Sunday, December 10, 2017

New Book: Echoes of Valhalla

Echoes of Valhalla: The Afterlife of the Eddas and Sagas

Jón Karl Helgason; Translated by Jane Appleton
Distributed for Reaktion Books

256 pages | 50 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Cloth $24.95
ISBN: 9781780237152
Published June 2017
For sale in North and South America only

Tolkien’s wizard Gandalf, Wagner’s Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Marvel’s superhero the Mighty Thor, the warrior heading for Valhalla in Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” and Donald Crisp’s portrayal of Leif Eriksson in the classic film The Viking—these are just a few examples of how Icelandic medieval literature has shaped human imagination during the past 150 years. Echoes of Valhalla is a unique look at modern adaptations of the Icelandic eddas (poems of Norse mythology) and sagas (ancient prose accounts of Viking history, voyages, and battles) across an astonishing breadth of art forms.

Jón Karl Helgason looks at comic books, plays, travel books, music, and films in order to explore the reincarnations of a range of legendary characters, from the Nordic gods Thor and Odin to the saga characters Hallgerd Long-legs, Gunnar of Hlidarendi, and Leif the Lucky. Roaming the globe, Helgason unearths echoes of Nordic lore in Scandinavia, Britain, America, Germany, Italy, and Japan. He examines the comic work of Jack Kirby and cartoon work of Peter Madsen; reads the plays of Henrik Ibsen and Gordon Bottomley; engages thought travelogues by Frederick Metcalfe and Poul Vad; listens to the music of Richard Wagner, Edward Elgar, and the metal band Manowar; and watches films by directors such as Roy William Neill and Richard Fleischer, outlining the presence of the eddas and sagas in these nineteenth- and twentieth-century works.

Altogether, Echoes of Valhalla tells the remarkable story of how disparate, age-old poetry and prose originally recorded in remote areas of medieval Iceland have come to be a part of our shared cultural experience today—how Nordic gods and saga heroes have survived and how their colorful cast of characters and adventures they went on are as vibrant as ever.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

MediEvil at NEPCA

The following paper was presented last month at the meeting of the Northeast Popular Culture / American Culture Association at University of Massachusetts Amherest (

Friday, October 27, 1:00-2:30pm
PANEL 18 – CC 903 – Philosophy and Pop Culture: Philosophy and Popular Poetics

CHAIR: Anthony G. Cirilla, Niagara University

Paper 4: “Medieval Philosophy and Saving Fame in the Videogame MediEvil,” Anthony G. Cirilla, Niagara University

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Arthurian Roundtable at MAPACA This Week

I am pleased to present the line-up for our upcoming sponsored roundtable session this week at the annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Popular & American Culture Association in Philadelphia. This marks our second year at MAPACA. Full details on the conference at

Here is the information on our session:

New Visits to Camelot: Reflecting on the Contemporary Matter of Britain on Screen (Roundtable)
Session sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture for the Medieval & Renaissance Area of the Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association
Organizer/Presider: Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Guy Ritchie and Michael Bay (Oh My): The Challenges of Contemporary Visions of Camelot on Screen
Michael A. Torregrossa (Independent Scholar)

Michael A. Torregrossa is a medievalist whose research interests include adaptation, Arthuriana, comics and comic art, medievalism, monsters, and wizards. His published work includes essays on both Merlin and Mordred on film as well as entries on television in recent supplements to the Arthurian Encyclopedia. Michael is also founder of both The Alliance for the Promotion of Research on the Matter of Britain and The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture and serves as Fantastic Area Chair for the Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association.

Othering Pagan Archetypes: Reimaginings of Merlin and Morgan le Fay
Rachael Warmington (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Rachael Warmington is a doctoral candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She earned her B.A. in English from Montclair State University, M.A. in English from Seton Hall University, and her MFA at City College of New York, City University of New York. Rachael is also the editor-in-chief of the open source academic journal Watchung Review. Her current research focuses on the ways in which early regional and generational variations of Arthurian legend influence contemporary literary, film and television adaptations and appropriations of Arthurian works.

