The Top Eight People George R. R. Martin Stole from to Make Game of Thrones.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration; but we can’t exactly say that the events in a Song of Ice ad Fire don’t bear a striking resemblance to things that George R.R. Martin doesn’t own. Thus to celebrate the end of Game of Thrones here are eight of them. Why eight, instead of ten? Why, because there were eight seasons of Game of Thrones…not because I couldn’t think of ten.

8. The Lancasters and the Yorks

The Lancasters and the Yorks were two cadet branches of the royal house of Plantagenet. House of Lancaster was descended from Henry III’s second son Edmund Crouchback; while House York was descended from Edward III’s fourth surviving son Edmund Langley, first Duke of York.  Both houses produced several English Kings over the years, and were major players in the war of the Roses. A series of battles between claimants to the throne which ended with the ascension of Henry VII to the throne and his marriage to Elizabeth of York.

George R. R. Martin’s Battle of the Five Kings is heavily based upon this war. In fact as we look closer can see parallels between GoT Characters and the members of Lancaster and York. Particularly King Henry VI (King Robert Baratheon), his wife Margaret of Anjou (Cersei), their supposedly cruel son Edward, Prince of Wales (Joffery) and Margaret’s enemy and the King’s once trusted adviser Richard of York, 3rd duke of York (Ned Stark).

This video from TedEd explains it better than I can:

I mean he didn’t even really change the names.

7. Shakespeare

I know, this is a bit of a cheat – but hear me out, before you light your torches. Most of our modern perceptions of the Plantagenet line, the war of the roses, and particularly Richard III don’t come from history itself, but their depiction in William Shakespeare’s plays.

Our closets parallel between GRRM’s and Shakespeare’s works is Stannis Baratheon. Like Shakespeare’s Richard III, Stannis vies for a throne his dead brother once occupied – by calling his nephews illegitimate and trying to take the throne from them. However, unlike King Richard, not only does he not succeed, but his nephews actually are illegitimate. We might also see some similarities between Stannis and Macbeth – both desired to be king, both rely on the prophesies of  ‘witches’; and both end really regretting it – though possibly for different reasons.

6. William the Conqueror

He is often cited as the first official king of his country, despite there being many, many kings before him. He is a conqueror, a descended of royalty from a distant land; and the first of a ‘great’ dynasty stretching through the centuries.

And that man’s name is Aegon Targaryen …what? You were expecting someone else?

5. Empress Matilda & her cousin Stephan I

Once upon a time in a land not so different from our own there lived an old king, who named his daughter as his heir. But you see girls could not be kings – they could be Queens but everyone seemed to forget this – so the throne  went to the princesses’ closest legitimate male relative.

Which pissed the Princess off…so there was a war, and many people died.

This is the story of the English civil war between Empress Maud and her cousin Stephan I. Sorry no Dance of Dragons in this story, but my god that description did sound like something else, didn’t it?

4. Hadrian (Or rather his wall)

I’m a Wildling. What? Haven’t you seen the show, or read the books? According to George R R Martin anyone who lives behind Hadrian’s Wall is a Wildling; and I live in Scotland. What? It was just based on it…you mean to tell me there’s not a giant ice wall separating one part of Britain from the other? I’ve been lied to! Right, where’s my mammoth, I’ve got a wall to scale.

3. The Massacre of Glencoe

In 1691, every Scottish Clan was called upon to renounce the desponed Scotish/ English King James VII (brother to the previous king Charlse II) and swear their alligances instead to King William of Orange (husband to James VII’s daughter Mary). Because of externuiting cercumstances Clan MacDonald was ever-so slightly late with their pledge thus the King’s men degreed that the clan was to bne cut down ‘root and branch’.

By claiming the sacred right of hospitality the soldiers were able to gain access to the castle, since the MacDonald were obliged to shelter them. When the Clan had retired for the night, the soldiers slaughtered them in their beds; several woman and children escaped in the night, but because of the storm outside they soon died of exposure.

Meanwhile, sometime in the early nineties George RR Martin wrote a shockingly toned down version of this tragedy into his Song of Ice and Fire.

2. J.R.R Tolkien

From the medieval setting, the word Warg, the character of Samwell Tarly, to the very R. R. in his name – it all bares a striking resemblance to another fantasy epic author we know well. To be fair, almost every fantasy released after Tolkien’s work steals from him in some way; and Martin certainly doesn’t do it as blatantly as someone like JK Rowling does. That being said, it is still strange that a man who professes to not like things like Fan-fiction would have such great similarities between his work and another author’s .

1.    Bran, Celtic god of Prophecy and Ravens

Finally, in honor of his Royal Majesty King Bran the Broken; First of his Name; King of the Andals; and the First Men; Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm; I present to you the Celtic god of Prophecy and Ravens…Bran.

Okay, so when you get down to it there’s not a huge wroth of similarities between this particular King and God – I doubt very much Bran Stark will have his severed head used for prophecies; yet it’s still very weird to be innocently researching Celtic gods and to come across a Game of Thrones name. And not even a random one like Ned or John; no, given Bran was the God of Prophecy and Ravens – its very likely that the character who becomes the three eyed Raven was at least partially based on this Celtic Mythological figure.

Now, you might be asking yourself – what exactly did I intend to prove with this bizarre wee list of mine? That we shouldn’t take inspiration from other sources? No, of course not – no one would ever write anything if that were the case. That perhaps Martin should be less critical to those who write in pre-existing worlds considering how little of his own work is wholly original? Hmm, only slightly. Mainly, I think it’s important a to draw attention to the Historical, Mythological and Literary influences of Game of Thrones. Because no matter what you thought of the Final episode – we’re still feeling the loss of it, as we would with any show we loved. But if we dig deep into our own history and mythology we can discover that the story isn’t over. Just because they’re not called Targaryen doesn’t make the Kings any less mad, or the wars they waged any less terrible. When you look at it that way, we don’t even have to wait for GRRM to finish ‘The Winds of Winter’ to get our Thrones on.

