Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

King Tyrion VIII

Just how similar are War of the Roses and ASOIAF?

Recommended Posts

The York/Lancaster parallels are pretty difficult to draw in ASoIaF, and it's easier to look at the individual character relationships to work out who might draw inspiration from whom. The Starks and Lannisters aren't clear-cut Yorkists or Lancastrians (especially since neither of them has a claim to the throne in their own right); the Baratheons look more like Yorkists, though, and the Targs are reminiscent of the (pre-1400) Normans/Plantagenets as a whole but not necessarily individually. If Aegon is a Blackfyre, as many posters allege, he looks like a square Henry Tudor to me. If he's legitimate, then perhaps Edward of Westminster (Henry VI's son), who didn't last long. But GRRM being GRRM, elements of both, neither, plus Warbeck, Simnel, whoever, could be blended in.

I think the basic framework of aSoIaF sorta vaguely echoes the War of the Roses initially, but the Starks and the Lannisters weren't actually contending for the Iron Throne directly, I agree, but I think it's just one of the things that GRRM likes to 'adorn' his saga with little bits and pieces that are cherry-picked from many episodes of European history - Baelor the Blessed is a mish-mash of Henry VI (exteremely and dangerously pious) and Richard III (the princes in the tower suggesting the princesses in the tower), Cersei Lannister is informed by both Marguerite d'Anjou and Elisabeth Woodville, Maegor the Cruel is a nightmare composite of both Henry VIII and Ivan the Terrible, etc...

The most clever allusion to the War of the Roses, in my opinion, would be House Tyrell, the Tudors of the piece and their golden rose.

(then again, I love the neat way they sealed the Dance of the Dragons with a marriage between Aegon III (Rhaenyra's son) and Aegon II's daughter, which some riffs on Henry VII's marriage to Elizabeth of York while also tying the whole escapade back to Queen Maude and KIng Stephen's civil war)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the basic framework of aSoIaF sorta vaguely echoes the War of the Roses initially, but the Starks and the Lannisters weren't actually contending for the Iron Throne directly, I agree, but I think it's just one of the things that GRRM likes to 'adorn' his saga with little bits and pieces that are cherry-picked from many episodes of European history - Baelor the Blessed is a mish-mash of Henry VI (exteremely and dangerously pious) and Richard III (the princes in the tower suggesting the princesses in the tower), Cersei Lannister is informed by both Marguerite d'Anjou and Elisabeth Woodville, Maegor the Cruel is a nightmare composite of both Henry VIII and Ivan the Terrible, etc...

The most clever allusion to the War of the Roses, in my opinion, would be House Tyrell, the Tudors of the piece and their golden rose.

<snip>

Or having House Tyrell combine their rose with someone else's via marriage alliance, to signify the beginning of a new dynasty. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the basic framework of aSoIaF sorta vaguely echoes the War of the Roses initially, but the Starks and the Lannisters weren't actually contending for the Iron Throne directly, I agree, but I think it's just one of the things that GRRM likes to 'adorn' his saga with little bits and pieces that are cherry-picked from many episodes of European history - Baelor the Blessed is a mish-mash of Henry VI (exteremely and dangerously pious) and Richard III (the princes in the tower suggesting the princesses in the tower), Cersei Lannister is informed by both Marguerite d'Anjou and Elisabeth Woodville, Maegor the Cruel is a nightmare composite of both Henry VIII and Ivan the Terrible, etc...

I like the idea of Viserys II as John of Gaunt (with Daeron and Baelor taking the place of the unhinged, but for some reason fairly popular in legacy terms, Richard II); getting no credit for anything he does in his lifetime despite spending all of it in loyal service to the crown, but having the last laugh as his son succeeded to the crown. Of course, Viserys got to be king, and John never did (nor expressed any serious desire to be, outside of Castile).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just finished reading THE DAUGHTER OF TIME by Josephine Tey. It's a book that argues, in the form of a modern-day detective confined to a sickbed and doing historical research to pass the time, that Richard III was not guilty of murdering the Princes in the Tower but that, rather, Henry VII ordered the assassinations.

