Not having read George R. R. Martin's books, but so far loving the HBO series Game of Thrones, I can't help but notice that either the original writer Martin or the television version's writers love the PBS series I, Claudius (itself based upon the Robert Graves novels). In two scenes specifically there were almost direct lifts from I, Claudius: When Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) sends Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) off to King's Landing the scene plays out almost the same as when Claudius is invited to dinner with Livia and the one in power realizes that the person they thought a fool was no fool at all and, in fact, quite crafty and capable. And when Tyrion replaces the Chief of the Guard of King's Landing with his own man, it is much like when when Macro replaced Sejanus and when Claudius had Cassius condemned to death as an example for leading the conspiracy to murder Caligula that put Claudius on the Roman throne. I have noticed that many of the characters in Game of Thrones have analogs to I, Claudius characters. Here is my take so far. I, Claudius has no Daenerys Targaryen. Offer your own comparisons in the comments. [click on image for larger version]


helen sotiriadis said...

i'm so glad to read this -- an image of romans popped into my mind when joffrey tried to punish a man by forcing wine down his throat -- actually a scene from caligula, correct? -- and i've been rewatching, remembering parallel scenes from i, claudius.

Potiphar Breen said...

Hi Radii...you are right though the actors physical resemblance span the years...as long they are UK actors, or from AU or NZ with those countries' production values, we be sittin' on GREAT thrones!

I am reminded that the long oft-asked question of 'BASIC PLOTS' in the human condition; they match up pretty well, and allow for skilled writers to continue the Thrones epic story.

Here we are Radii as I'm sure you know of this pretty well:


1. Supplication (in which the Supplicant must beg something from Power in authority)
2. Deliverance
3. Crime Pursued by Vengeance
4. Vengeance taken for kindred upon kindred
5. Pursuit
6. Disaster
7. Falling Prey to Cruelty of Misfortune
8. Revolt
9. Daring Enterprise
10. Abduction
11. The Enigma (temptation or a riddle)
12. Obtaining
13. Enmity of Kinsmen
14. Rivalry of Kinsmen
15. Murderous Adultery
16. Madness
17. Fatal Imprudence
18. Involuntary Crimes of Love (example: discovery that one has married one’s mother, sister, etc.)
19. Slaying of a Kinsman Unrecognized
20. Self-Sacrificing for an Ideal
21. Self-Sacrifice for Kindred
22. All Sacrificed for Passion
23. Necessity of Sacrificing Loved Ones
24. Rivalry of Superior and Inferior
25. Adultery
26. Crimes of Love
27. Discovery of the Dishonor of a Loved One
28. Obstacles to Love
29. An Enemy Loved
30. Ambition
31. Conflict with a God
32. Mistaken Jealousy
33. Erroneous Judgement
34. Remorse
35. Recovery of a Lost One
36. Loss of Loved Ones.

goethe from Polti translation/credit at


Ser Potiphar Breen said...


One thing troubles though, wonder if you feel the same vibe.

There were several places where LOST started going downhill for me...abandoning the basic 'premise of interest' for pursuing off-topics with little converging interesting material...As a matter of fact, that happened to me in BSG too. In both sagas there are too many of those writer's' put-offs for me to detail here but you know what I mean.

In Thrones, they are throwing in too many bland & unlikable characters to multiply and confuse, and then making the SAME MISTAKE (albeit at a slower pace) by dribbling in first dragons, then snow creatures, special creatures that are mystical, same for dire animals that lets crippled kids go a-runnin, 'monsters from the id’ (whoops I mean Far North), now a Flame God and the worst allusion of all:

OLD SMOKEY aka Smoke Monster birthed from between the legs of the Red Witch*!

So NOW we do find out where SMOKEY really did come from!

My Sad Plot Prediction Advice says


- Ser Potty

Ser Potty said...

Ser Radii
Dammed Blogger software cut this off About that Red Witch:

"OLD SMOKEY aka Smoke Monster birthed from between the legs of the Red Witch*!


* "SHE HAS A NAME!" ...twice!

radii said...

thanks for the list and the perceptive thoughts - I love Kurt Vonnegut's take: every story has the same structure ACT I put your protagonist up a tree, ACT II light the tree on fire, ACT III get your protagonist down from the burning tree

Yeah, I was surprised by Red Witch Crotch Smoke Monster too - didn't think the story was going that far into fantasy ... I've thought from the start that Martin's epic will eventually see the blue-eyed ice people fighting with the fire-breathing dragons - it is a story of Ice and Fire after all ... Martin has a couple more books due in the series from what I understand ... what will be most interesting for me is to see how ironic Martin makes the murders yet to come on the show (Cersei should kill Joffrey or vice-versa)

BSG and LOST went wrong because of how the business works - Moore (and Eick) checked out and let the writer's room run the story because he now had 3 other shows to do ... and JJ Abrams same thing - all those other film projects ... the creative force behind each show just lost interest in quality and in doing right by the fans by giving them a satisfying conclusion that was true to the previous parts of the story

Anonymous said...

I actually googled "Game of Thrones + I, Claudius" because I've noticed the same thing. Since I haven't read the GoT books (nor seen I, Claudius, only read the books in that case) I quickly scrolled down to prevent any spoilers.

You've nailed a lot of the characters, but one I didn't see in your list was Cassius Charea = The Hound. Purely speculation, but they share a lot of characteristics - big, strong, fearless types. Caligula riding on Cassius Chareas shoulders as a kid (his "horse"), The Hound acting as Joffreys bodyguard.

My theory is thus that The Hound will kill Joffrey and Tyrion will succeed him.

By the way, I had Petyr Baelish (or the Eunuch) as Sejanus and Eddard Stark as Nero Drusus. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

YES! I was about 11 when I Claudius aired. I loved it.
The fact that it was done on a small budget without fancy sets and costumes made it better.
The betrayals,(Livia holy hell) incest, murder, and the fact this happened is fascinating.
And the acting: British actors > American.

Anonymous said...

George Martin was asked about writing for a I,Claudius
Finally, Martin replies to supposition that he might take on the writing duties for I, Claudius, a recently announced HBO readaptation of a 1976 serialized period drama originally from BBC Two.

"Heh, not likely," he says about the series. "And talk about a suicide mission. I mean, I'll watch, but how do you match one of the greatest TV series ever made? That's the television equivalent of remaking Gone with the Wind or Citizen Kane. No, thanks.”


Read more at http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-brief/69455-george-rr-martin-teases-new-hbo-deal#I2b2BTtuKsHXdMbj.99

jana4real said...

Caligula: Joffrey is to Claudius: Tyrion