Game of Thrones: Does Fantasy Fiction Beat Period Drama?

The strangeness of the past can be evoked more effectively in pick and mix fantasies than in those novels, films and TV dramas that aspire to realism, argues Suzannah Lipscomb.

Later this month the fourth series of the enormously popular TV drama Game of Thrones is unveiled (watch the trailer above). I admit that, despite its gratuitous violence and sex, I am a fan.

Talking recently at a school about how and why we study history, I was asked whether serious historians ought to be ‘snooty’ about popular history. The questioner meant history as it is portrayed in films, novels and on television. How should we feel about the representation of history in forms of entertainment?

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