I'm not very knowledgeable about the Wars of the Roses so I can't see a lot of big picture things. But I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in ASoIF/real world parallels, because it does a good job of explaining history in a really lively manner & especially digging out instances of double-crossing and strategy.

Personally, I got a very 'Ned Stark' vibe from Tey's version of Richard III -- called down from the north to rule during the young princes' minority, a good and fair man saddled with a terrible legacy.

But it's Tey's take on the Princes in the Tower that I found really interesting, because it's ripe for speculation about future plot twists.

Tey spends a lot of time talking about who would benefit from deaths of the Princes. She points out that although these Princes started out as heirs to the throne, soon after their father Edward IV died it was discovered that they were illegitimate. Edward IV had married twice, and the children he'd brought up as his legal heirs were in fact the product of a bigamous union. An act of Parliament confirmed that both Princes--as well as their sister, the future Queen--were illegitimate, and made Richard III king (an improvement over his previous post of regent).

Richard had a bastard son named John, by the way, that he acknowledged but chose not to make legitimate. Instead he designated a different son of Edward's as his heir.

So then Henry VII usurps the throne and strikes down the Act of Parliament that made the Princes illegitimate, insisting that all copies be burned unread. He returns the children to legitimacy because he's marrying the sister, who becomes Queen. But making the sister legitimate makes the princes legitimate, and also the rightful heirs. Which problem he solves by killing them.

Surprise surprise, it's a dude named Tyrell that carries out the order. And then Henry gets the mother of the princes out of the way by confining her to a convent (which Cersei is dealing with).

And this is the thing that I think has tons and tons of potential for Myrcella & Tommen's fate. Instead of being illegitimate, they're the products of incest, with no genetic link to Robert Baratheon. But I can absolutely see a bizarre situation whereby someone (a Tyrell? Stuck in a marriage to Tommen?) might vouch for the children's breeding, while simultaneously plotting to overthrow the Lannisters.

Or where vouching for Tommen & Myrcella's breeding leads directly to the decision to kill them both. Or just one of them.

TBH, the Tey book makes the Yorks sound VERY Stark-like.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richard had a bastard son named John, by the way, that he acknowledged but chose not to make legitimate. Instead he designated a different son of Edward's as his heir.

It was actually the son of another brother, George, who he treated as his heir (Edward Earl of Warwick). It's been suggested that he only did this as a favour to his wife, who was fond of Edward, since Edward was a child, already showing signs of mental deficiency, and moreover there were a couple of annoying legal technicalities to be worked round (Edward was excluded from the succession by the act of attainder against his father, who was convicted for treason, and if he hadn't been excluded he'd have come ahead of Richard in the order of succession). I can't remember whether he officially ever changed his heir-designate, but by the time of Bosworth Richard's heir was to all intents and purposes John de la Pole (Earl of Lincoln), his favourite nephew and one of his most loyal supporters.

So then Henry VII usurps the throne and strikes down the Act of Parliament that made the Princes illegitimate, insisting that all copies be burned unread. He returns the children to legitimacy because he's marrying the sister, who becomes Queen. But making the sister legitimate makes the princes legitimate, and also the rightful heirs. Which problem he solves by killing them.

Surprise surprise, it's a dude named Tyrell that carries out the order. And then Henry gets the mother of the princes out of the way by confining her to a convent (which Cersei is dealing with).

Not the first time a Tyrell (sp) had murdered a king (or was it, or not?) It's an attractive theory, for Ricardians and Yorkists certainly; the problem is that there just isn't really enough evidence either way. It's just going by motive and opportunity, and both Richard and Henry had plenty (Henry arguably more than Richard, but that's debatable).