Round Table Revival: The Order: 1886
Carl Sell (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Carl Sell is PhD candidate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is interested in all things medieval and Early Modern, and his studies focus on the Arthurian Legend and modern adaptations of the legend as well as adaptations of Robin Hood.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Labyrinth 2018 Calendar

The Jim Henson-directed feature film Labyrinth celebrated its 30th-anniversary last fall with an assortment of commemorative products. It is also now being remembered in a calendar for 2018. Details and ordering information at

I append pictures of the monthly images for your consideration.The assortment is a bit of a mixed bag, but for fans the medievalesque goblins are featured prominently, as is their king (played by David Bowie), and so too is the knightly canine Sir Didymus.

CFP Shakespeare on Film and Television (10/1/2017; PCA/ACA 2018)

Shakespeare on Film and Television Area
deadline for submissions: October 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: Popular Culture Association/American Culture Assocation

Proposals & Abstracts Must Be Submitted Through The PCA Conference Submission page
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules


March 28-31, 2018, Indianapolis, IN, at the J.W. Marriott, Indianapolis

Submit through the PCA conference submission page:

More information at

The Shakespeare on Film and Television area explores Shakespeare in a variety of media beyond the traditional stage, including film, television, anime, and magna adaptations.  We have previously had papers on the following topics and invite new ideas all the time.
  • What is a Shakespeare Adaptation?
  • The Future of Shakespeare Adaptations
  • Translating Shakespeare into Film: Additions, Omissions, Anachronisms
  • Shakespearean Auteurs
  • Shakespeare in Silent Film
  • Shakespeare biopics
  • Shakespeare in the Global Marketplace
  • Latino Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare in Korea
  • Anime, Manga, and animated Shakespeares
  • Shakespeare on British Television
  • Sitcom Shakespeare
  • Slings and Arrows, Shakespeare on Canadian Television
  • Twenty-First Century Shakespeare
  • Metatheatrical Shakespeare: Putting on the Plays
  • Transgressive Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare and Sexuality
  • Shakespeare’s Families
  • Shakespeare for the Classroom

Please submit a 250 word proposal and a brief CV to the PCAACA conference website at

Please send all inquiries to:
Richard Vela
English, Theatre and Foreign Languages Department
The University of North Carolina, Pembroke
Pembroke, NC 28372

Last updated August 21, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

Carroll on Game of Thrones

Came across the following today:

Medievalism in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones
Shiloh Carroll


March 2018
192 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Series: Medievalism
ISBN: 9781843844846
Format: Hardback, $39.95


Game of Thrones is famously inspired by the Middle Ages - but how "authentic" is the world it presents? This volume offers different angles to the question.

One of the biggest attractions of George R.R. Martin's high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and by extension its HBO television adaptation, Game of Thrones, is its claim to historical realism. The author, the directors and producers of the adaptation, and indeed the fans of the books and show, all lay claim to Westeros, its setting, as representative of an authentic medieval world. But how true are these claims? Is it possible to faithfully represent a time so far removed from our own in time and culture? And what does an authentic medieval fantasy world look like?

This book explores Martin's and HBO's approaches to and beliefs about the Middle Ages and how those beliefs fall into traditional medievalist and fantastic literary patterns. Examining both books and programme from a range of critical approaches - medievalism theory, gender theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, and race theory - Dr Carroll analyzes how the drive for historical realism affects the books' and show's treatment of men, women, people of coloir, sexuality, and imperialism, as well as how the author and showrunners discuss these effects outside the texts themselves.


Introduction: Martin and Medievalist Fantasy
Chivalric Romance and Anti-Romance
Masculinity, Femininity, and Gender Relations
Sex and Sexuality
Postcolonialism, Slavery, and the Great White Hope
Adaptation and Reception

About the Author

Shiloh Carroll teaches in the writing center at Tennessee State University.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

CFP You Win or You Die: Performances of Gender, Death, and Power in Game of Thrones (10/1/2017)

You Win or You Die: Performances of Gender, Death, and Power in Game of Thrones

deadline for submissions: October 1, 2017

full name / name of organization: Lindsey Mantoan, Linfield College

contact email:


for a new anthology

You Win or You Die: Performances of Gender, Death, and Power in Game of Thrones

Called “the world’s most popular show” by TIME magazine, Game of Thrones has changed the  landscape of serial narrative during an era hailed as the New Golden Age of TV. While an adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy A Song of Fire and Ice, the television show has taken on a life of its own, including creating original plotlines when the story advanced past the books that Martin has published.

