George R. R. Martin's Not a Blog

George R. R. Martin's Website

Game of Thrones on HBO

Wiki of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones wiki


publisher page

contributing authors

links to sources

suggested readings


Call for Contributors

This is a call for original essays for Game of Thrones versus History, an academic-trade title to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in April 2017 to coincide with the start of the Seventh Season of HBO’s highly successful series.

The book will comprise a collection of essays by historians who explain the factual roots of George R. R. Martin’s book series, A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO television series, Game of Thrones. Similar in vein to the volumes in Wiley’s Pop Culture and Philosophy series, GoT v. H would reach out to fans and students who wish to enhance their experience of the fictional story, while deepening their knowledge of history through parallels drawn by the contributing history scholars. Writing style would be entertaining as well as informative and thoughtful. Scholarly apparatus would be kept to a minimum, but short bibliographies for further reading would follow each section. In addition, the book will comprise a List of Contributors, under which a short bio of each Contributor will appear.

The following section themes and essay topics might include, but are by no means limited to the following (suggestions for essays as well as Parts, or theme sets, are welcome):

Politics. One of the underlying issues of “Game of Thrones” is how should one rule a commonwealth?

• Queens behind the scenes and on the throne: how gender roles and sex differences affect access to and the wielding of power
• Wars of the Roses: how that specific conflict in England compares to a pivotal conflict the sets up “Game of Thrones”

Warfare: the violent actions that drive much of history
• Sieges, battles, and raiding: the nature of medieval warfare
• Why build walls and do they work?: the nature of walls in the past as barriers, such as Hadrian’s Wall or the Great Wall of China compared to The Wall in “Game of Thrones”
•War and Peace: how these two human attitudes interact to shape the destiny of nations and direct the lives of the common folk

Society: the interaction of individual, family, and community
•Women and agency: what sources and strengths did women have in the past and in “Game of Thrones,” from prostitutes and innkeepers to ladies and queens
•Knights and chivalry: the ideological codes and expectations of what it means to be a knight versus the harsh reality (or fiction)
•Rocking the cradle: how socially contextualized parenting methods (fostering, marriage contracts, hostages) can affect the next generation
•Civilized vs. Barbarian: what were the differences and dangers as societies with sophisticated technologies dealt with more primitive neighbors (whether Mongols or Dothraki)
•Slavery for the willing and not: contrasting the different methods of enslaving humans in world history with that in Westeros and Essos

Supernatural: Gods, magic, and monsters compared to the myth and legends of the past.
•New Gods and Old: how religious movements manage to invade and change a culture
•Divine expectations: what people expect from their belief systems and how they succeed or fail
•Bumps in the Night: imagined monsters of the past compared to the imagined and real monsters in the Seven Kingdoms and beyond The Wall

Interested scholars should submit a 300-word abstract and curriculum vitæ by October 15, 2015. Finished papers of 4,000-5,000 words will be due April 30, 2016. Contributors of accepted essays will receive an honorarium as well as a copy of the book upon publication, and their short bios will be listed in the publication—not to mention have some fun!


Contact Info

Kindly submit proposals by e-mail to Brian A. Pavlac,