And this is the thing that I think has tons and tons of potential for Myrcella & Tommen's fate. Instead of being illegitimate, they're the products of incest, with no genetic link to Robert Baratheon. But I can absolutely see a bizarre situation whereby someone (a Tyrell? Stuck in a marriage to Tommen?) might vouch for the children's breeding, while simultaneously plotting to overthrow the Lannisters.

That seems to be the plan that Mace is working on at the end of ADwD - fixing Cersei's trial in order to confirm Tommen's legitimacy, while also working to get the Lannisters out of power in KL and use Tommen as a puppet. With Kevan's death, he has a good shot at it, albeit Cersei is now potentially back in play where Kevan was keeping her contained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was actually the son of another brother, George, who he treated as his heir (Edward Earl of Warwick). It's been suggested that he only did this as a favour to his wife, who was fond of Edward, since Edward was a child, already showing signs of mental deficiency, and moreover there were a couple of annoying legal technicalities to be worked round (Edward was excluded from the succession by the act of attainder against his father, who was convicted for treason, and if he hadn't been excluded he'd have come ahead of Richard in the order of succession). I can't remember whether he officially ever changed his heir-designate, but by the time of Bosworth Richard's heir was to all intents and purposes John de la Pole (Earl of Lincoln), his favourite nephew and one of his most loyal supporters.

Apologies. I really don't know much about this period of English history, so I struggled to absorb all the names tossed out at me in the novel.

But I recommend it partly because I think that DAUGHTER OF TIME created a sensation during an epoch during which GRRM would have been susceptible to influence, and because it makes the Yorks sound so VERY Stark-like.

Not the first time a Tyrell (sp) had murdered a king (or was it, or not?) It's an attractive theory, for Ricardians and Yorkists certainly; the problem is that there just isn't really enough evidence either way. It's just going by motive and opportunity, and both Richard and Henry had plenty (Henry arguably more than Richard, but that's debatable).

That seems to be the plan that Mace is working on at the end of ADwD - fixing Cersei's trial in order to confirm Tommen's legitimacy, while also working to get the Lannisters out of power in KL and use Tommen as a puppet. With Kevan's death, he has a good shot at it, albeit Cersei is now potentially back in play where Kevan was keeping her contained.

Yes, that sort of counterintuitive, "Stand up for them by repeating a lie, THEN stab them in the back" just resonated so strongly with the current state of events in ASoIF for me.

I do think I want to read more about the period. I'd be interested to see if another Henry VII trick comes up in the books, when he tried to argue that all the people who'd fought for the King at the Battle of Bosworth were traitors by antedating the beginning of his reign by one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very similar :) I think George's main inspiration came from this war and the historic figures during the medieval and Tudor period.

Cersei - Elizabeth Woodville

Bran and Rickon - The Princes in the Tower

Tyrion - Richard III

Dany/Aegon - Henry VII

Tommen - Edward VI

Littlefinger - Thomas Seymour

Melisandre - Mary I

Sansa - Elizabeth I

Robert - Henry VIII

I think the main lesson the war teaches is that lineage, blood, rightful claim etc. doesn't matter nor does it determine who wins the throne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The book I just read would switch things around from your guesses a fair bit:

Cersei - Elizabeth Woodville (the elder/Dowager Queen)

Myrcella & Tommen - The Princes in the Tower

Ned Stark - Richard III

Lannisters in general - Henry VII

...

I suppose Tyrion gets to be Richard in your estimation because he was thought to be a hunchback, or have a withered arm? But DAUGHTER OF TIME suggested that neither might have been true. Or that it's unclear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose Tyrion gets to be Richard in your estimation because he was thought to be a hunchback, or have a withered arm? But DAUGHTER OF TIME suggested that neither might have been true. Or that it's unclear.

Richard did have a crooked back: they found his skeleton recently (late last year?) and study showed he had a pronounced curve to his spine.

