Attention, ‘Game of Thrones‘ nerds: Harvard is about to start a class based around the fantasy classic, if you can somehow a) get yourself there and b) get in.
According to a report in TIME, the introductory course – called ‘The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models‘ – will look at George R.R. Martin‘s unfinished series, HBO‘s almost-finished show, and the medieval world of Eurasia from c. 400 to 1500 CE.
Professor Sean Gilsdorf told the mag that it’ll go deep on “a set of archetypal characters at the heart of ‘Game of Thrones’ — the king, the good wife, the second son, the adventurer, and so on — with distinct analogues in medieval history, literature, religion, and legend.”
And look – he’s really, really trying to sell this thing to a modern day audience.
“Game of Thrones does dramatise nicely some fundamental things going on in medieval courts,” he said. “Tensions between a queen and the younger women who marry their sons are some ‘Real Housewives of 10th-century Germany‘ kind of stuff, where you see these women going after each other.”
The reading list is likely to include the German epic ‘Nibelungenlied‘ (whose vindictive queen character is reminiscent of Cersei Lannister), the legendary Irish prose epic Táin bó Cúailnge, also known as ‘The Cattle Raid of Cooley‘ (about a war over a magical bull) and the accounts 10th Century Islamic traveller Ibn Fadlan, whose most notable works include detailed accounts of the Volga Vikings.
The other professor leading this charge, Racha Kirakosian (an assistant lecturer in German in the Study of Religion), is really hoping that the introductory course will act a
gateway drug recruitment tool for medieval studies and humanities courses in general. Shockingly, those courses have seen something of a drop in enrolments, which is *SHOCKING*. Truly baffling stuff.
The only people doing this Game of Thrones course are therefore likely to be cashed-up nerds, i.e. the worst kind of people. Damn.