June 27, 2016 10:00 AM EDT

George R.R. Martin holds his cards close to his chest when it comes to his inspiration for Game of Thrones—after all, too much information could spoil the plot. But he has acknowledged that much of political scheming that drives his A Song of Ice and Fire series is inspired by the Wars of the Roses, when the Houses of Lancaster and York engaged in a bloody fight for the English throne. Other historical parallels have been drawn by fans of the books and the HBO series, from Daenerys Targaryen as Elizabeth I to Brienne of Tarth as Joan of Arc. As we wait for both Martin’s highly-anticipated next tome and the show’s seventh season, here are 9 books about historical heroes and villains who played a real-life game of thrones.

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