George R. Martin has always maintained that he has been influenced at least as much by his passion for history and historical fiction as by traditional epic fantasy of writers like J.R.R. Tolkien. For fans who wish to investigate further into the real life inspirations for Martin's characters, Martin has admitted that he was inspired by the Wars of the Roses, a series of battles of succession that took place in 15th century England. For example, the two dueling clans in „Games of Thrones‟, the Lannisters and the Starks, have names that resemble those of the two sides in the Wars of the Roses. Like the Yorks, the Starks are northerners, while the Lancasters are famously rich.
Cersei Lannister, Robert's ambitious widow, is thought by many to have been inspired by Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry VI. Henry's insanity left him unable to rule and Margaret fought against those she saw as threatening her family's position in the throne, just as Cersei is responsible for the war of the Five Kings. She also resembles Isabella of France, an earlier medieval English queen, who conspired with her lover to murder her husband, Edward II.
Yes, „Games of Thrones‟ has dragons, ice zombies and giant wolves. Secret marriages! Mad monarchs! Velvet sleeves hiding jewel-encrusted daggers, networks of spies… It would probably surprise several generations of British schoolchildren to learn that the dynastic politics of the late 1400s could be transformed into anything entertaining.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
CHOOSE AND WRITE THE CORRECT OPTION (A, B, C or D). (0.5 points each)
1. The Wars of the Roses were a series of battles …
- (a) that took place in Scotland.
- (b) between the Starks and the Lannisters.
- (c) between France and England.
- (d) between the Yorks and the Lancasters. X
2. G.R. Martin …
- (a) didn't like History.
- (b) didn't know who J.R.R. Tolkien was.
- (c) was very fond of history. X
- (d) wrote an essay about the Wars of The Roses.
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH THE PRECISE WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT
3. Cersei Lannister is married.
4. Henry VI didn't suffer any kind of mental disorder.
5. In „Games of Thrones‟ you can find fabulous creatures.
6. Margaret of Anjou was a weak woman.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
7. GIVE ONE OPPOSITE FOR “entertaining” (adjective) (line 16) AS IT IS USED IN THE TEXT.
8. GIVE A NOUN WITH THE SAME ROOT AS “learn” (verb).
9. FIND IN THE TEXT ONE SYNONYM FOR “look into” (verb).
10. CHOOSE THE CORRECT PREPOSITION at / for / to / of
- “Margaret of Anjou was married………... Henry VI.”
11. FIND IN THE TEXT THE WORD WHICH HAS THE FOLLOWING DEFINITION:
“lacking the necessary power or ability to do something.”
12. WHICH WORD DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME MEANING?
- match / fit / remind / correspond
13. REWRITE THE SENTENCE WITHOUT CHANGING ITS MEANING. BEGIN AS INDICATED:
“I‟d like to be on a desert island right now.”
14. JOIN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES USING A RELATIVE. MAKE CHANGES IF NECESSARY. “‟Games of Thrones‟ is a best-seller. / It was written by George R. Martin.”
- „Games of Thrones‟ is a best-seller that/which was written by George R. Martin.
- „Games of Thrones‟, which was written by George R. Martin, is a best-seller.
15. TURN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE INTO THE PASSIVE VOICE:
“People consider that he is an expert on cricket”.
16. TURN THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE INTO REPORTED SPEECH:
“Let‟s go to the cinema on Tuesday”, said Mary.
- Mary suggested going to the cinema on Tuesday.
- She suggested (that) we should go to the cinema on Tuesday.
- She suggested (that) we go to the cinema on Tuesday.
17. GIVE A QUESTION FOR THE UNDERLINED WORDS:
“I have to wear a uniform tomorrow.”
18. WRITE A COMPOSITION OF APPROXIMATELY 120 WORDS ABOUT THE TOPIC PROPOSED. YOU MUST FOCUS STRICTLY ON IT:
- Write about a book, movie, TV series... that you have enjoyed.