With the death of protagonist Ned Stark at the end of Season One, Game of Thrones launched a killing spree in television: major characters die on popular shows every week now (for an excellent analysis of this trend and a demographic breakdown of who’s getting killed off, see While many shows kill off major characters for pure shock value, death on Game of Thrones produces seismic shifts in power dynamics and resurrected bodies that continue to fight on in war.

War in early seasons is solidly the purview of men, but by Season Six, women are literally and figuratively changing the battlefield, overthrowing the men who have dominated and controlled them, and vying for thrones. For a show that’s been accused of mishandling rape, using it for titillation and voyeurism rather than condemning it, the writers seem to be playing a different game with female characters as the narrative rushes toward its conclusion.

The complex dynamics of how gender, death, and power are performed in Game of Thrones warrants rigorous analysis by scholars in performance and media studies and beyond. Our proposed anthology will be divided into overlapping sections on gender, death, power, and performance.

Possible topics include:


- What kinds of performances of masculinity and femininity do we see in this show?

- Women as nurturers, women as vengeful assassins, women as queens

- Dany’s retinue includes two eunuchs and a dwarf, and by the time she arrives in Westeros, none of her closest advisors are alpha males. What does this say about gender and power?

- How does the show handle hypermasculinity?

- Jon Snow’s hair

- Sansa’s fantasies of marrying a prince, and her harsh realities

- The men who manipulate Cersei, and the way she takes her revenge

- The Sand Snakes and the trope of desert people being hypersexualized and violent

- Yara, Brienne, The Waif, and female masculinity

- Arya, marrying a nobleman, and “that’s not you”

- Gender, politics, and regionalism: how do politics and gender intersect differently north of the wall, in Dorne, in the rest of Westeros, and across the sea?

- What’s the significance of the men of the Night’s Watch swearing a vow of chastity, and why does Jon Snow get away with breaking it so easily? Why does Sam?

- Does the narrative critique the characters’ misogyny enough, or reify it?

- Motherhood (Cersei’s incestual children are all dead, Dany’s children are dragons)

- Sam’s gentle demeanor and academic nature


- What does the show seem to say about death, given that for so many characters, death is not the end?

- What is the distinction between alive and not?

- What do the narrative’s rituals related to death say about its values?

- Wights as zombies

- The distinction between White Walkers and their army of wights

- The relation between those resurrected by Red Priests/Priestesses and those resurrected by ice

- How does death often lead to new life or new dynamics of power (dragons, killer zombies, a king)

- “In the light of the seven,” “the night is dark and full of terrors,” “what is dead may never die,” and religion’s disposition toward death and resurrection

- Religion used to fight zombies and create them

- Arya’s list

- Supernatural and Faceless men, Three-Eyed Raven


- What’s the show’s attitude toward war and violence?

- How does the show represent war?

- How does the show braid together issues of gender, violence, power, and war?

- Endless war

- Religion used as a weapon, a justification for violence, a political tool

- White trash (Freys, Greyjoys) and inbreeding

- The dynamics of color; ethnicity and race; rehearsal of Western hegemony under a slightly different name

- How does the show use accents to imply power and authority

- New languages--who speaks which language(s) and how does language interact with power?

- Low / no-tech world, pre-industrial society--does that give the show a pass on contemporary values?

- The above ideas relate to power within the narrative, but what about the power of this TV show? HBO’s budgets are some of the highest per episode of any television show in history, and GoT has influenced not only serial television but also films and novels. What kind of cultural and industry power does the show wield?


- Performances of gender, sexuality, and power

- What gets performed around the show—fandom, social media, criticism, ComiCon, cosplay, watching parties

- The performance of the actors

- How do characters perform nobility, authority, power, family?

- Theater has a powerful impact on Arya Stark--how and why?

- The show has been criticized for the way it represents: sex, love, romance, same-sex intimacy, race, and violence. How are these criticisms apt? What do these criticisms miss?

