Collections: The Siege of Gondor, Part IV: The Cavalry Arrives

(Note: Thanks to the effort of a kind reader, this post is now available in audio format! The playlist for the entire series may be found here.) This is the fourth part of a six part series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI) taking a military historian’s look at the Siege of Gondor in Peter … Continue reading Collections: The Siege of Gondor, Part IV: The Cavalry Arrives

Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part III: The Cult of the Badass

This is the third and final part of a discussion (I, IIa, IIb) discussion of the notion that there is a ‘universal warrior’ – a transcendent sameness about either the experience of war or ‘warrior values’ which might provide some sort of useful blueprint for life generally or some sort of fundamental truth about the … Continue reading Collections: The Universal Warrior, Part III: The Cult of the Badass

Collections: The Fremen Mirage, Part IV: Desert Power

This is Part IV of our four-and-three-quarters part series (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, interlude) on the Fremen Mirage. We began by sketching out the basic outline of this pop theory of history: that a lack of wealth and sophistication leads to moral purity, which in turn leads to military prowess, which consequently produces a cycle … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage, Part IV: Desert Power

New Acquisitions: How It Wasn’t: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages, Part III

This series is now available in an audio format; the entire playlist can be listened to here. The following is the third part of a three part series where we look at the question “how medieval is Game of Thrones?” and – if not the Middle Ages – what period of European history does Game … Continue reading New Acquisitions: How It Wasn’t: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages, Part III

New Acquisitions: How It Wasn’t: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages, Part I

This series is now available in an audio format; the entire playlist can be listened to here. The following post is the first part of a three part series where we look at the question “how medieval is Game of Thrones?” and – if not the European Middle Ages – what period of history does … Continue reading New Acquisitions: How It Wasn’t: Game of Thrones and the Middle Ages, Part I

Collections: The Fremen Mirage, Part IIIb: Myths of the Atreides

This is Part IIIb of our four-and-three-quarters part series (I, II, IIIa) on what we’re calling the Fremen Mirage. Last week, we traced the origins of this idea in the Greek and Roman ethnographic tradition. We found that the tropes that make up this concept – the poor, unsophisticated, but morally pure and militarily powerful … Continue reading Collections: The Fremen Mirage, Part IIIb: Myths of the Atreides