Introduction Despite not featuring prominently, navy and naval operations play a significant role in Tolkien's Middle Earth. In the First Age, elves of Feanor come to Middle Earth from Valinor across the sea; their kinsmen, who had been forced to use the land route, suffer terribly. In the last battle of the Age, host of … Continue reading Navy in Middle-Earth
Fantasy Fortifications — Part 1: StrategyThis article is part 1 of a series on Fantasy Fortifications by Toni Šušnjar Fortifications are one of major parts of fantasy fiction, especially high fantasy. But they are also oh-so-often wrong, even though many basic details are typically right due to prevalence of models to build on. A common mistake … Continue reading Fantasy Fortifications — Part 1: Strategy
Minas Tirith is likely one of best defended fantasy cities. Its defences consist of seven semi-circular walls. These walls, thanks to city being built on a hill, rise above each other, allowing defenders on the inner wall to shoot over the outer wall – and so on for seven levels. Further, a stone outcropping separates … Continue reading Minas Tirith and Constantinople – defences overview
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 it most draw from? In each part, we will draw on a different historical framework: first military, then social and finally political history.
Part I, which you are reading now, will deal with this from the perspective of the structure of war and conflict. Part II, linked here, will instead pose this question from a social history perspective, looking at cultural and religious norms along with questions of gender and family structure. Finally, Part III, linked here, will look at political structures and norms (and also have the conclusion).
But first, I want to answer a question: Why am I bothering? Isn’t this all a bunch of useless nitpicking?…
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(Originally posted at Forum of Ice and Fire) In war between Gondor and Mordor we see (in the books, not so much the movies) outright Byzantine layered defense-in-depth strategy. Now, the entire point of defense-in-depth is our old friend friction. As Clausewitz explains, anything we do encounters friction, that is things which make achieving our goals … Continue reading Denethoring the Lannisters
Overview After Roman hull-first construction techniques were abandoned and replaced with ribs-first construction, battering ram became useless as a weapon. As a result, naval action came to depend on missile exchange and boarding – only introduction of cannon saved galley as a ship of war in the Mediterranean (see "Galley vs sailing ship" post). In … Continue reading War at Sea – Northern Cog
In much fantasy, authors opt to use either galleys, sailing ships, or even both, without understanding how these two configurations interact. This post looks at that question.