Why “Game Of Thrones” Isn’t Medieval

If there’s one thing everyone can seem to agree on about George R.R. Martin’s bloody behemoth of a book and television series, which ended its season last night, it’s that the setting is “medieval fantasy.” Martin’s publisher bills his work as “set in an age of knights and chivalry.” Articles about the HBO adaptation explore the “real events from medieval history” that inspired the plot. When the series is criticized for its violence, treatment of women, or willingness to ice beloved characters, rejoinders from Martin and his defenders often amount to “that’s just what life was like in the Middle Ages.” There’s one problem with all this: “Game of Thrones” isn’t medieval. And it’s the non medieval features of the series that help explain its enormous popularity. Learn why.

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