- What stereotypes does the show trade in, especially in conflating region, geography, accent, class, and race?

Please submit 300-word abstracts to Lindsey Mantoan ( and Sara Brady

( by Oct 1, 2017.

Last updated August 4, 2017

Robin Hood CD Update

An update to my previous post. Intrada has now listed the information and track listing for The Legacy Collection: Robin Hood CD to its online catalog. Details at

Here are all 41 tracks:

Disc 1
1. Main Title (0:52)
2. Whistle Stop (2:49)
3. Oo-De-Lally (0:59)
4. Hail John (1:50)
5. It’s Only a Circus (1:17)
6. Fortune Tellers (3:07)
7. Enter the Sheriff (1:37)
8. Skippy’s Birthday Gift (3:32)
9. A Lost Arrow (1:20)
10. Meeting Maid Marion (2:35)
11. To the Winner (1:32)
12. The Archery Affair (1:52)
13. Fooling Ol’ Bushel Britches (2:01)
14. Archer’s Processional (1:04)
15. Sir Hiss Suspects (0:34)
16. Well, Well (2:00)
17. The Loser (2:11)
18. Seize the Fat One (3:35)
19. Fight On Wisconsin (0:36)
20. There You Are (2:11)
21. Love (1:56)
22. The Phony King of England (2:44)
23. Double the Taxes (0:46)
24. Not In Nottingham (5:05)
25. Not Yourself Today (4:02)
26. Bird Brain (4:02)
27. Lower the Bridge (6:12)
28. All’s Well That Ends Well (1:59)

Disc 2
1. Whistle Stop (Ragtime Demo) (Instrumental) (2:21)
2. Oo-De-Lally (Western Score Demo) (Instrumental) (0:38)
3. Not In Nottingham (Prince John Demo) (1:02)
4. Love (Robin Hood Version) (3:38)
5. The Phony King of England (Country Version) (2:04)
Louis Prima Bonus Tracks:
6. King Louie and Robin Hood (2:42)
7. Robin and Me (1:39)
8. Sherwood Forest (3:14)
9. The Phony King of England (2:09)
10. Friar Tuck (1:50)
11. Merry Men (1:34)
12. Love (1:55)
13. Robin Hood (2:15)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Disney's Robin Hood on CD!

I recently came across a reference to the Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection Robin Hood two-disc set on Amazon.

The initial news and cover art were released in late May on the various Disney Music Emporium media sites (see, for example, the news on its Facebook page:

Further details on the set can be found on the WDW News Today website (, where Jesse DeRosa wrote on 26 May 2016:
Disney Music Emporium, a pop-up store that sells collectable Disney music-related products, will be returning to the D23 Expo 2017. During the event, fans will be able to purchase new limited music releases from various Disney artists and composers.

Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection Robin Hood, a two-disc set, will be released for the first time during the expo. Disc one of the collection includes songs and score from the film. Disc two includes unreleased demos and bonus tracks performed by Louis Prima. The CD collection contains liner notes, as well as a 20-page booklet featuring new artwork inspired by Robin Hood from Lorelay Bove, a visual development artist who’s worked on various Disney films including Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and more. Those that purchase the collection will receive a special lithograph featuring the back cover artwork, though there will only be a limited quantity available.

Monday, June 26, 2017

CFP Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives (9/15/17; Kalamazoo 5/10-13/18)

I'm happy to announce the following session has been approved for the next International Congress on Medieval Studies. Please submit proposals by 15 September 2017.

Past, Present, Future: Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives
Sponsored by The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture
53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
10-13 May 2018
Proposals due by 15 September 2017

The year 2018 marks the two-hundredth anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and, while this is certainly an important event, to celebrate it outside of its larger context is to ignore the rich history of the monstrous in Western tradition that underlies much of Shelley’s representation of the creature brought to life by Victor Frankenstein. Medieval texts, in particular, abound with monsters, and, like the creation of young Frankenstein, many of these remain prevalent in the minds (and, perhaps, fears) of modern-day audiences. Still, while Monster Studies has grown phenomenally as a discipline in recent decades, few have explored how medieval monsters, like their more modern counterparts, exist as part of an ongoing tradition from their point of origin in the medieval past to their most recent depiction in popular culture.

