The battle between the north and south has parallels with the Wars of the Roses, the Wall echoes Hadrian’s Wall, built to keep out the barbarians to the north, and the Red Wedding has roots in the bloody massacres of Glencoe and the ‘Black Dinner’, where guests were brutally murdered. Much has been written on these parallels already, so instead here’s a look at the real life nomadic warriors behind those wild horsemen, the Dothraki. . . .
Who were the Scythians? Well, they were fearsome, nomadic warriors who loved their horses – sound familiar? In many ways, they set the template for the Huns, Mongols and other nomads of the steppe as they were around first, flourishing from about 900 to 200 BC. Here are a few ways in which the terrifying Dothraki take their lead from the equally terrifying Scythians. . . .
Part of their fearsome reputation comes from the perception among outsiders that the Dothraki and the Scythians are barbarians – Daenerys’ brother, who comes to a rather unpleasant end (in fact based on this totally real practice), regularly criticises Dothraki culture as being ‘savage’. Similarly the ancient Greeks perceived the Scythians as both terrifying and barbarous, while at the same time holding some respect for their brutal ways.
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