10 History Books That ‘Game of Thrones’ Fans Need To Read, Because The Red Wedding Was Based On A Real-Life Event

Macall B. Polay, courtesy of HBO

Whether you're a TV fan waiting for season eight, or a long-suffering book fan still holding out hope that The Winds of Winter will be published at some point before the end of linear time, chances are good that you're missing the Game of Thrones universe right now. Of course, if you miss dragons and prophecies and big, nasty snow zombies, then there are plenty of fantasy books out there that you can read while you wait. Maester George R.R. Martin himself has been pretty upfront about drawing influence from the likes of T.H. White, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Robert Jordan. But let's say that you're not in the mood for another fantasy epic (or you've already read them all, and even your D&D group is begging you to try another genre). If you miss princes and scheming queens and complicated plots to steal the throne from illegitimate pretenders, then you might actually enjoy some of these books about real world history.

After all, it's no secret that GRRM stole all his major plot points from history books. The struggle for the Iron Throne is not-so-loosely based on the English War of the Roses. Characters like Brienne of Tarth and Tyrion Lannister take their cues from historical characters like Joan of Arc and Richard III. And yes, even the Red Wedding and the Wall have their precedents in English history (medieval England got pretty wild, y'all). Here are some history books that will fill you in on all the disturbing real life stories that inspired Game of Thrones: