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I May Never Have Watched GoT BUT… I Have Read Shakespeare’s Henry VI

Senior Bwogger, Leo Bevilacqua, is feeling a little out of the loop with all his friends/acquaintances/peers/people he follows on social media watching GoT. But he’s also feeling a little elitist.

God knows I’ve tried. But, I will admit I’ve always liked having unique tastes. I’ve always enjoyed criticizing popular entertainment. After all, my Meyer’s Brigg Personality Type is ‘The Debater’ (ENTP-A). Maybe it’s that Kit Harrington is frankly too short for me to find attractive and there’s too much unkempt facial hair amongst the cast, there are grody Disneyland level drumsticks, and an excessive amount of brawn. I don’t know. Maybe, I just happen to have a UTI every time it comes on the television. Again, your guess is as good as mine. But, despite never *really* watching it, I KNOW it. Now comes the part in this article where I expect almost all the eyes to roll, which is frankly warranted. While this is not a Spec Op-Ed, I am about to flex on you with some weird knowledge that somehow makes me better than you. Anyway, I digress. I KNOW GoT because I’ve read William Shakespeare’s Henry VI Parts 1-3, the *unofficial* basis for GoT (*eyes roll into oblivion*/*my fellow Shakespeare nerds pat themselves on the back for knowing*). 

This first teratology of plays in the Henriad concerns The Wars of the Roses, wherein warring families fight over the throne of England (sound familiar). One of the warring houses is called the House of Lancaster, which sounds an awful like Lannister to me. George R.R. Martin really followed that meme to a tee, you know the one about copying homework but changing it a bit. Regardless, props to Martin for referencing a real masterpiece and paying a homage to one of the greatest dramas ever written. You want strong ass women, intensity the likes of which How To Get Away With Murder just falls short of, and DRAMA?? Read Shakespeare’s Henry VI’s Parts 1-3. It has Joan of Arc, Queen Margaret and a young Richard III. Talk about a power team. I don’t know who Cersei is but Margaret will slay your world, especially in the scene where she tortures York. Yeah, Emilia Clarke looks badass with that dragon but you really cannot beat the OG Joan of Arc taking on a full army.

Besides bragging about having read that much for ~pleasure~, I would like to remind y’all to check out the original House of Lannister, or rather House of Lancaster, which dare I say is worth acquainting yourself with. I don’t know how much of Lannister speak is even understandable, not really on board with the whole Dothraqi or whoever you spell it, but the Lancaster Shakespearean sardonic monologuing is EPIC. I’m just going to leave Queen Margaret’s monologue as she tortures and humiliates this annoying man…

Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
Come, make him stand upon this molehill here,
That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
What! was it you that would be England’s king?
Was’t you that revell’d in our parliament,
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
And where’s that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Look, York: I stain’d this napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford, with his rapier’s point,
Made issue from the bosom of the boy;
And if thine eyes can water for his death,
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alas poor York! but that I hate thee deadly,
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prithee, grieve, to make me merry, York.
What, hath thy fiery heart so parch’d thine entrails
That not a tear can fall for Rutland’s death?
Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst be mad;
And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
Thou wouldst be fee’d, I see, to make me sport:
York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown.
A crown for York! and, lords, bow low to him:
Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.

Putting a paper crown on his head

Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
Ay, this is he that took King Henry’s chair,
And this is he was his adopted heir.
But how is it that great Plantagenet
Is crown’d so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
As I bethink me, you should not be king
Till our King Henry had shook hands with death.
And will you pale your head in Henry’s glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, ’tis a fault too too unpardonable!
Off with the crown, and with the crown his head;
And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.

God save the queen via Bwog Archives.

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