Carolyne Larrington lays bare the history, legends and mythologies that offer real-world parallels to the vividly drawn and intriguing world of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO TV show ‘Game of Thrones’. Martin often claims that his inspirations were the fifteenth-century English Wars of the Roses, and Hadrian’s Wall, but in fact he has delved much more deeply into the complex societies and cultures of the medieval world, from Scotland to Outer Mongolia, from Old Norse mythology to Zoroastrianism. The TV show has brought to life on our screens imaginative recreations of the dense, dangerous and violent world that Martin imagined. The ‘Game of Thrones’ phenomenon is unequalled in capturing the imaginations of millions of people across the world; nothing has been seen like it since Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Just how Martin, and the two showrunners, David Benioff and Daniel Weiss, have managed to make the politics, history, cultures and experience of Westeros and Essos so startlingly real to millions of readers and viewers will be revealed in this wide-ranging talk.