Game of Thrones to be a Course at Harvard University

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Harvard University, recently informed they would be adding a new folklore and mythology course titled, “The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models.”

The course will be an overview of George R.R. Martin’s books and the HBO TV showed. It will depict the history and culture of the medieval world of Eurasia from circa 400 to 1500 CE.

Sean Gilsdorf will be the teacher for this course at Harvard. Gilsdorf is a medieval historian and Administrative Director and Lecturer on Medieval Studies. Racha Kirakosian, an assistant professor of German and the Study of Religion will also conduct classes for this course.

Gilsdorf gave a brief about the course, “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.”

Kirakosian hopes that the course will pave the way for more students to enroll for the medieval studies and humanities course.

Racha Kirakosian explained her reasons for the course being a good idea “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?”

It is true that the course would attract a lot of students for a Masters course that is dying out due to the disinterest today’s generation has in medieval studies. Game of Thrones is an intricate story about a medieval mythical world with complicated characters and war and scandals. It is also a beautifully written series of books but as a course, it would have to be concentrating on just the history and the story line. So the important question to ask is will it be as open legged as the shows and books are? 



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