If you’ve enjoyed this mad little foray into my mind, follow the wee blog if you haven’t already; or check me out on Twitter or Instagram. Until next time my wee readers from both sides of the Wall…have a bonny day.

The Wee Writing Lassie’s Top Ten Evil Songs

Come on we’ve all heard one some time in our lives – they’re the kind of song that gets stuck in your head. The kind of song that repeats over and over  no matter how much we beg them to stop. The kind of song that can burst out of your mouth at the most unfortunate of times.

These are evil songs, and now because I care about your well-being so much my wee readers – and certainly not because I just wanted to write another blog post and thought this would be funny – I shall now list the top ten worst of these terrible afflictions on the human psyche. 

10. Chim Chim Cher-ee

Taking the lowest spot on our list we have this haunting little ditty from the 1960s adaption of Mary Poppins . It’s been placed at this position because despite its tendency to repeat on a loop inside my skull, and its almost impossible to spell title – I find it mostly unoffensive, at least compared to some of the other songs on this list. Unless you count Dick Van Dike’s cockney accent as offensive, of course.

9. Gilmore Girls theme song

The first of the TV theme songs to grace this terrible, awful list – the memorable theme of the popular tv-show about a mother and daughter with a peculiarly close relationship, hyped folks up for the fast talking dialog and easy-going feeling that made the show so enjoyable. Originally written as a full length song by Carole King, this Theme song will continue to play on within you no matter how long you run from it.

8.Wake me Up Before you go go

Written by George Michel and recorded in 1984 by the band Wham! This song will follow you to the day you die – but there are worse fates. This is certainly one of my favorite songs on this terrible, awful, no-good list.

7. All about that Bass

Written by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish and released on June 30th, 2014 – this song clearly intends to promote positive body image. Which is great message, but I would be able to appreciate much more if didn’t keep bursting out of my mouth at the most inconvenient times…All about that base, ’bout that base…Ahhh!

6. Happy

Written, Produced and performed by singer Pharrel Williams – this is a very well named song. Just listening to it makes you feel all happy inside, thus it is the only song on this list that I whole halfheartedly recommend getting stuck in your head.

5. Crazy Frog – Axel F

Well…I suppose we can make a song out of anything these days. I would be surprised if you hadn’t heard of The Crazy Frog – a Swedish CGI character created by actor and playwright Erik Wernquist in 2003. And I would be even more surprised if you had never once contemplated smothering that blue frog in a fit of rage fulled insanity.

4.Narwhals, Narwhals, swimming in the ocean

Is it just me or are these songs getting…weirder as we go along? Performed by Jonti Picking and released in 2009 ‘The Narwhal Song’ is by far and a way the most random of the songs on this list. I mean what do the lyrics even mean? Why are the Narwhals causing a commotion?!

3.Shake it off

Written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin and Shellback and released in 2014 as the lead single of the album 1989; this bouncy song may not be one of Taylor Swift’s better compositions, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable. Seriously, you’ll be humming this tune till your very last breath.

2. Duck Tales theme song

Yes, well we’ve all been expecting this one…it is the Grandfather of all the evil, stick-in-your-head-right-up-to-your-death-songs to ever grace this earth. Composed by Mark Mueller and performed by Jeff Pescetto for the 1987 series, and by Felicia Barton for the 2017 revival – I chose to put the original up above simply because it was the one that started it all, though both versions are equally catchy. Truly, there should be no song that could top it on a list such as this, so then…why isn’t it at the top?

1. Zip-a-dee-do-dah

You’ll notice that, unlike the others on this list, I haven’t placed a video here for you to easily watch this particular stick-in-your-head song. And the reason why is simple – I don’t want you to, I wouldn’t want anyone to get this song stuck in their head as thoroughly as it has mine.

And the sad thing is, I didn’t even listen to the song and it still got caught in my head.

Back when I was a child, my school had this recital, a contest if you will – the idea was that all of us kids who played recorder (which was everyone, since it was mandatory ) would play a tune, and whoever played it the best would get to move on to violin. Which looking back now makes no sense, since if I’m not mistaken I don’t think those two instruments are related. You’ve probably already guessed the song we were made to learn…that’s right Zip-a-dee-do-dah. From then on that parasite took up residence in my head and has never once loosened its grip, no matter how many of the other songs on this list I hum to try and drown it out. Chim Chim Che-ree has come the closest, but each time I think Zip-a-dee-do-dah has been defeated, it’s always just retreated. Yet, this is not why I’ve given this awful catchy song the top spot.

Truth be told, when I say the other songs on this list are evil I don’t really mean it – I mean they’re catchy, and sometimes very annoying. But the songs aren’t really evil in the true sense of the word; however I don’t think I can say the same for Zip-a-dee-do-dah. For you see the song originated in the Disney film Song of the South, one of the most racist films the company has ever made, which given their back catalog is actually saying quite a bit. So racist in fact that the company has desperately tried to distance themselves from the film, even denying a blue-ray release to it, yet like an unwelcome guest at a party Zip-a-dee-do-dah refuses to simply leave.

Thus ends this terrible, no-good list – if you’ve enjoyed discovering or re-discovering these brain-burrowers check me out on twitter, or Instagram; or follow the wee blog if you haven’t already. If you agree with my list, or think I’ve left one out comment down bellow.

Until we meet again my wee readers, have a bonny day.