GRRM has compared Tyrion to Richard, too, partly in terms of their later reputation which might or might not be exaggerated by enemies, but fitting the same "wicked uncle of good boy king" archetype.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The book I just read would switch things around from your guesses a fair bit:

Cersei - Elizabeth Woodville (the elder/Dowager Queen)

Myrcella & Tommen - The Princes in the Tower

Ned Stark - Richard III

Lannisters in general - Henry VII

...

I suppose Tyrion gets to be Richard in your estimation because he was thought to be a hunchback, or have a withered arm? But DAUGHTER OF TIME suggested that neither might have been true. Or that it's unclear.

I wouldn't really say Myrcella and Tommen were two heirs whose murder remains a mystery :P

Ned Stark can also be Richard III because of the whole "loyalty binds me" and was commander of England's Northern regions etc.

But I still think Tyrion and Richard hold more similarities. They were both grotesque and deformed, hated by their nephews' mother, accused of murdering their nephew, propaganda showed them in a negative light and they were both savvy politicians.

The Lannisters aren't Henry VII, especially not during TWot5K. The main similarity between Henry and Dany/Aegon is the fact that they both went to battle when the rest of the country had used up their resources. They weren't part of the war from the very beginning, they came right at the end with their red dragon banner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When all is said and done, Jaime Lannister will marry Sansa Stark and call his House "Tudor"...lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When all is said and done, Jaime Lannister will marry Sansa Stark and call his House "Tudor"...lol

Unless George goes the full mile and Sansa never marries, just like her historic model :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, the parallels are there, but mixed up, and not just with the Wars of the Roses. GRRM has said that Aegon IV has a lot of Henry VIII in him, but Aegon IV was arguably more tyrannical. He also only had just the one wife, but kept nine mistresses who feuded with one another constantly (as opposed to Henry VIII having six, one after the other, but there was an overlap of when some were at court and their families vyed for influence, such as the Seymours supplanting the Boleyns in positions of power and authority). However, GRRM has also said there's a different facet of Henry VIII - the bold, brave young warrior going to seed - in Robert Baratheon. There's also a lot of the fictional Richard IV (played by Brian Blessed in BlackAdder) in Robert Baratheon as well :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just posted a person-to-person Stark/York comparison on another thread:

Conversation there derived from Lady Stoneheart as "evil" or merely "vengeful" - a comment about Sansa Stark as sole survivor led to this:

STARK/YORK

Sansa might be Elizabeth York in the end. Lannister is Lancaster (with Cersei being a pretty close match to Margaret of Anjou), and Stark is York. Martin seems to have collapsed two generations of Yorks into one, and though no match is exactly like the historical counterpart (that would be no fun for Martin), the general schema is clear:

Lord Rickard Stark is Richard of Conigsborough, who was wrongly thought guilty of plotting against the king.

Brandon Stark is Henry of Conigsborough, the elder son, who died in the Battle of Agincourt, a noble warrior

Lyanna Stark would be Richard's only daughter, Isabel of York, although she bears little resemblance to her

Ned Stark is Richard Plantagenet of York

Catelyn Tully is Cecily Neville

Robb Stark is Edward IV

Jeyne Westerling is Elizabeth Woodvyl (whose mother was accused of being a witch!)

Sansa Stark is both Elizabeth York who married the Lancaster John de la Pole (Tyrion) and her neice Elizabeth York who married Henry VII Tudor

Arya Stark is both Margaret York (who reluctant to marry went across the sea to rule Burgundy/Braavos?) and Cecily York (who had an ill-fated betrothal with future enemy Thomas Scrope/Elmar Frey) or Catherine York (who took a sword as her personal coat of arms)

Bran Stark is both George, Duke of Clarence (who had to be hidden away after the Lancasters attempted to kill him) and Edward York (the older of the two princes in the tower, rightful king lost and thought dead with no certain proof)

Rickon Stark is both Richard III and Richard York (younger of the two princes in the tower).

