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I finished watching the 3rd season of GoT recently. The serial is really great. But I suddenly recalled reading long ago a series of books called The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon. And I see a lot of parallels.

Now, The Accursed Kings tells us a story about the French kingdom in XIV century, and the battle for the throne between several branches of the ruling dinasty. The principle "Everybody dies", which GoT is famous for, perfectly fits for AkK:

The Iron King, the main hero of the first book, dies at the end of the first book.

Also, there is an adultery line

The wives of two king sons cheat on their husbands, which lead to the fight for who should actually claim the the throne after Iron King is gone.

Also, the english queen cheats on her husband and takes part in murder of Edward the II.

The main difference is, as I see it, the presence of fantasy in GoT. But, without it, the two series have a very close style.

So, why is that? Was George Martin officially inspired by Druon books, or it was just because they both took inspiration in medieval history?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

Yes, Martin was inspired by Maurice Druon among others. Read what Martin has to say on the book in the reprint's introduction:

My own series draws on both traditions . . . and while I undoubtedly drew much of my inspiration from Tolkien, Vance, Howard, and the other fantasists who came before me, A Game of Thrones and its sequels were also influenced by the works of great historical novelists like Thomas B. Costain, Mika Waltari, Howard Pyle . . . and Maurice Druon, the amazing French writer who gave us the The Accursed Kings, seven splendid novels that chronicle the downfall of the Capetian kings and the beginnings of the Hundred Years War.

It also says on the cover:

'This was the original game of thrones' George R.R. Martin

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Thank you, that explains it fully. By the way, Maurice Druon lived long enough to read the Game of Thrones books. I wonder, if he read them actually... – SPIRiT_1984 Feb 7 '14 at 9:02
@SPIRiT_1984: well, some of them. Martin is still writing them. – Paul D. Waite Feb 7 '14 at 10:13

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