Boston-area university Harvard will be offering a class called “The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models” as part of its Folklore and Mythology course, Time reports. The class will, according to its official description, look at “a set of archetypal characters at the heart of Game of Thrones — the king, the good wife, the second son, the adventurer, and so on — with distinct analogues in medieval history, literature, religion, and legend.”
If this sounds like a craven attempt to pull some of the buzz surrounding the HBO show (and George R.R. Martin novel series that inspired it) into the traditionally more staid Folklore and Mythology education circuit, then… well, you’ve nailed it.
Racha Kirakosian, assistant professor of German and the Study of Religion and one of the minds behind the class, said it’s being seen as a “recruitment tool” for humanities courses, noting that the idea came about after she was “made” to watch the show by students in the past.
“When I read medieval verse epics with my students, they’d say, ‘Oh, that’s like in Game of Thrones,’ No, if anything at all, it’s the other way around,” she told Time. “Isn’t it partly our job [as professors] to use that interest and go deeper?”
If this sounds like your type of thing, but you don’t feel confident in getting into Harvard, don’t despair: the University of Berkeley is also offering its own Game of Thrones course — well, kind of. It’s more about what it took to invent Dothraki, and we’ve already gone through that enough with Klingon.