War Is Coming: These TV Shows And Films Were Inspired By Real Wars

By Shaina Lucas

When we think of war films and TV shows, we think of documentaries, true stories, and ones that focus primarily on the war itself. Films like Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, Valkyrie, and Gettysburg have other elements to them but are specifically about World War II and the American Civil War respectively. M*A*S*H as most know, was a TV show based on the Korean War. These shows and films are full of historical facts, but some use more creative license than others. Love stories, broken friendships, and subplots taking away from the main war narrative perhaps?

However, past wars have been used as inspiration in a wide variety of genres. Genres from science-fiction to adventure to fantasy have used elements of real wars. You’ll even see battles in them or secret plots, but they are battles and plots based on historical fact. But you’d never know these films and shows that real wars are hidden deep underneath their narrative. Not to worry though, we’ve exposed five films and TV shows where real wars are hidden underneath their plot.

Ned Stark on the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones. HBO.

Game of Thrones Is Based On The War of The Roses

Game of Thrones has captivated audiences since HBO picked up the show in 2011. The show started as a book series A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones is actually the name of the first book in the series) in 1996. The show has earned numerous accolades, awards, and branched into a spin-off series as well as toys, games, and costumes. The show is a fictional fantasy world full of dragons, white-walkers, magic, and mythical creatures in a more medieval setting.

The series’ writer, George R.R. Martin, takes painstaking time to create his world of characters, and his research. He has stated that Game of Thrones is based on England’s War of the Roses in the 1400s. The political turmoil of this war is seen in the conflict between House Stark and House Lannister. The name Lannister is lifted directly from the real Lancaster family. The infamous Red Wedding is also taken from a real event. It is based on The Black Dinner which took place in Scotland.

Outlander Season 2. The Daily Beast.

Outlander Is Based On The Jacobite Rebellion

Outlander is another book series turned TV show that became a huge hit in 2014. Outlander is written by Diana Gabaldon and released in 1991. The series has earned many accolades and awards and focuses on Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, a 20th-century nurse who time travels back to the 18th century.  Claire is from 1945, and she is mysteriously transported back to 1743. The narrative’s core is full of human emotion and a story of love. But what makes it so compelling is it’s attention to Scottish war.

Much of Outlander’s success is owed to it’s realistic approach to the military conflicts of Scotland during the early 1700s. Primarily they focus on the Jacobite uprisings. The show also examines the build-up towards the Battle of Culloden, the shifting allegiances on both sides, and the violent reality of the Jacobite rebellion. The show’s dedication to the historical accuracy of 18th-century warfare is what makes the story so compelling, and the added love story isn’t bad either. If you’re interested, the next book in the series, Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, will probably be released in 2019, judging by the release timeline.