Game of Thrones: Harvard introduces course based on George RR Martin's books and HBO TV show

FP Staff

Jun,02 2017 17:59:06 IST

With the seventh installment of world TV's most popular and anticipated show: Game of Thrones (GoT) about to start from July, the excitement around it seems to be going to a cosmic level.

Fan theories, spoiler alerts, pictures and videos are making rounds and grabbing eyeballs already like never before.

Now, according to TIME, Harvard University is about to start a course this fall about medieval history called 'The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models.'

Game of Thrones Image via Juniper Books

Game of Thrones
Image via Juniper Books

This 'Folklore and Mythology' class will draw references from George R.R. Martin's series of books and HBO TV show based on those books. It will "echo and adapt, as well as distort the history and culture of the 'medieval world' of Eurasia, by exploring 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, " according to a Sean Gilsdorf, a medieval historian and Administrative Director and Lecturer on Medieval Studies from the renowned university, reported the magazine.

The course is also reported to have text readings from the likes of the Irish prose epic Táin bó Cúailnge ("The Cattle Raid of Cooley") which was about a legendary war that broke over a magical bull. This will be taught as part of the section on mythical beasts, which relates to Targaryen's dragons from GOT.

The characters from GoT also have a huge inclination towards distant places and exotic kingdoms — be it the free kingdom of Braavos, the Dothraki continent of Essos, the great city-states like Meereen, Yunkai and Astapor or the far-north regions beyond the Wall. Similarly, in the Middle Ages, people had huge interest in far away places; for which the university plans to include readings of a 10th-century account of the Islamic world by a traveller named Ibn Fadlan.

This course, which will be an introduction course targetting the 100-level freshmen, couldn't have come at a better time when students across the US have shown less interest in choosing humanities in their majors. As per TIME's report, throughout the country (US), universities conferred 8.7 per cent fewer degrees in 2014 than that in 2012. In fact, in Harvard itself, the rate of undergraduates who chose to major in the humanities went down from 36 per cent to 20 per cent over the past sixty years, as reported in 2016 by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 18:09 PM