In furtherance of the goals of The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture, we seek in this panel to unite Medieval Studies, Medievalism Studies, Monster Studies, and Popular Culture Studies to highlight points of contact between medieval monsters and their post-medieval representations. We hope to explore both continuity and change in addressing how these figures have been portrayed and to extrapolate from these trends to suggest how these monsters may be employed in future texts.  

Presentations will be limited to 10-15 minutes depending on panel size. If presenters are willing, The Association for the Advancement of Scholarship and Teaching of the Medieval in Popular Culture hopes that accepted presenters might submit their completed papers for publication on the Medieval Studies on Screen site ( prior to the conference to allow maximum dissemination of their ideas.

Interested individuals should submit, no later than 15 September 2017, (1) an abstract of approximately 500 words, (2) a 500-word academic biographical narrative, and (3) a completed Participant Information Form (accessible at to the organizers at using “Medieval Monsters and Their Afterlives” as their subject heading.

In planning your proposal, please be aware of the policies of the Congress (available at 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pavlac's Game of Thrones versus History

Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood
Brian A. Pavlac (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-24942-9
312 pages
April 2017, Wiley-Blackwell

Paperback: $18.95
E-Book: $9.99


Since it first aired in 2011, Game of Thrones galloped up the ratings to become the most watched show in HBO’s history. It is no secret that creator George R.R. Martin was inspired by late 15th century Europe when writing A Song of Ice and Fire, the sprawling saga on which the show is based. Aside from the fantastical elements, Game of Thrones really does mirror historic events and bloody battles of medieval times—but how closely?

Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood
is a collection of thought-provoking essays by medieval historians who explore how the enormously popular HBO series and fantasy literature of George R. R. Martin are both informed by and differ significantly from real historical figures, events, beliefs, and practices of the medieval world. From a variety of perspectives, the authors delve into Martin’s plots, characterizations, and settings, offering insights into whether his creations are historical possibilities or pure flights of fantasy.

Topics include the Wars of the Roses, barbarian colonizers, sieges and the nature of medieval warfare, women and agency, slavery, celibate societies in Westeros, myths and legends of medieval Europe, and many more. While life was certainly not a game during the Middle Ages, Game of Thrones versus History: Written in Blood reveals how a surprising number of otherworldly elements of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy are rooted deeply in the all-too-real world of medieval Europe.

Find suggested readings, recommended links, and more from editor Brian Pavlac at

Table of Contents:

Notes on Contributors ix

Foreword by William Irwin xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction: The Winter of Our Discontent 1
Brian A. Pavlac

Part I Kings, Queens, Knights, and Strategy 17

1 High and Mighty Queens of Westeros 19
Kavita Mudan Finn

2 A Machiavellian Discourse on Game of Thrones 33
Jacopo della Quercia

3 Chivalry in Westeros 47
Steven Muhlberger

4 Of Kings, Their Battles, and Castles 57
Brian A. Pavlac

Part II Slaves, Barbarians, and Other Others 71

5 Barbarian Colonizers and Postcolonialism in Westeros and Britain 73
Shiloh Carroll

6 A Defense against the “Other”: Constructing Sites on the Edge of Civilization and Savagery 85
Brian de Ruiter

7 The Eastern Question 97
Mat Hardy

8 Slaves with Swords: Slave‐Soldiers in Essos and in the Islamic World 111
Robert J. Haug

Part III Women and Children 123

9 Rocking Cradles and Hatching Dragons: Parents in Game of Thrones 125
Janice Liedl

10 “Oh, my sweet summer child”: Children and Childhood in Game of Thrones 137
Helle Strandgaard Jensen and Magnus Qvistgaard

11 Writing the Rules of Their Own Game: Medieval Female Agency and Game of Thrones 147
Nicole M. Mares

12 The Power of Sansa Stark: A Representation of Female Agency in Late Medieval England 161
Danielle Alesi

Part IV Religion 171

13 Continuity and Transformation in the Religions of Westeros and Western Europe 173
Don Riggs

14 Religious Violence in Game of Thrones: An Historical Background from Antiquity to the European Wars of Religion 185
Maureen Attali

