As Game of Thrones fans wait in anticipation for the start of Season 8 in the early hours of Monday morning, Bangor University academics have been taking a closer look at the roots of the novels and their influence on the TV series.
Bangor is one of few universities in the world that weaves Game of Thrones into its teaching. Professor Raluca Radulescu, who teaches in Medieval Literature and Fantasy at Bangor University explores its medieval roots in the English Literature ‘Realms of Magic’ module. She said: “The main attraction for me is that it has its inspiration and similarities in what we know as the 15th century – the War of the Roses. It portrays the politics, the intrigue, the strong characters (both male and female) and the costume and drama.
“It’s interesting that you can extract this from older stories and sell them to a modern audience in a different way.”
Kate Stuart, from Scotland, is studying a PhD in Book Authorship and Book Culture at the School of Music and Media at Bangor University. Her interest in Game of Thrones began whilst studying for her MRes, as she researched the adaptation of fantasy texts.
Looking at the comparison between the novels and the TV series, Kate said,
“I think as a TV adaptation, Game of Thrones is very accessible for people who maybe aren’t going to read a quite hefty set of novels. Through the TV series lots of people can just dip in to the story.
“The people who read the books – those who avidly consume them and see the differences between them and the TV adaptation – start to see patterns and notice what’s being taken out of the TV series and what’s being boosted, and it lets you theorize what might be happening at the end.”
Kate is delighted to be studying a topic that she is passionate about. “At Bangor University I’ve been able to just dive right in and watch and consume lots of things and think about how these changes are happening in fantasy.
“I have also been learning about theories, about how readers might be influencing them or how technology might be changing things, so I’m really able to dig deeper at Bangor.”
Professor Raluca Radulescu says her students have been overwhelmingly positive about learning about a topical set of novels and TV series as part of their studies at Bangor. She added: “Students like to see the origins of modern productions. It is much more enjoyable and also enriching to see how literary motifs, literary techniques and certain critical perspectives, have been analysed and adapted across time. We examine how they reach our modern period and how they can influence our lives in indirect ways.”
Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season and can be seen in the UK on Monday April 15th 2019 at 2am on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV and repeated at 9pm on Monday night.
Read Raluca Radulescu’s Article about Game of Thrones in The Conversation here.