The super-popular American drama “Game of Thrones” recently aired the finale, which immediately attracted a lot of attention on various social platforms – including the discussion of the background of its original novel “Song of Ice and Fire”.
Most of the “ice powder” knows that the “Western continent” written by George Martin, who has studied the history of medieval England, is in fact the magnified medieval island of Great Britain; and a nation of Westeros History is a simplified history of the British nation – “The Son of the Forest” is the earliest British Stone Age indigenous, the “ancestry” is the Celtic, the Valeria Empire corresponds to the Roman Empire, and the Andal are Anglo and Jun. The special person, the Tangerian family’s conquest, corresponds to the famous “Norman Conquest”.
However, if it is specific to the military technology level, “Song of Ice and Fire” is not so “adjusted”, and examples of “time and space inversion” abound.
As a fantasy continent based on the medieval feudal society, the “XX City” spread over Westero is in fact not the “city” we are familiar with, but the castle (Keep/Castle).
City is a large settlement that takes into account various functions such as residence, industry, commerce, politics, and religion. The Junlin City in “Song of Ice and Fire” is extremely “conforming to the image of the times”: this standard medieval city is based on London and Paris in the eleventh century. It has a long and not strong wall to ensure the city. Basic law and order and control of business activities; there are large areas of unplanned, blindly expanding timber-framed residential areas; huge churches; and a palace with a defensive function and in fact a castle…
The residents of a castle (Keep/Castle) often include only feudal lords, his family and service personnel, military personnel, personnel responsible for logistics and castle maintenance, as well as clergy and a small number of people, and their main functions. It is a military defense and the living area is relatively limited.
In contrast, the castle in the novel is much more “advanced” and even surpasses the corresponding era – for example, the important castle of Herrensburg left by the legendary “Black Heart King Herron”, this castle has multiple giant forts. The building has a fairly spacious interior with a composite urban defense system, as well as an independent large granary and reservoir, as well as a sophisticated underground structure –
Unfortunately, for most of the Middle Ages, the castle did not grow like Herrenburg.
As the home of the feudal lords, the fortress and the core of the rule, the castles of the early Middle Ages were actually not as “luxury” as we thought – initially, a wooden stone tower was built on a hill, and a trench was dug under the mountain. The wooden fence that is two or three high is a “castle”.
In Britain, this simple castle has been everywhere in the “Seven Kingdoms” until the era of “Norman Conquest” (that is, the establishment of the Tangerian dynasty in the novel), deeper moats and higher masonry walls. It replaced the ditch and the wooden fence, and the size of the castle expanded, and even the gatehouse for strengthening the defense appeared at the gate. However, in the middle of the Middle Ages, where there was a lack of heavy siege equipment and the scale of the war was not large, large castles like Herrenburg and Pro Wintertown, which had reached the level of “fortune” in the Cold Warfare era, were still uncommon. Even in Western Europe, the large-scale construction of such castles will not begin until the further improvement of engineering technology in the 13th-14th century. In the more backward Eastern Europe, the Ross, Hungarian and Polish people still used the most primitive and fragile wooden structure in this period, which directly led to their rapid defeat under the attack of the Mongolian army.
Fortunately, as the “standard accessories” of the castle, the knights in the novel maintain the level of equipment equivalent to the middle of the Middle Ages – the main body of the protective gears of most Westeros knights, still protect the entire head. Integrated helmet + thick half-length chain mail that can effectively defend the slash, plus a hard wooden rib with edges enhanced with metal hoops, a solid family shield with a februated family crest, and some protective gear made of hardened leather. This is quite different from the “knight” that many people imagined to be wrapped in heavy plate armor and live like a robot.
In fact, this is closer to the actual appearance of most medieval knights. Even after the formalization and rectification of Charlemagne, many of the early “Knights” of the eight to nine centuries had only a hard leather armor, and the ability to equip the ring locks was considered a “big local tyrant”. As for the “Knights” we are familiar with, it is actually the product of technological progress in the Renaissance. When Milanese and Germans began to build them in large quantities, they were not really knights, but long-handed, pistols and The mercenary of the two-handed sword.
Since the East and West continents rarely attack each other, the power that threatens Westeros is only two in most times: the extraterrestrial people living in the north of the Great Wall (“wild people”), and the rebellious Iron Island pirates. The prototype of the Iron Islands pirates is actually a part of the Viking colonies who settled in the west of Ireland and the Isle of Man in the 8th-12th century. Apart from the lack of horses and the habit of using the warships to “run and run”, their basic military equipment and mainland China The “relatives” are actually no different. And what about “wild people”? Sorry, they are a bit shameful compared to the real prototype.
