For those of us keen to continue our higher education, but can't be bothered battling White Walkers or trekking to the Citadel to sit among a bunch of dusty old books, fear not, fans of mayhem and murder, Harvard University now has its very own #GameofThrones course.
Whether it be the perfect angle you need to slice off Ned Stark's head, or how many jars of wildfire it takes to blow up the Great Sept of Baelor, Harvard has you covered. Well, don't send your mom a raven and pack your winter pelts just yet, because is this latest course just a way to trick you into studying history? Ah, more sneaky than Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
Reading Is Fundamental
TIME reports that the prestigious Ivy League college is getting down with the kids and offering a history course dubbed, “The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models.” The stimulus includes comparing real Medieval events to those from the pages of #GeorgeRRMartin's bloody saga, while looking at various texts through the ages. Martin's work is clearly steeped in fictional and factual storytelling, with it being a well-known rehashing of the War of the Roses.
The class will reportedly compare the R-rated show to literature like the Irish epic An Táin bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) and the German tale of Nibelungenlied. For those worrying that it already sounds a bit dry, it has even been made relevant to us tweeting millennials thanks to professor Sean Gilsdorf's more modern comparisons. Gilsdorf will teach with his colleague Racha Kirakosian and says that he sees Margaery and Cersei are fantasy's very own Real Housewives:
“'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."
You Pass Or You Die
Surely more useful than the David Beckham degree or the one about The Simpsons, Gilsdorf hopes that coining the success of Game of Thrones will help recruit students to his valiant cause. While the "medieval world" of Eurasia from c. 400 to 1500 CE may not be everyone's favorite time period (I was always a fan of the '90s), the class is sure to get students talking. Whoever your favorite character from the show is, Gilsdorf will have you covered, and his course will focus 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."
Say goodbye to your fourth grade teacher who taught you about moats and battlements while smelling like cold coffee, Gilsdorf is here to make history fun again. Although it isn't the first institute to cash in on HBO's show, Harvard using Game of Thrones as its backdrop will surely help the plummeting levels of students that aren't keen on studying humanities. Back in 2014, the University of Virginia offered a four-week course about the world of dragons and direwolves to bewildered critics of the idea. Pfft, and who needs Bill and Ted to learn about history?
Game of Thrones may be coming to an end with just 13 episodes left, so you had better get studying if you want to become top of the class and sit on the professor's Iron Throne. So, if anyone asks why you are constantly playing Emilia Clarke's breasts on repeat, simply reply, "It's for homework, actually."
Check out the trailer for Season 7 of Game of Thrones and don't forget our poll below!
Would you study a class on 'Game of Thrones'?