Viewers of HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones" (and readers of the novels on which it is based) are doubtless aware of at least some of the ways the medieval fantasy drama is modeled on real history. The feudal conflicts between the various noble houses of Westeros, the western continent where the bulk of the TV show's action takes place, mirror the battles and regicidal struggles of the 15th century War of the Roses between two rival English claimants to the throne, as WorldViews noted here.
The video above, uploaded on the YouTube channel Real Life Lore, expands the historical frame. The landmass of Westeros, you see, is sort of an amalgamation of Britain and Ireland, inverted and stacked up on one another. A narrow sea, or channel, separates the continent from a far larger landmass to the east. In the north, an ancient wall separated putative civilization from the barbarous wild beyond.
The history of Westeros, invented by the books' author George R.R. Martin, mimics the narratives of invasion and settlement that shaped the British Isles over the centuries — from the Celtic migrations to the arrival of the Saxons, to the raids of Vikings and the hegemony of the Normans.
All these find echoes in the universe of Game of Thrones. The seven kingdoms of Westeros, upon which so much of Martin's lore and intrigue is built, in a limited sense reflect the period known as the Heptarchy, a moment in the Dark Ages when England was divided into seven tribal Anglo-Saxon realms.
Granted, there are no dragons or ice zombies, but the parallels are clear.
"Game of Thrones" in WorldViews