Have you heard? Winter is coming! Again

Games of Thrones. Aside from the satisfaction of watching annoying actor after annoying actor meet a grizzly end (please, please stay dead, Jon Snow), there’s a perverse historical attraction too. It’s like when I went to the New York Renaissance Faire (best day of my life) – an audaciously selective mistranslation of European history that makes it seem actually fun. I watched Puck, Friar Tuck, and The Spanish Ambassador compete in a game of human chess at the pleasure of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. ‘Victorian‘, ‘Medieval‘ and ‘Renaissance‘ are bleeding-edge aesthetics which sit sassily under an old-timey (occasionally Steampunk) umbrella. Everyone wears a corset and elf ears and shouts HUZZAH. Anyway as I say, apart from the gore and butts and boobs – not enough penises though – this is the other thing Game of Thrones does for me. So naughty!

Here are our top 10 most “Game of Thronesy” pictures in the Bridgeman archive. Some are art historical; some are Sean Bean. 

10. Diana Rigg, who at 77 outsasses the rest of the cast whilst. rocking. a. wimple. Here seen gesturing to a poodle whom she has shorn and dyed in order to make that fab coat -PNM

Diana Rigg

Diana Rigg

9. Daenerys Targaryen, or Khaleesi as she is better known, is one of the best things about GoT. She is the mother of goddamn dragons – no other characters (so far) can beat that. I chose The Doom Fufilled because Burne-Jones is working the mythical angle which is very GoT.

It has a dragon (of sorts) and a naked Andromeda who is all vulnerable and chained to a rock which I am sure you will agree is very GoT. Although, Khaleesi is far more badass than Burne-Jones’s beautiful but insipid looking Andromeda who just looks on as Perseus handles business. Khaleesi, slays all day. – KA

The Doom Fulfilled (Perseus Slaying the Sea Serpent) c.1882 by Edward Burne-Jones, Southampton City Art Gallery, Hampshire, UK;

The Doom Fulfilled (Perseus Slaying the Sea Serpent) c.1882 by Edward Burne-Jones, Southampton City Art Gallery, Hampshire, UK;

8. I chose this one because she had super Game of Thronesy hair and it turns out that Cersei is apparently partly based on Eleanor of Aquitaine, so there you go. She too was a badass with great hair. – PNM

Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of Henry II, printed by Henry G. Bohn, 1856  by English School, Prismatic Pictures

Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of Henry II, printed by Henry G. Bohn, 1856 by English School, Prismatic Pictures

7. This is titled The Voice of Evil  but I think it should be renamed The Red Woman after Melisandre, the fearsome and powerful servant of the Lord of Light. Working her red robes in the picture, gurl be flipping us off as she disinterestedly pervs on a couple getting it on in the background. She also has fabulous jewellery. -KA

The Voice of Evil by Georges de Feure,

The Voice of Evil by Georges de Feure,

6. I am going to continue to fangirl over Khaleesi with my next choice. ‘What does Khaleesi have in common with Henry VII?’ I hear you ask. My girl, Daenerys is based (allegedly) on the first Tudor King, Henry VII. Old Hal is credited (thanks to the Tudor spin doctors and the patriarchy) as unifying realms after one of the longest and bloodiest periods of English history.

In this portrait from the National Portrait Gallery, Henry is holding a red rose. This ruby red flower, sometimes called the Union Rose but most often called the Tudor Rose, is the sigil of Henry’s house. Daenerys’ would be the three-headed dragon. Obvs. -KA

King Henry VII, 1505 (oil on panel) by Flemish School, (16th century); National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

King Henry VII, 1505 (oil on panel) by Flemish School, (16th century); National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

5. Y’all know about Hobbes right? If not, GoT is a good introduction to the Hobbesian worldview (IMHO). This awesome title page below was taken from a copy of Leviathan – the book that brought Hobbes to fame. Leviathan  presents a world of unrestrained and selfish actions that are motivated primarily by our fear or death – or so he would have you believe. His dog-eat-dog world is much like Westeros. -KA

Title page of Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (London 1651)

Title page of Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (London 1651)

4. Super glam robe of the sort that Oberyn Martell sadly used to cover himself, would look great on my floor. -PNM

CH430214 Brightly coloured Seljuk lampas robe, Central Asia, 11th - 12th century (silk) (see also 430215) by Central Asian School; Private Collection; Photo © Christie's Images;  it is possible that some works by this artist may be protected by third party rights in some territories

Brightly coloured Seljuk lampas robe, Central Asia, 11th – 12th century (silk)  © Christie’s

3. This pretty map from the British Library illustrates England (sort of) as it stood c.12 century. Amongst all the latin you can clearly see Hadrian’s Wall separating Scotland and England. Hadrian’s wall apparently provided George R.R. Martin with inspiration for The Wall in Game of Thrones. -KA

Map of England, Scotland and Wales, Ms Royal 14.C VII, fol 5 v, 1250 (vellum) by Matthew Paris, British Library, London, UK; The Stapleton Collection

Map of England, Scotland and Wales, Ms Royal 14.C VII, fol 5 v, 1250 (vellum) by Matthew Paris, British Library, London, UK; The Stapleton Collection

2. Sean Bean. Did you know that Sean Bean was born Shaun Bean, but changed the spelling of his name to Sean Bean. I know right. 

Also why is Famke not in Game of Thrones yet – PNM

GOLDEN EYE, 1995 directed by MARTIN CAMPBELL Famke Janssen / Sean Bean © DILTZ

GOLDEN EYE, 1995 directed by MARTIN CAMPBELL Famke Janssen / Sean Bean © DILTZ

1. Can’t believe I found this super perfect image of poss my most favourite maiming in GoT ever. – PNM

Study of Feet and Hands, c.1818-19 (oil on canvas) ,Theodore Gericault,  (1791-1824) / Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France

Study of Feet and Hands, c.1818-19 (oil on canvas) ,Theodore Gericault, (1791-1824) / Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France

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