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The wars that inspired Game of Thrones - Alex Gendler

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Beginning around 1377, medieval England was shaken by a power struggle between two noble families, which spanned generations and involved a massive cast of characters, complex motives and shifting loyalties. Sound familiar? Alex Gendler illustrates how the historical conflict known as the Wars of the Roses served as the basis for much of the drama in Game of Thrones.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Composer Cem Misirlioglu, Brooks Ball
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Refresh your understanding of the basic outline with the Encyclopedia Britannica entry, then delve into more details at this dedicated site with a timeline, maps, and descriptions of the major battles. For a closer look at the beginning of the conflict, check out the BBC’s biographies of Richard II and Henry IV. Of course, Shakespeare’s series of plays remains the best-known fictional account of the wars, though not a historically accurate one, and you can even dive into the world of politics and intrigue yourself with a detailed board game. Finally, make sure to read about Richard III’s recent appearance in the news and his proper royal funeral 530 years after his defeat. Watch “Richard III: the mystery of the king and the car parking lot” to discover more about who set out to find Richard III’s remains and where they were. Then, NPR’s Weekend Edition discusses, “At Last, A Fitting Farewell For Richard III,” listen and learn.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Composer Cem Misirlioglu, Brooks Ball
  • Narrator Addison Anderson