the Heir?????. This person was Henry Tudor the daddy of Henry the eighth

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There are many, may War of the Roses references, althopugh just to confuse us I think that GRRM has switched houses so Lannisters are Yorkists and Starks Lancasters.

BUT

Princes in the tower - lost and no bodies - Rickon and Bran

Henry V - Robb won battles at 15-17. Was charismatic

John of Bedford - (brother to Henry V) Jon - wise and honorable - protected his nephew Henry VI - who became mad but after Bedford died

John was a great loss, especially since he didn't accomplish much in England; he spent most of his time running France after Henry's death. I do think there is something of the Lancastrian quartet in the Lannister siblings (Tywin=Henry; Tygett=Thomas; Kevan=John; Gerion=Humphrey).

Also, while he's remembered as a "young king" because he died relatively young, Henry V was pushing 30 by the time of his greatest military successes.

Someone above suggested there were just two factions in the WoR. NOT so

There were Nevilles

Beauforts

Tudors

Yorkists

Lancastrians

The church

Unpopular foreign queens who caused trouble

Well, yes, but it boiled down to two main ones plus a couple of ancillary ones. At any given time there were usually only two claimants - a Yorkist and a Lancastrian, and it was just a question of which side of the fence. The Tudors and Beauforts were staunch supporters of the Lancasters and never abandoned the cause even after the Lancastrian line had been extinguished (Henry VII was a Tudor/Beaufort). The Nevilles were consistent Yorkists until a brief and disastrous change of heart in 1470. Margaret of Anjou was likewise a formidable Lancastrian. Sure, there were internal politics to contend with on both sides, and the Beauforts/Lancasters/Queen didn't necessarily get on personally, but really, it was one big faction. Of course, there were complications, but actually the factional divide for the main phase of the wars ran along pretty clear fault lines. It started getting a bit messier a little later, with Nevilles and Stanleys, and even the Duke of Clarence switching sides, but those phases of the wars were pretty brief.

Eventually a bastard branch (female) of the Lancastrians inherited the Throne married to a very distant male of the York line

Sansa and Harry the Heir?????. This person was Henry Tudor the daddy of Henry the eighth

Henry VII was a Beaufort heir through the female line (the Beauforts being legitimised but disinherited descendants of John of Gaunt, thus cousins of the Lancastrians) but the only Lancastrian heir left. He married Elizabeth of York, who was the daughter of Edward IV, the principal of the Yorkist line following his father's death, not so much a distant heir.

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The basic Baratheon-Targaryen fight is the most Wars of the Roses-like event in the series. With Robert as Edward IV, Aerys as Henry VI, etc. I used to have a bigass list of the more specific parallels but I've written it like 10 times already and I'm just tired of doing it. But it is definitely the Baratheon-Targaryen conflict (after which ASOIAF kind of goes off on its own), with some other looser parallels thrown in. There are also events in Targ history, like the Dance of the Dragons, that mirror other people and events in English history.

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What does the Dance of the Dragons resemble?

The English civil war between Stephen and Matilda. Henry I wanted his daughter, Matilda, to succeed him but Stephen, her cousin (not brother, the only main difference), got the nobles over to his side and took the throne for himself. They fought, and even though Stephen won, Matilda's son, who became Henry II, was king after him.

Sound familiar?

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The English civil war between Stephen and Matilda. Henry I wanted his daughter, Matilda, to succeed him but Stephen, her cousin (not brother, the only main difference), got the nobles over to his side and took the throne for himself. They fought, and even though Stephen won, Matilda's son, who became Henry II, was king after him.

Sound familiar?

Yes it does. Thanks. I'm gonna look up some books on War of the Roses on Amazon and get a couple. Including the one that was linked.

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Edward the Fourth was a Yorkist king who said he would marry one girl (in his case a french princess) and instead married a girl from an impoverished noble family (the Woodvilles) and his greatest supporter rebelled though Edward triumphed. This mirrored Robb taking Jeyne as a wife from the west (as the Westerling's were also impoverished) which cost him the support of the Frey's who instead killed him. On the other hand, Edward would also have relations with other women and father his number of bastards while his legitimate children would be declared bastards by his brother Richard.

The basic Baratheon-Targaryen fight is the most Wars of the Roses-like event in the series. With Robert as Edward IV, Aerys as Henry VI, etc. I used to have a bigass list of the more specific parallels but I've written it like 10 times already and I'm just tired of doing it. But it is definitely the Baratheon-Targaryen conflict (after which ASOIAF kind of goes off on its own), with some other looser parallels thrown in. There are also events in Targ history, like the Dance of the Dragons, that mirror other people and events in English history.

I've seen you argue this before Apple Martini, and I will say that I've never truly agreed with this assessment entirely. However, to argue this point would be at the most futile and the least picking between semantics when we agree on the underlying point, that the War of the Roses is one of the major influences for Robert's Rebellion and the War of the Five Kings.

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