The dragon family directly stems from a real civil war, which few people in the Czech Republic know about. What was it really about?

The dragon family directly stems from a real civil war, which few people in the Czech Republic know about. What was it really about?
The dragon family directly stems from a real civil war, which few people in the Czech Republic know about. What was it really about?

While Game of Thrones was loosely inspired by the English Wars of the Roses (1455-1487), in the case of the prequel Dragonborn, the author of the books, George RR Martin, turned even deeper into the past. It was also about the English Civil War, which is often referred to as The Anarchy. Set between 1138 and 1153, it offers strong parallels to the current hit series.

What was it about during The Anarchy?

Everything started with the death of the only legitimate son of King Henry I of England, William Aetheling. He was on board the famous White Ship, which sailed back to England after suppressing the baronial rebellion in Normandy and sank in the English Channel on November 25 under circumstances that have never been explained. Only two men were saved, but Vilém was not among them.

When King Henry was left without a single descendant, he took an unprecedented step. He forced the barons to swear fealty and succession rights to his daughter Matilda of England. Although Jindřich remarried Adeliza from Leuven and tried to conceive a male child with her, he was unsuccessful.


Author: HBO

Dragon Clan

Stephen III also began to lay claim to the English throne. of Blois, the son of Henry’s sister Adela, who is said to have left the White Ship just before it set sail. English barons could also have had a hand in the death of William, who hoped that the death of the heir to the throne would lead to anarchy, during which they would strengthen their power.

When King Henry died in 1135, the thirty-three-year-old Matilda was already away from the royal residence in London, and the English nobility suddenly quickly forgot their pledge of loyalty. Her cousin, the already mentioned Štěpán III, seized the throne with the help of his brother. from Blois. Stubborn and goal-oriented Matilda refused to put up with this and organized a resistance. A fifteen-year civil war began…

How does this relate to Dragonborn?

It is not difficult to find parallels. Of course, King Viserys corresponds to King Henry I, as well as his daughter Rhaenyra is a reflection of Matilda. However, the deaths of both the king’s wife and son were combined into a single event of bloody birth in Dragon Clan.


Author: HBO

Dragon Clan

Similarly, the king secured his succession by prematurely pledging the nobility’s fealty to Rhaenyra and remarried the daughter of his aide Alicent Hightower in order to try to produce a son. It is not clear whether the real Matilda was that close to her father’s new wife, who was Adeliza of Louvain, but it is true that in reality they were roughly the same age and kept in touch even after the king’s death.

Matilda’s rival in the fight for the throne, Stephen, is clearly reflected in the series’ Prince Daemon, although their kinship is different. In the series, he is not her cousin, but her uncle.

How did the real war develop and how did it turn out?

Although the series diverges in many ways, we warn against partial spoilers.

Matilda, with the help of her half-brother Robert, Earl of Gloucester, managed to gain control over a large part of England, at one time even Stephen was captured and it looked like Matilda would sit on the throne, but London and a decisive part of the barons rejected her. She had to flee to Oxford, where she was surrounded and only miraculously escaped with the help of a snowstorm. When her ally Robert was captured, the exchange of prisoners took place for Štěpán, thus shifting the balance of power again, as it had done several times throughout the conflict.

At one stage, Matilda was captured while visiting her former stepmother Adeliza, who had remarried one of Stephen’s allies. It is not clear whether it was Adeliza who betrayed Matylda, but in the end it was she who convinced Štěpán to release her.

The civil war was characterized by long and brutal sieges, during which the poor people who were taken hostage by both sides suffered mainly. Villages were looted, special taxes were levied, and food supplies were looted, leading to famines. Gradually, ignorance and even hatred towards both sides of the warring elites grew among the inhabitants.


Author: HBO

Dragon Clan

After fifteen years, both coalitions were tired and nobody in their leadership was getting any younger, so they made a compromise agreement. Stephen’s son and successor, the extremely unpopular Eustace, died unexpectedly, and Matilda agreed to let Stephen rule when her adult son Henry, who had already led her army at the age of fourteen and demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills, took the throne.

Stephen actually officially named Henry as his successor in 1153, and when the king died a year later, he ascended the throne as Henry II. Empress Matilda, as she allowed herself to be addressed throughout her life, finally achieved her goal in her own way.

“I take inspiration from various historical events, but then I heat everything up to the maximum,” explained his creative method at the recent Comic-Con, George RR Martin. So we can be sure that the House of the Dragon will offer even more wilderness than we know from historical sources… after all, in them the rulers do not ride on the backs of dragons.

Source: The Washington Post


The article is in Czech

Tags: dragon family stems real civil war people Czech Republic

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