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Game of Thrones and the mirror of history

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 18:00 to 19:15
Titanic Hotel, Belfast Titanic Quarter, 8 Queen's Road, Belfast, BT3 9DT
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The enormous popularity of Game of Thrones is due largely to the quality of its story-telling and characterisation, and the opportunity it offers to escape into another world. But that world is in many respects a distorted reflection of our own, particularly in terms of how we imagine our own history. This talk will highlight some of the ways in which portrayals of Westeros and Essos draw upon deep-seated assumptions about the European Middle Ages. Modern day notions of medieval chivalry and romanticism, barbarism and superstition, and also attitudes to non-Western societies, are central to that depiction. It will also consider how those assumptions have developed over the course of the past 400 years or so. The talk will be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about how imagined worlds are created not in a vacuum, but through the creative use of the past.

The event will be delivered by Richard Marsden, a Lecturer in History at The Open University. His research focuses on the ways in which the past has been imagined in the UK and Ireland from the eighteenth century to the present day. He has previously worked for Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales.

*The nearest parking for this event is available in Titanic Belfast which is facing the hotel.

If you need to cancel your attendance at this event, please provide as much notice as possible as we anticipate high demand for tickets. You can do so by emailing

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