Genre Medievalisms: Geek Goes Chic!

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in HBO's, 'Game of Thrones'. Photo courtesy of (TV Guide)

Is Cersei a collection of bad medieval stereotypes? Have nerds gone mainstream? Were American cowboys a modern retelling of the medieval knight? Put down that comic, put away your bag of dice, and indulge your inner nerd.

MOVIE REVIEW – Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God

Left to Right: Lux, Nim, Ormaline, Dorian and Berek.

Your Saturday night Medieval Movie – this time, I review Dungeons & Dragons: The Wrath of the Dragon God.

The American Dark Ages and the Terrorist Witch in Season of the Witch


In this article we argue that medieval films are not to be analyzed according to their faithfulness to the known historical sources, but that they can only be fully analyzed by understanding medievalist codes, traditions and (filmic) intertextuality.

Staging Medievalisms: Touching the Middle Ages through Contemporary Performance


Examining the Middle Ages through modern eyes: movies, TV, stage, tourism and books. How do we perform the Middle Ages?

Medievalism as fun and games

Rune Viking Warlord

Medievalism hides in many guises in contemporary culture, of which four will be examined here.

Fantasy Books for Christmas!

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister

For those of you who want something a little more magical under the tree this Christmas – here are a few new 2013 fantasy releases!

Great Medieval Fiction 2013!

Dangerous Women

For those of you who enjoy some fantasy or a historical novel – this list is for you!

Androgynes, Crossdressers, and Rebel Queens: Modern Representations of Medieval Women Warriors from Tolkien to Martin

Brienne of Tarth

This was another stellar paper given at the Tales after Tolkien session. It was an intriguing look at the women of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and how each author portrays the mother and warrior characters of Galadriel/Cersi/Daenerys and Eowyn/Arya/Brienne. The paper examined the differences and problems posed by the portrayal of women in theses fantasy novels.

The Meaning of the Middle Ages: Fans, Authors, and Industry

Obsidian and Blood - Aliette De Bodard - Aztec fantasy

This was a very enjoyable paper given on the topic of medievalism and the predominance of a European perspective in almost all fantasy literature. Young examined three authors who were moving away from the traditional telling of fantasy by subverting the typical pseudo-medieval narrative or by moving away from European cultures towards embracing Eastern, Aztec and other non-European worlds.

George R. R. Martin’s Quest for Realism in A Song of Ice and Fire

Sansa Stark and Ser Loras Tyrell

This was my last session of KZOO this year and it was the perfect way to end a great conference. This series was dedicated to examining medievalism in fantasy literature with the dominant topic being George R. R. Martin and Tolkien.

Game of Thrones – Review of Season 3, Episode 1: Valar Dohaeris

Game of thrones review

After what seemed like an eternity, we’re back with an exciting third season of Game of Thrones. Another season of plotting, scheming, sex, violence and dragons!

“What do we do? Hop on a bus to medieval times?”:Medievalisms of Robin of Sherwood and Charmed


Three different medievalist narrative styles have been identified for the purposes of this volume, Medieval in Motion: modernist medievalism, post-modernist medievalism and neo-medievalism.

INTERVIEW: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

Song of the Vikings

An interview with author Nancy Brown on her latest medieval offering: “Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths”.

Language and Legend in the Fantasy Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

Tengwar Sindarin font

There was something so real in the languages that he created, and critics wanted to find the inspirations behind Tolkien‘s worlds. Elves, dwarves, men, hobbits, and various other creatures occupied the pages of his books, but the languages he created were complex and had real elements in them. Examples of his invented languages were those spoken by the Elves, Sindarin and Quenya.

Horses of Agency, Element, and Godliness in Tolkien and the Germanic Sagas

The Rohirrim

What is the contract between man and equine that allows a beast ten times our size and one hundred times our strength to willingly serve in our ambitions? What magnetism (and who placed it) is it that draws humanity and horses together?

“Far-off gleams of evangelium” : a study of how J. R. R. Tolkien’s The lord of the rings reflects the biblical “Kingdom of Heaven”


The findings of this thesis confirm that the values of LOTR and the Kingdom are notably similar, and that the reader of LOTR does indeed derive from it an experience of what the Kingdom ideally is. But all this is “under the surface”, and Tolkien did not impose his Christianity.

Hot Holiday Reads!

BOOKS: A Feast of Ice and Fire The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook

Put down those turkey left-overs and check out some of these hot holiday reads!

Sometimes a Codpiece Is Just a Codpiece: The Meanings of Medieval Clothes

Medieval Clothes Fragment

I am going to take you on a small tour of clothing production and of the many roles that clothing played in medieval life.

The Hobbit – 75 years old and still going strong

The original cover for The Hobbit in 1937

It took a review by a ten-year old boy to convince a publisher to print it, but on September 21, 1937, the first edition of The Hobbit hit the bookstores.

The Mythology of Magic in The Hobbit: Tolkien and Andrew Lang’s Red Fairy Book “Story of Sigurd” 


This paper was part of the Tolkien at Kalamazoo sessions.

Elfland Revisited: A Comparative Study of Late Twentieth Century Adaptations of Two Traditional Ballads


Elfland Revisited: A Comparative Study of Late Twentieth Century Adaptations of Two Traditional Ballads Giebert, Stefanie PhD Dissertation, Philosophy, University of Trier, (2009) Abstract Once upon a time there was a minstrel. He travelled the land, stopping at the halls of noblemen to entertain their households. He sang old songs he had learned as a child, songs he had […]

The Familiar and the Fantastic A Study of Contemporary High Fantasy in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen

gardens of the moon cover - The Malazan Book of the Fallen

The Familiar and the Fantastic A Study of Contemporary High Fantasy in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen Vike, Magnus M.A. Thesis (Foreign Languages) The University of Bergen, May 15 (2009) Abstract This thesis deals with fantasy as a literary genre, as well as its […]

Prester John: Fiction and History

Prester John

Prester John: Fiction and History Bar-Ilan, Meir History of European Ideas, 20/1-3 (1995) Abstract A Hebrew book of Ben-Sira was published in 1519 in Constantinople, and its appendix includes ‘a copy of the letter that Priesty Juan sent to the Pope in Rome’. Although this story has several versions, its main theme is: Once upon a time, […]


TRAVEL WRITING FROM HELL? MINAMOTO NO YORIIE AND THE POLITICS OF FUJI NO HITOANASŌSHI Kimbrough, Keller R. (University of Colorado, Boulder) PAJLS, Volume 7 (2007) Abstract Within the fantastic world of late-medieval Japanese prose fiction, extraordinary, supernatural, or otherwise improbable journeys are the norm. Whether the eponymous Urashima Tarō’s visit to the underwater palace of […]

Game of Thrones Review: “Fire and Blood”

Dany SE01 EP10

Game of Thrones Review: “Fire and Blood” SE01 EP 10 The smoking season finale ends in a ball of fire! “Fire and Blood” In the aftermath of Ned’s execution, Arya and Sansa must fend for themselves amidst the chaos and pending war, Rob gets promoted, Dany makes a difficult decision, and Jon reaffirms his commitment […]

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