INTERESTING POSSIBILITIES

1) If Rickon Stark takes on Richard III's role a bit more, he'll emerge as a contender for the throne of the north and be pretty savage and ruthless in doing it.

2) Eddard's mother is uknown to us. She would be Anne Mortimer in his historical comparison. Anne not only died giving birth to Richard Plantagenet (Eddard), it is her claim to the throne (by modern inheritance rules she would have been the queen) that sparked the entire Wars of the Roses - and that, in the end, caused people to feel that Elizabeth York's (Sansa's) marriage to Henry Tudor righted a wrong. We have a lot to learn about Eddard Stark's mother in this scheme.

3) Finally, Henry Tudor was a Lancaster (sort of) because he was the son of Henry VI Lancaster's half-brother). BUT he was a Tudor (Targaryen!) because his mother was descended from one of the "Great Bastards", the Beauforts (Blackfyre's). This makes me wonder if Aegon-Griff might be the Blackfyre heir as has been speculated. His father would be Illyrio Mopatis (Edmund Tudor, illegitimate relative of a king born to a mother from across the sea), and his mother would be Margaret Beaufort (Serra Blackfyre?). Margaret Beaufort had a beloved brother, born a bastard, named John of Somerset (Varys)

Well, or so it would all seem...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted this on one of the previous threads, wanted to know what this updated one thought:

It occurs to me that Martin, in using the War of the Roses, subverts what actually happened in an ironic way so that much of what happens in ASOIAF creates an ironic mirror opposite to what happened in the War of the Roses. Before I go on, the following is a summary of where I see the parallels:

House Targaryen – Plantagenets/ House of Lancaster/ House of Tudor

Mad King Aerys – Henry V & Henry VI

Daenerys/Viserys – Henry Tudor (Henry VII)

Aegon/Jon Snow? – The Princes in the Tower (Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, children of Edward IV)

House Baratheon/House Stark – House of York

House Lannister – The Nevilles, The Woodvilles

Robert Baratheon – Edward IV

Ned Stark – Richard III

Cersei Lannister – Elizabeth Woodville & Margaret of Anjou

Joffrey Baratheon – Edward of Lancaster, Edward V

Tywin Lannister – Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, ‘Warwick the Kingmaker’

This is far from a comprehensive list but it’s a start.

The Plantagenets were the line which had already ruled for several hundred years. The claims of the houses of York, Lancaster, and by extension Tudor were all derived from relation to this line. Supposedly there were legends saying the Plantagenets had demonic origins, paralleled in the dragon link in ASOIAF, and they also came to England across the sea. Hence, the Targaryens seem to be derived from them.

However, the roles of York and Lancaster are subverted. It was Henry IV, of the John of Gaunt line, who usurped the throne of Richard II and ignored the better claim of the then Earl of March, Edmund Mortimer, from whom the Yorkists (including Edward IV) descend. The Yorkist Edward IV – on whom Robert is based – was reclaiming what historically should have been his birthright. So while in ASOIF the Baratheons are the usurpers and the Targaryens the ‘rightful’ monarchs, with Robert’s claim partly derived from bastard Targaryen blood; in the Wars of the Roses the Yorkists can be thought of as the ‘true’ line while the Lancasters were the usurpers.

There are also some parallels with the Tudors, who would inherit the Lancastrian claim after the victories of Edward IV. Daenerys’ role as the young heir to the Targaryen growing up in a foreign land with a view to one day taking the crown is paralleled in the story of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) who grew up in Wales as heir to the Lancastrian claim before coming to England to take the throne from Richard III. Moreover, while he is famous for later taking the Red and White Rose as his sigil to signify peace between Lancaster and York, it was the Dragon which appeared on his standard as he set forth for the battle of Bosworth Field. Ironically, while Henry VII is seen by historians as representing the end of the old Plantagenet dynasty; Daenerys represents the revival of the old Targaryen dynasyty.

