It’s well known that Gorge RR Martin bases his iconic characters from Game of Thrones on historical inspirations, and we think his new series, House of the Dragon, is no different.
Empress Matilda, who famously defended our very own Oxford Castle, has a lot, and we mean A LOT of similarities to the star of the new House of the Dragon Series, the dragon rider Princess Rhaenyra.
If you haven’t checked out House of the Dragon, but love your Oxford Castle history (like us), then you might recognize some familiar traits of our famous defender with the star of the show.
You decide for yourself! Here is a list of similar events and facts that apply equally to both women (there may be minor spoilers ahead):
George RR Martin is famous for basing his characters on real people from history, with Tywin Lannister being lased on Edward Longshanks, and Robert Baratheon appearing very similar to Henry VIII. The Game of Thrones series has been said by the author to be based on The War of the Roses with many parallels between House Stark and House Lannister to The Lancastrians and Yorkists. George RR Martin has also said in Entertainment Weekly that House of the Dragon is based on the English Anarchy, an important period of Oxford Castle’s story.
During this chaotic period, multiple noble families competed over the crown of England, leading to a breakdown in law and order, and a lot of violence, hence the name Anarchy. Empress Matilda was one of the strongest claimants, but as a woman faced opposition from many nobles who didn’t like the idea of a queen over a king.
Oxford castle has written a good deal about Empress Matilda, and her story of a daring escape from a castle under siege is a thrilling part of our castle’s history.
If you want to learn about the real history behind House of the Dragon you can explore more of Oxford Castles’ history on our other blog pages or book to come see Oxford Castle and Prison yourself.