In reality, there is indeed a Great Wall for resisting the invasion of the North. During the Roman Empire, Emperor Hadrian had ordered the construction of a masonry wall between England and Scotland. The Great Wall, composed of a series of Romanesque fortresses, is also known as the “Great Wall of Hadrian”. The goal of the Great Wall’s defense is the Celtic people who live in the Scottish Highlands, the Gaelic language, and their relatives, the Picts. For each Roman legionnaire assigned to the northern edge of the British province, those “blue devils” from the cold north, although not able to beat the Roman legions with higher levels of discipline and discipline in the uprising, Small-scale border conflicts are tricky enemies – as Rome imported the civilizations of the Mediterranean world into Britain, these “outsiders” of the North learned almost immediately the advanced technology from the sea: iron making, helmet manufacturing and Shields, driving horses… In order to avoid them going south, the fact that the Romans had to station more than one elite army in the north of England for a long time fully demonstrated the strong fighting power of these opponents.
In contrast, Westero’s “wild man”, the level of equipment (at least according to the novel standard) is really a bit sorry for the audience, oh no, readers. Before the different ghosts went south, the northern “wild man” who felt the threat took the lead in taking action and assembled tens of thousands of troops to try to break through the Great Wall. As a result, they suffered a lot in front of the night watchmen who were less than one tenth of them. – The weapons used by most “wild people” are still Neolithic equipment such as meteorites and animal bones. Even the “fully equipped” Sain people are only equipped with bronze as the main weapon, and the ancient weapon of the chariot. Still used in large quantities. This level of military technology is in fact closer to the average of the British society in the Julius Caesar era, which was dominated by the Britons (the term “British origin”), using chariots and bronzes. They face an opponent who has advanced for a thousand years on the technical level. It is really difficult to have any resilience.
In addition, perhaps Martin is familiar with the history of Europe. On the eastern continent, which is based on the “Oriental” imagined by Europeans, the military technology of the locals is no longer “out of touch with the times,” but There is a direct technical error. For example, the “stainless” slave army of the “Dragon Mother” Danielis in Slave Bay, the prototype of this legion is obviously the historical Turkic slave army, or the Mamluk Army.
From the complete line of the last Mamluks left over from the Napoleonic era, it is not difficult to see that the elite cavalry who once defeated the Mongols, the invading sacred places and Africa, all wore heavy-duty locks with metal guards and metal shoulders. Or Asian-style fish scales, wearing a Turkic pointed helmet, using bows, rifles and curved sabers, are all-round cavalry who are well-versed in both battles, and the infantry is in the auxiliary position in Mamluk and Turkic slaves.
Compared with these slaves in reality, the “styling” of the “Scars of Ice and Fire” novels is rather bizarre – only leather armor and pointed hats – are the standard light infantry standards common in medieval Asia. Such infantry spears, even if they are well-trained, daring and strong, plus the narcotics blessing of “courageous wine”, are actually very disadvantageous in front of the popular reloading knights in Westeros. Fortunately, in the Eastern continent of the novel, the level of equipment without the dirt is actually enough: because their opponents are even more unbearable.
At the beginning of the whole novel, in order to recapture Westeros, Danielis Tanglelian married the leader of the nomadic Dosraks under the arrangement of the stupid and crazy brother Vesalis III. The historical prototype of the Dosraks is clearly a nomadic tribe in the Middle Ages-Mongolian plateau, but their military level is closer to the early nomads of BC. The famous “Doslas Roaring Warrior” is a light cavalry wearing a variety of lightweight equipment, with scimitars and bows as the main weapons. This actual level still stays in the cavalry after the Yuan Yuan, and the assault ability is extremely limited. It is no wonder that the same light-weight and non-scaling can effectively resist them. Outside the Winter City, it is not surprising that the brigade’s lightly equipped cavalry was swallowed up by the “Ghosts” in the frontal impact.
However, in the whole novel, the most disjointed thing from the times is actually the special weapons made by “Dragon Crystal” – the weapon of the gods specially used to deal with “different ghosts”. In the real world, the real scientific name of this thing is actually Obsidian, a kind of volcanic glass (the novel claims to be from the “fire in the ground”, but the truth). In many places, especially in the ancient Americas, it is also often used to make weapons. The blade of the “Maquaweite” sword in the hands of the Aztec empire’s proud Jaguar warrior, or the spearhead of the Mayan spearman, is made of this thing. However, obsidian can be sharply polished, but it is quite fragile compared to metal weapons. It is often broken in the cross, so it has withdrawn from the ranks of the early days in the Old World. If it were not in the setting as a “just need” to restrain the “different ghosts”, I am afraid that this ancient BC old weapon would not have the chance to appear on the battlefield of the medieval level.
But then again, is such an “irrational” place itself not one of the charms of fantasy literature?