Mad King Aerys is a cruel opposite of Henry VI. Henry VI was mad, but mostly because of his being uncomfortable with wielding power, and he was often criticised for having a nature too gentle for being a king – in Aerys we see an opposite madness of bloodthirstiness and obsession with violence. The fire obsession may also be a reference to Henry V, Henry VI’s more martial father with whom he was often unfavourabley compared, who is famous for saying that ‘war without fire is like sausages without mustard’.

Robert Baratheon has obvious parallels with Edward IV – a big, strong man who led an army, partly motivated by revenge, to take his throne and was known for womanising during his reign, had two younger brothers (actually three for Edward IV, but one died early in proceedings, and we can perhaps think of Ned as a third brother), went to fat in old age, and died early leaving the kingdom in turmoil – even his warhammer parallels Edward’s preference for the pollaxe (usually essentially a two-handed warhammer, if it had an axe blade it was usually secondary to the hammerhead). Again, however, there are several ironic parallels. I have already explained the subversion of the usurper role, but also in particular there is his marriage and his relationship with the major magnate of the time, as well as the issues arround his heirs. To explore this we first have to draw out his relationship with the Lannisters.

Tywin Lannister parallels Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, ‘Warwick the Kingmaker’. Like Tywin, Warwick was the most powerful magnate (lord) in the realm and was crucial in securing the throne of Edward IV. Again, however, there are a number of ironies. Tywin is famous for the sack of King’s Landing and his utter ruthlessness. Warwick, in contrast, won popular support with exhortations to ‘spare the commons’ in battles including a crucial break of a seige (which was secured by a betrayal within Lancastrian ranks – perhaps paralleled in Tywin’s betrayal at King’s Landing or indeed in the Red Wedding betrayal). Even the Lannister sigil, the Lion, is an irony – the lion was the sigil of the Nevilles’ mortal enemies, the Percys.

But the ironies go deeper than that. Tywin betrays Aerys at least partly because of the refusal of a marriage match between Cersei and Rhaegar in favour of an alliance with Dorne (representative of France), and Robert secures his ties to the Lannisters with a marriage to Cersei, with whom he seems to share a mutual loathing. By contrast, Warwick had supported Edward early on, but would later betray him at least partly because Edward married a commoner for love (Elizabeth Woodville) against the express interests of Warwick who had been trying to secure a marriage alliance with France.

Elizabeth Woodville was Edward IV’s wife and it was known that she used this position to gain inordinate power for herself and her family – in the she parallels Cersei. Again, however, irony: Edward IV married Elizabeth for love and spurned the opportunity for alliances; Robert married Cersei for an alliance knowing there would never be love; Elizabeth was from a family of commoners while Cersei is from the most powerful non-monarch House in the Realm. Both Elizabeth Woodville and Cersei had their children (both heirs to the throne) accused of being illegitimate – in Elizabeth’s case it probably wasn’t true but the lie prevailed; in Cersei’s case it certainly was true but the lie again prevailed. Cersei’s going to extraordinary lengths to protect the ascendancy of her evil son also parallels Margaret of Anjou (whose son Edward of Lancaster was also accused of being illegitimate), but while the latter was the wife of the Lancastrian Henry IV and lead armies; Cersei is the wife of Robert (the Yorkist Edward) and prefers to use manipulation and promises of sexual favours to get what she wants.

Which brings us to perhaps the deepest irony of all, Ned Stark, whom I think represents Richard III. Richard of Gloucester (as he was then known) became Edward’s most important ally after Warwick’s defection, and was named Protector of the Realm on Edward’s death bed. After Edward’s death, however, he usurped the throne from Edward’s heirs and justified his kingship based on spurious claims about their legitimacy. He is widely believed to have had the Princes in the Tower – Edward’s sons – murdered to consolidate his throne. Richard III was also known to take pains to make himself seem an honourable and pious man when he seems to have shown himself to be the opposite. Ned Stark, by contrast, finds clear and compelling evidence of the Baratheon childrens’ illegitimacy but attempts to parley with Cersei before making it public to ensure the childrens’ safety – and loses his head for being so damned honourable.

