game of thrones

If you consider yourself a pop-culture nerd, now’s the time to enroll at Harvard University, apparently.  The prestigious Ivy League school recently hosted legendary composer John Williams at their graduation ceremony – and serenaded him, a capella style, with his own greatest hits – and this Fall, the school has revealed that it will be offering a course specifically centered around the HBO drama and George R.R. Martin book series ‘Game of Thrones.’

Entitled “The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Tools,” the course is being offered at the introductory 100-level, as to attract as wide a student base as possible.  According to Harvard, the course will look at the way the TV show “…echoes and adapts, as well as distorts the history and culture of the ‘medieval world’ of Eurasia from c. 400 to 1500 CE [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.”

Professor Sean Gilsdorf, a medieval historian and Administrative Director and Lecturer on Medieval Studies, will co-teach the class along with Racha Kirakosian, an assistant professor of German and the Study of Religion.  Speaking about how the show and the study course will intersect, Gilsdorf says:

“’Game of Thrones’ does dramatize 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. 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?”

What do you think, readers: is this a college-level course you could get up at 8am for?  Sound off in the comments below!

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Tony Schaab wonders where Green Rangers come from – I guess if a Yellow Ranger and a Blue Ranger love each other very much… A lover of most things sci-fi and horror, Tony is an author by day and a DJ by night. Come hang out with Tony on Twitter or follow him on Facebook to hear him spew semi-funny nonsense and get your opportunity to finally put him in his place.