Fall 2018 Lyceum lecture series, Landscapes, Real and Imagined
Game of Thrones Historical Landscape: From Vikings and Mongols to Wildlings and Dothraki
HBO’s fantasy-sword-and-zombie-soap-opera has proven to be one of the most popular television shows in recent history, winning large audiences and critical accolades alike for its storytelling, production values, and engrossing plotlines. Based on the novels of George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones takes its fans across multiple cultures and continents, exploring issues both familiar and exotic. Viewers have been drawn to both its fantastical elements and its gritty realism in equal doses.
As captivating as its costumes, sets, ensemble cast, and graphic depictions of sex and violence have been for many fans, for many the allure is the pseudo-historical themes and characters who dominate the screen. The show purports to conjure ancient Rome, Viking and Mongol invaders, high medieval and Renaissance courts, all as a way of making its narrative feel more ‘real’ to the viewer. This presentation will look at what such portrayals of real histories and historical figures mean for our understanding of events both contemporary and past.
Presentation by Pablo Bose, professor of Geography at the University of Vermont. My ongoing interest is in interdisciplinary teaching and research on issues of culture, space and power. I am, in particular, fascinated by the ways in which people and landscapes transform each other.