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Ben Thomas
Ben Thomas
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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 4: The White Walkers

They rose from their graves to confront the living — and we still haven’t put them to rest. Meet the REAL Army of the Dead. The dead are gathering. By the millions, they clamber forth from their graves and stand like a legion of silent sentinels, waiting for the signal to sweep over the countryside […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 3: Slaver's Bay

Their slaves built towering pyramids and served in ruthless armies — until a conqueror came to set them free. Meet the REAL masters of Slaver’s Bay. Although the merchants of the city are fabulously wealthy, their legions of slaves labor in misery. While the masters bask in luxury, it is slaves who build their ornate […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 2: The Dothraki

They rode wild and free across an entire continent — and made emperors tremble in their beds. Meet the REAL Dothraki. The howling riders thundered over the horizon. They appeared infinite in number — pouring across the plains, swinging swords and firing arrows, crushing well-trained armies beneath their horses’ hooves. To those who glimpsed them […]

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The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, Part 1: Dorne

They ruled North Africa, conquered Spain, and transformed European culture forever. Meet the REAL Kingdom of Dorne. The empire is at war. The southern king retreats to his seaside palace, where he cautiously plots revenge amid sumptuous gardens — with his beloved queen always at his side. Meanwhile, on the mainland, armies of knights clash […]

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Great Empires of North America, Part 6: Masters of the Plains

They subjugated Texas, collected tribute from Mexico, and made white people their slaves. Meet the Comanche — original conquerors of the Wild West. For as long as anyone could remember, the people had roved freely across the open plains. Here on the steppe-land, there were no walls to hem them in. No mountains to halt […]

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Great Empires of North America, Part 5: The League of Peace and Power

They created North America’s first  democracy, and played chess with European empires. Meet the Iroquois — the Northeast’s unstoppable Native confederacy. He was called the Peacemaker – and people would later say he was born of a virgin. Driven to anguish by his people’s ceaseless cycle of warring, kidnapping and torture, he “set his teeth […]

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Kingship, Knowledge, and the Path to Gnosis

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Great Empires of North America, Part 4: People of the Pyramid

Their culture, religion and cities welded the Southeast into a unified civilization. Meet the Mississippians — medieval America’s mightiest emperors. The Great Sun was dead. As a gray dawn broke over the city’s towering pyramids, a procession of mourning priests and nobles paraded through the courtyard, bearing gifts for their king’s tomb. A cadre of […]

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Great Empires of North America, Part 3: Citadels of Ancient Colorado

From cliffside fortresses, they controlled a sprawling trade network — and hoarded wealth beyond dreams. Meet the Puebloans: merchant princes of the ancient Southwest. When we hear terms like “invasion” and “first contact” in American history, we naturally think of European colonialism — and with good reason. The Spanish arrival in New Mexico  devastated indigenous […]

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Great Empires of North America, Part 2: Exodus to Arizona

They raised mighty mud-brick cities, and built a trade empire spanning the Southwest. Meet Arizona’s desert lords. The people had been walking in the desert for many days. When they’d departed from northern Mexico on their great northward migration, they’d been more than a hundred strong – men, women and children, well-practiced at surviving in […]

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