Like any good epic the mega-hit TV show, Games of Thrones, the fantasy series based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books has it all: from embattled queens and mystic sects to dragons, direwolves, and ravens.
Now in its sixth series it has become a cultural phenomenon.. with a devoted fan base addicted to tales of power lust and vengeance.
But what of the creation's real-world inspiration?
Oxford University's Carolyne Larrington, the author of Winter Is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones which is "the essential companion" to Martin’s novels and the TV show.
It delves into how Martin constructed his remarkable storylines out of the Middle Ages, and how they helped inspire the Game of Thrones universe.
She talks to Kathryn Ryan.