In personality, Joffrey clearly resembles Edward of Lancaster, son of Margaret of Anjou and Henry VI, a sadist from a young age said to be obsessed with beheadings and who, like Joffrey, spurned calls for mercy by his fellows in favour of execution. Edward of Lancaster also faced rumour questioning his legitimacy. Again, however, irony – Joffrey is the Baratheon (York) heir, while Edward was the Lancaster heir. In terms of his position, Joffrey in this way has obvious parralel to Edward V, one of the Princes in the Tower; except for the fact that he is ACTUALLY illegitimate.

Which brings us to my more speculative opinion of Aegon Targaryen and Jon Snow. For years after the deaths of the Princes in the Tower, rumours abounded that they had not been killed at all but spirited away for safe keeping. This was likely nonsense, but this didn’t stop a raft of imposters from coming forth with spurious claims. Aegon, similarly, was believed killed as a child – but was in fact spirited away (again ironically – the son of a Targaryen/Lancaster vs the son of York) and protected. Is Jon Snow the other prince? And might Rhaegar and Lyanna be an ironic twist to the Tudor/York marriage of the red and white rose? We’ll just have to see.

There are others – including Stannis (whom I always felt was a harder version of Ned and have only had this reinforced in seeing that he represents other elements of Richard III) and Renly (George of Clarence). For instance, George of Clarence tried to usurp Edward's throne several times but was unpopular and ultimately killed on Edward's reluctant orders for his trouble, to Richard III's chagrin. Again, opposites - Renly was the favourite brother, was extremely popular, and might have won the throne if not for Stannis (not Robert) killing him.

There are further parallels but I think I've made my point.

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Greatjoe: I think you're pretty much totally correct in how Martin uses the Wars of the Roses to build out his history, and while I could debate some parallels you suggest (for example, I'm having a hard time seeing Eddard as Richard III, when he seems to much like Richard Plantagenet to me), but yes, aspects of the real historical figures combine and recombine in lots of places in the GRRM world. I enjoyed reading your take and may chew on it a big more before replying with thoughts.

For now, I'm quoting a post I made on another thread about Sansa and a possible marriage to Aegon-Griff, who I was playing with as a Henry VII Tudor type. I've been reading Alison Weir's "Wars of the Roses" and checking off stories that seem to crop up in the Song of ICe and Fire...Quote begins:

As I've said elsewhere, only the Stark family structure [NOTE: with two generations combining to produce the relational structure of the 5 Stark children] seems to adhere strongly to real history, but the stories are EVERYWHERE...

- Richard II, starved to death in a tower, ate his own fingers before he died (Lady Hornwood).

- George of Clarence, forbidden to bring his whore to court, hid her as a kitchen-maid (Shae).

- Elizabeth Woodvylle's mother was labeled a witch (Sybill Spicer Westerling).

- Mary de Bohun, who died in childbirth, inspiring inordinant posthumous faithfulness in her cousin/husband Henry of Bollingbroke (Joanna and Tywin).

- The attempt to remove John of Gaunt from his protectorship by the Lords Appellant in 1387 (the Eyrie's Lords Declarant).

- Robert de Vere's death in 1385 after being gored by a bore while drunk (Robert Baratheon).

- The treachery of Welsh ward Owen Glendower, who led Wales in rebellion despite his being raised by the English royals (Theon Greyjoy).

- Henry V presiding over the slaughter of innocents at the fall of Caen, telling his dogs to burn, rape and slaughter (Tywin unleashing Clegane, Lorch and Hoat on the Riverlands).

- The trail by combat of William Catour and John Davies before the King and Queen at Smithfield, the victor deemed by God to be in the right (many trials by combat, but Lysa Arryn in the Eyrie seems to fit ok).

