Harvard is well known as the most prestigious university in America, so is there really any need for them to offer what they’re describing as a ‘Game Of Thrones’ history class? Surely the chance to study there should be enough for people and there’s no need to ride on the coattails of one of the most successful TV shows of recent times?
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You would think this, but apparently that’s not the case as they’ve recently introduced a course named ‘The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models’. I might be interested if this actually did let you study the mythology of the television show, but it’s far from it and they’re only using comparisons from the show to try and get people interested in history. Professor Sean Gilsdorf explains:
‘Game of Thrones’ does dramatise nicely some fundamental things going on in medieval courts.
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.
And this is expanded upon even further by co-professor Racha Kirakosian:
When I read medieval verse epics with my students, they’d say, ‘Oh, that’s like in Game of Thrones’.
No, if anything at all, it’s the other way around.
Isn’t it partly our job [as professors] to use that interest and go deeper?
I mean I guess? I still think it’s really weird that they even need to use ‘Game Of Thrones’ to try and inspire people. Aren’t people that go to Harvard the kind of people that actually want to study and so wouldn’t need this extra encouragement provided by a link to a TV show? Can’t really get my head around that at all – it just seems kinda pathetic.
For more ‘Game Of Thrones’ – allow Harvard – check out the promo for season 7. Gonna be good.