Harvard University to offer ‘Game of Thrones’ history course


New York:  Harvard University has announced that it will offer a medieval history course inspired by the epic fantasy drama “Game of Thrones”.

To be introduced in autumn, the course will be titled “The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models”, reported TIME magazine.

The folklore and mythology course will study the HBO TV show based on George R R Martin’s books that “echoes and adapts, as well as distorts the history and culture of the ‘medieval world’ of Eurasia from c. 400 to 1500 CE”.

Sean Gilsdorf, a medieval historian and Administrative Director and Lecturer on Medieval Studies at the varsity described the course to the magazine as one which will explore “a set of archetypal characters at the heart of Game of Thrones the king, the good wife, the second son, the adventurer, and so on with distinct analogues in medieval history, literature, religion, and legend”.

Along with Gilsdorf, Racha Kirakosian, who is an assistant professor of German and the Study of Religion, will also teach the newly-designed paper at Harvard.

Talking about the course, Kirakosian said, “‘Game of Thrones’ does dramatise nicely some fundamental things going on in medieval courts. Tensions between a queen and the younger women who marry their sons are some ‘Real Housewives of 10th-century Germany’ kind of stuff, where you see these women going after each other.”

The course is being offered at the introductory 100-level and she hopes it will be a “recruitment tool” for medieval studies and humanities courses in general, at a time when students are less interested in majoring in those fields.

“When I read medieval verse epics with my students, they’d say, ‘Oh, that’s like in ‘Game of Thrones’. No, if anything at all, it’s the other way around.