George R.R. Martin's book A Game Of Thrones was published in 1996. The Star Wars prequels began in 1999 (and continued with the Clone Wars animated series). They may seem like totally different genres — the latter is family friendly sci-fi, the former is adults-only fantasy — but they both cracked the same storytelling code. Like, the exact same code.
Don't believe me? Here's why the Starks and the Skywalkers have more in common than you'd think.
1. Babies Whose Mothers Died In Childbirth Are Raised In Secret To Save Them From A New Ruler
Robert Baretheon and Ned Stark were best friends since childhood. Robert might've visited many establishments where one pays for company, but he had only eyes for one girl: Lyanna Stark.
All of a sudden, news flooded the kingdom that Lyanna Stark has been kidnapped by none other than Rheagar Targayen, the next in line for the Iron Throne. Robert went to war to find his one true love — but sadly, she died in childbirth with her brother Ned kneeling by her bedside. Luckily for Lyanna, Ned is one of the very few honorable men in Westeros and promised to raise Jon and claim that he's his bastard in fear of Robert killing him...because he shares Rheagar's blood.
Robert killed Rheagar and usurped King Aerys (Rheagar's father) for one reason: he was in love with a girl and didn't want to lose her. Likewise in Star Wars, Anakin had visions of Padme's death, which turned him mad and also to the dark side of the Force in order to stop this from happening; he crushed the Republic simply because he couldn't bear the thought of losing his beloved.
But Padme died during childbirth, leaving Obi-Wan to look after Luke while Leia found a wonderful home with the Organas.
2. A Wise Advisor Plans A Revolution While In Exile
A bunch of powerful people who sit around and talk about the affairs of the land. Sounds like the Small Council and the Jedi Council. Tyrion rose to Hand of the King, while Yoda was essentially first among equals.
Both had to flee, however, until they can help overthrow the government. Tyrion is now advising Khaleesi on how to take on Cersei, while Yoda waited on Dagobah until he could train Luke Skywalker to take on Darth Vader and Sidious.
3. Dark Sorcery Turns Brother Against Brother
Stannis Baretheon felt that the Iron Throne should fall to him after Robert's death, but their younger brother Renley challenged this succession plan. With Melisandre whispering his ear (and creating a shadow baby), Stannis killed Renley and then his own young daughter for power — but it all ultimately ended with Stannis' humiliating defeat.
Not so different from Sidious convincing Anakin to kill younglings and go up against his own "brother" Obi-Wan to get more power from the dark side, which led to Anakin's humiliating defeat.
4. Rebirth Only Makes Characters Stronger
Obi-Wan left Anakin for dead (McGregor's performance was pitch perfect), but he was revived and reassembled as Darth Vader. Ser Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. the Mountain, also came back from death's door as something way scarier.
Another connection: Palpatine told Anakin that his master, Darth Plagueis, "had such a knowledge of the dark side," he could conquer death. Meanwhile, all the Night's King has to do to raise the dead is lift his arms in the "come at me, bro" stance!
5. King's Landing And Coruscant: The Seats Of Power
Coruscant is where the Galactic Senate meets up to determine when liberty will die to thunderous applause; King's Landing is where the royals (and their inevitable usurpers, both internal and external) decide what's best for the realm.
Without these two locations, what would most of the characters be striving for? Each is a political center where the most powerful and important people interact with one another, vying for influence. In most stories, a location just serves the plot, but these two locations kind of are the plot!
6. The Real Players Pull Strings Behind The Scenes
Is there anyone you (love to) hate more than Palpatine and Cersei? At the same time, you have to admire their unmatched skill at realpolitik. Palpatine used Count Dooku as the face of the Separatists movement and to intimidate anyone who stood in his way; Cersei has been using Maester Pycelle to create one of the most horrifying zombie creatures in recent memory to intimidate anyone who stood in hers. These two are truly a couple of the most vile characters in the history of fiction!
7. The Night's Watch And The Jedi Both Think Having A Girlfriend Will Ruin The World
The Night's Watch's sole purpose is to protect the realm from whatever evil is trying to do it harm. The Jedi Order is trying to keep the galaxy from collapsing. And they both have the code of no love — even though our two heroes, Jon and Anakin, both failed miserably on that one.
While Anakin betrayed his order due to his forbidden love, Jon Snow was betrayed by his own due to hooking up with Ygritte and standing up for the Free Folk; both died and were reborn into something else. Jon became King of the North, while Anakin truly became Lord Vader.
8. And Yes, I Chose To Ignore The Weird Incest Vibes — Until Now!
Remember, the night is dark and full of terrors, unless you have a Lightsaber!
What other connections are there between the Star Wars prequels and Game of Thrones? Tell us in the comments below!