“Game of Thrones” swoops back onto screens March 31 like a marauding dragon. HBO’s hit seriesbased on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling fantasy novels draws inspiration from British history and has filmed in locations across the UK, many of which are easy to visit.

Ice zombies and telepathic mega-wolves aside, the Song of Ice and Fire saga has roots in England’s 15th-century Wars of the Roses, fought between the Yorks and Lancasters. Martin re-imagined these dueling clans as the rugged Starks and wealthy, blinged-out Lannisters (most of them now played on TV by British actors, in keeping with the way American producers usually imagine fantasy realms).

Real-life British History and Locations Behind ‘Game of Thrones’

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