- Thomas Brown, exchequer for the Lancasters, and his ill advised and persistent borrowing from Italian bankers (Littlefinger and the bank of Braavos - FYI, Brown was executed for treason in the end, if that sheds any light on the eventual outcome of Littlefinger?).

- Talbot's surprise defeat at Castillon in 1453, led out of camp by a misunderstanding of the situation (Jaime Lannister at Whispering Woods).

- The marriage agreement between Richard York and Cecily Neville, brokered by Warwick, who had ties to the Nevilles (Eddard and Catelyn, with Jon Arryn with Lysa).

- Margaret of Anjou's mixed success at securing the regency over her son's minority (Cersei with Joffrey/Tommen).

- The naming of Richard York as Lord Protector in 1454, a threat to Lancaster power that spurred violence (Eddard's appoint as Hand of the King).

- Henry VI's resort to burning traitors alive as a new and appalling form of punishment (Aerys II and wildfire/fire).

- Margaret of Anjou asking her five year old son, Prince Edward, how he would like to see the traitors die ("make them fly!" replied Robert Arryn).

- The surprise execution of Owen Tudor, who expected to confess and be shipped off, by Edward of York (Eddard at the Sept of Baelor).

There are more, of course, but that's enough for now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nargauzius - these are great and the kinds of things I was thinking of the whole time I was reading Alison Weir's books and others.

What cements Ned as Richard III for me is his role with the children, and the fact that he fits with my 'opposites' thesis (though obviously not everything is 'opposite'). Richard of York wasn't involved in any attempts to claim that the King's children were illegitimate. I would say that either Ned's father Lord Rickard (who was executed by Aerys (Henry VI), helping spurn Ned to act), or perhaps Jon Arryn, would better fit the Richard Plantagenet role.

I hadn't remembered about Henry VI burning traitors (had that been his decision or something he was pushed to?) - but that fits even better with the thesis of him being Aerys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nargauzius - these are great and the kinds of things I was thinking of the whole time I was reading Alison Weir's books and others.

What cements Ned as Richard III for me is his role with the children, and the fact that he fits with my 'opposites' thesis (though obviously not everything is 'opposite'). Richard of York wasn't involved in any attempts to claim that the King's children were illegitimate. I would say that either Ned's father Lord Rickard (who was executed by Aerys (Henry VI), helping spurn Ned to act), or perhaps Jon Arryn, would better fit the Richard Plantagenet role.

It's not necessarily about exact parallels, mind. Eddard somewhat resembles a Richard III who failed in his attempt at a "coup", but there's not much else in the way of similarity. Stannis actually looks rather more like Richard III than Eddard does, but he doesn't quite "fit" either. In terms of the general shape of the story, Eddard makes a better match for Richard of York, I think, but there are almost certainly inspirations drawn from various quarters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is Sansa - Elizabeth of York? She's got a lot more in common with Elizabeth I. Unless you're saying The Targaryens = House Tudor, then Aegon would have to marry her to keep the peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, there's a lot of disagreement on some Sansa threads when I have tried to parallel her with Elizabeth of York, but mainly I see her that way because she occupies that position in the Stark family structure. In addition to that, her narrative has (and continues to be) all about marriage...after the disappearance (deaths?) of her two younger brothers, Elizabeth of York became the York heir. I do see Sansa's marriage as the final event of the book-series - whether to Aegon, or Willas Tyrell, or some other person who stands in for Henry Tudor. (In fact, I think that Daenerys will die, Nyssa like, in the epic dark/light-ice/fire metaconflict, and in the aftermath, Sansa will be all that is left to rule...a claim that will somehow come through her grandmother, Eddard's mother, the "Anne Mortimer" of the family structure). But who knows! I don't really care, as I trust Martin to do it well no matter what happens. But right now I'm seeing Aegon as the likely Henry Tudor, mainly because, through his mother (if he is ILlyrio's son in reality) he is descended from teh Great Bastards (the Beauforts). But hey, who knows!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×