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June 15, 2015 5:52 PM EDT

Spoilers for Game of Thrones follow

If you watched Season 5 of Game of Thrones with a vague sense of déjà vu, you’re probably not alone. There were a lot of things this season that felt strangely familiar, or about as familiar as anything happening in a dragon-filled, White Walker-infested fictional universe can feel.

But if you experienced that sense of recognition, perhaps it’s because several plot points this season seem to be inspired by real-life history, or at least by myths so ancient they almost count. Here are 7 moments from Game of Thrones Season 5 that may have been inspired by those events; some of these have been hinted at by Martin himself, others are just parallels we’ve noticed as outside observers.

Either way, the resemblance is uncanny.

Write to Charlotte Alter at

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