15 Coexistence and Conflict in the Religions of Game of Thrones 195
Daniel J. Clasby

16 “I shall take no wife”: Celibate Societies in Westeros and in Western Civilization 209
Kris Swank

Part V The Background 225

17 By Whisper and Raven: Information and Communication in Game of Thrones 227
Giacomo Giudici

18 What’s in a Name? History and Fantasy in Game of Thrones 241
Sara L. Uckelman, Sonia Murphy, and Joseph Percer

19 Setting up Westeros: The Medievalesque World of Game of Thrones 251
Gillian Polack

Appendix: List of Books and Episodes 261

Index 000

About the Editor:

Brian A. Pavlac is Professor of History at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA. His books include A Concise Survey of Western Civilization: Supremacies and Diversities throughout History, 2nd Edition (2nd Edition, 2015), Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition to the Salem Trials (2010), and Warrior Bishop of the Twelfth Century (2008).

Coming Soon: Mondschein on Game of Thrones

Advance notice:

Game of Thrones and the Medieval Art of War
Ken Mondschein

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-9970-0
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-2926-1
27 photos, notes, bibliography, index
236pp. softcover (6 x 9) 2017
Price: $19.99

Not Yet Published, Available Fall 2017 (Amazon says 11/1/17)

About the Book
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels and HBO’s Game of Thrones series depict a medieval world at war. But how accurate are they? The author, an historian and medieval martial arts expert, examines in detail how authentically Martin’s fictional world reflects the arms and armor, fighting techniques and siege warfare of the Middle Ages. Along the way, he explores the concept of “medievalism”—modern pop culture’s idea of the Middle Ages.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Timeline ix
Introduction 1
1. No True Knights: Chivalry in Myth and the Middle Ages 11
2. A Good Way to Survive a Battle: Armor in Westeros 33
3. Dragonsteel and Wildfire: Weapons in Westeros 55
4. "Stick them with the pointy end": Fighting Arts in Westeros and the Middle Ages 75
5. The Wager of Battle: War, Duels and Tournaments 105
6. Down and Out in Westeros: The Economics of Feudal Warfare 133
7. Women Warriors of Westeros 148
8. Words and Swords: Conquest and Culture 174
9. A Medieval Atrocity Sourcebook 191
Chapter Notes 207
Further Reading 213
Index 219

About the Author
History professor, fencing master and jouster Ken Mondschein is the author of several books on medieval and Renaissance martial arts. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies.

Lushkov on Game of Thrones

Of potential interest:

You Win or You Die: The Ancient World of Game of Thrones
By Ayelet Haimson Lushkov literary studies/Literature history criticism/Literary studies fiction novelists prose writers/You Win or You Die The Ancient World of Game of Thrones?menuitem={DFF51E2F-C0BA-4928-ACC4-415188DCDEE8}

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd.

ISBN: 9781784536992
Publication Date: 29 Apr 2017
Height: 203; Width: 127
£12.99 / $15.95

If the Middle Ages form the present-day backdrop to the continents of Westeros and Essos, then antiquity is their resonant past. The Known World is haunted by the remnants of distant and powerful civilizations, without whose presence the novels of George R. R. Martin and the ever popular HBO show would lose much of their meaning and appeal. In this essential sequel to Carolyne Larrington's Winter is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones, Ayelet Haimson Lushkov explores the echoes, from the Summer Islands to Storm's End, of a rich antique history. She discusses, for example, the convergence of ancient Rome and the reach, scope, and might of the Valyrian Freehold. She shows how the wanderings of Tyrion Lannister replay the journeys of Odysseus and Aeneas. She suggests that the War of the Five Kings resembles the War of the Four Emperors (68-69 AD). She also demonstrates just how the Wall and the Wildlings advancing on it connect with Hadrian's bulwark against fierce tribes of Picts. This book reveals the remarkable extent to which the entire Game of Thrones universe is animated by its ancient past.

Author Info:
Ayelet Haimson Lushkov is an Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. She has wide interests in Roman history, literature, and reception. Her previous books are Magistracy and the Historiography in the Roman Republic (2015) and Reception and the Classics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Classical Tradition (co-edited with W Brockliss, P Chaudhuri and K Wasdin, 2012). She has written on Game of Thrones for The Guardian.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Coming Soon: Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones

Due out later this year. No contents available yet.

Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones
Edited by Kavita Mudan Finn,id=5247/

Price £28.50, $41
267 pages; 27 color plates; 7 x 9

Winter is coming. Every Sunday night, millions of fans gather around their televisions to take in the spectacle that is a new episode of Game of Thrones. Much is made of who will be gruesomely murdered each week on the hit show, though sometimes the question really is who won’t die a fiery death. The show, based on the Song of Ice and Fire series written by George R. R. Martin, is a truly global phenomenon.

With the seventh season of the HBO series in production, Game of Thrones has been nominated for multiple awards, its cast has been catapulted to celebrity, and references to it proliferate throughout popular culture. Often positioned as the grittier antithesis to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Martin’s narrative focuses on the darker side of chivalry and heroism, stripping away these higher ideals to reveal the greed, amorality, and lust for power underpinning them.

Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones is an exciting new addition to the Intellect series, bringing together academics and fans of Martin’s universe to consider not just the content of the books and HBO series, but fan responses to both. From trivia nights dedicated to minutiae to forums speculating on plot twists to academics trying to make sense of the bizarre climate of Westeros, everyone is talking about Game of Thrones. Edited by Kavita Mudan Finn, the book focuses on the communities created by the books and television series and how these communities envision themselves as consumers, critics, and even creators of fanworks in a wide variety of media, including fiction, art, fancasting, and cosplay.

New Book: Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings

Fan Phenomena: The Lord of the Rings
Edited by Lorna Piatti-Farnell,id=5159/

ISBN: 9781783205158 1783205156
156 pages; illustrated in color throughout; 6 1/2 x 9 1/2; © 2015

Now Available
Price £28.50, $41

Few if any books come close to being as beloved—or as ubiquitous—as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Best-sellers for decades, they became even more popular on the heels of Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning film adaptations. And throughout, fans have not only read the books, they’ve engaged with them, building one of the most active and creative fan communities in the world.

This entry in the Fan Phenomena series offers the best look we’ve had yet at the fan culture surrounding The Lord of the Rings. Academically informed, but written for the general reader, the book delves into such topics as the philosophy of the series and its fans, the distinctions between the films’ fans and the books’ fans, the process of adaptation, the role of New Zealand in the translation of words to images (and the resulting Lord of the Rings tourism), and much, much more. Lavishly illustrated, it is guaranteed to appeal to anyone who has ever closed the last page of The Return of the King and wished the journey didn't have to end.
Part of the Fan Phenomena series
Lorna Piatti-Farnell

Making Fantasy Matter: The Lord of the Rings and the Legitimization of Fantasy Cinema
Alexander Sergeant

The Lord of the Rings:
One Digital Fandom to Initiate Them All
Maggie Parke

Reforging the Rings: Fan Edits and The Cinematic Middle-earth
Joshua Wille

Walking Between Two Lands, or How Double Canon Works in the Lord of the Rings Fan Films
Miguel Ángel  Pérez-Gómez

One Party Business: True-fan Celebrations in New Zealand’s Middle-earth
Lorna Piatti-Farnell

There, Here and Back Again: The Search for Middle-earth in Birmingham
Emily M. Gary

Looking for Lothiriel: The Presence of Women in Tolkien Fandom
Cait Coker and Karen Viars

Lord of the Franchise: The Lord of the Rings, IP Rights and Policing Appropriation
Paul Mountfort

Writing the Star: The Lord of the Rings and the Production of Star Narratives
Anna Martin

Understanding Fans’ ‘Precious’: The Impact of the Lord of the Rings Films on the Hobbit Movies
Abigail G. Scheg

Contributor Details

Image Credits

Francis on Eli Stone!

I was excited to see this piece in the latest issue of SMART. Francis always has interesting things to say about how modern texts use the medieval. Copies of the journal can be purchased from the publisher at

Francis, Christina. “The Usefulness of Eli Stone to Teaching Medieval Narrative.” Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching, vol. 26, no. 2, Fall 2016, pp. 133-43. 

Details on the Eli Stone series can be found on Wikipedia at